Expanded Insurance Coverage Boosts Access to TMS Treatment for Adolescents

MALVERN, PANeuronetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: STIM) has announced significant updates from major insurers that will broaden access to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) for younger patients. BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) of Michigan and Cambia Health Solutions have revised their policies to include coverage for TMS therapy for individuals aged 15 and older. This move follows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent clearance of NeuroStar TMS as a first-line add-on treatment for adolescents aged 15-21 with major depressive disorder (MDD).

BCBS Michigan, which covers 4.9 million people in the state, will now provide TMS access for members aged 15 to 70 years. Cambia Health Solutions, the parent company of Regence BCBS, Asuris Health, and BridgeSpan Health, covers 2.5 million lives across Washington, Utah, Oregon, and Idaho. Their updated policy aligns with the FDA-approved age range for the NeuroStar device. Both policy changes take effect on September 1, 2024.

“Following quickly after NeuroStar’s FDA clearance for adolescents, these policy updates from major commercial insurance payors represent a crucial step forward in mental healthcare,” said Keith J. Sullivan, President and CEO of Neuronetics, Inc. “Expanding access to NeuroStar TMS for those aged 15 and older marks significant progress towards ensuring young people receive the care they deserve.”

TMS is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. It is often used when other treatments for depression have not been effective. By expanding the eligible age range for TMS, more adolescents suffering from MDD can now access this alternative treatment option, which could be a game-changer for those struggling with severe depression.

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The expanded coverage is particularly important given the rising rates of mental health issues among young people. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in three adolescents in the United States experiences an anxiety disorder. Depression rates are also alarmingly high, making effective treatment options like TMS essential.

These policy changes not only benefit patients but also set a precedent for other insurers. Broader adoption of expanded TMS coverage could lead to increased accessibility nationwide, offering more patients the opportunity to benefit from this innovative treatment.

In addition to improving patient outcomes, the expanded coverage may have broader implications for the healthcare system. Effective mental health treatments can reduce the long-term costs associated with untreated depression, such as lost productivity and increased medical expenses. Thus, insurers may find that covering TMS for a wider age range is both a compassionate and financially sound decision.

As the insurance landscape adapts to include more progressive treatments, Neuronetics stands at the forefront, ready to address the growing mental health needs of adolescents and adults alike. The company’s latest achievement marks a significant milestone in making advanced mental health treatments more accessible to those who need them most.

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