Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield will cover ZimVie's Tether device to treat pediatric scoliosis.
The insurer's positive medical policy decision applies to anterior vertebral body tethering and went into effect July 6, according to a July 12 news release from ZimVie. ZimVie's Tether device is the only FDA-approved device for AVBT and is a non-fusion device, More than 1,200 children have received the device since August 2019, and about 50 surgeons perform the procedure.
"Before the development of anterior vertebral body tethering, the primary surgical option for children with scoliosis was a spinal fusion with rigid rods that could limit mobility," said Rebecca Whitney, president of ZimVie's spine unit and senior vice president of the devicemaker. "The coverage decision from Anthem will provide children with greater access to AVBT as a motion preserving alternative that may allow them to return to their active daily lives."