StopAfib.org joins the FACT Alliance to help save lives
December 3, 2012
- Summary: StopAfib.org joins the FACT Alliance to help save lives through raising awareness of the need for atrial fibrillation patients to have access to this life-saving technology
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StopAfib.org is proud to announce that it has joined the Fair Access to Cardiac Technology (FACT) Alliance. The FACT Alliance is comprised of patient advocacy organizations, professional medical associations, industry, and other health leaders working together to ensure that patients have fair and equitable access to cardiac health technology and services.
As part of its efforts, the FACT Alliance will raise awareness of Mobile Cardiac Telemetry (MCT), a very important way that patients get diagnosed with afib and other arrhythmias. This technology can pick up deadly arrhythmias as well as silent afib that can lead to a deadly stroke.
The patient doesn’t have to do anything. No pushing buttons when you have an event; MCT automatically captures every heartbeat for up to 30 days, catching episodes that other technologies cannot capture. Silent afib is captured, whereas it is missed with some monitors. Data is transmitted as the events occur, and doctors are alerted immediately to serious or deadly arrhythmias.
This technology is also extremely important following an atrial fibrillation procedure. Long-term monitoring is required to help doctors and patients determine the success of a procedure and whether or not the patient can discontinue anticoagulants (blood thinners). Silent afib is more prevalent after a procedure, so lack of information can have deadly consequences.
This technology is very important for those with afib, and this alliance was formed because not all patients have access to this technology. While most insurance companies cover it, understanding that it is a cost-effective way to avoid serious consequences, two major insurance providers have refused, and another has announced that it no longer will. As patients, this should be very concerning to us, especially when it means that one-third of all privately-insured patients in the US will not have access to this technology.
The FACT Alliance believes that heart patients with private insurance should have the same access to this technology as Medicare patients, Veterans, TRICARE beneficiaries and federal employees, including Members of Congress. Virtually all publicly supported programs and private insurers cover it, with the exception of these three that have refused to do so.
Ideally, patients and their doctors make medical decisions together, but when insurance companies overrule doctor recommendations, patients are the ones who suffer from potentially devastating, and even deadly, consequences. That is why StopAfib.org is supporting this initiative.
You can show your concern and support for it, too, by going to the FACT Alliance web site and signing the petition. This is particularly important if you are covered by one of these three companies that denies you this vital care.