Aetna expands reimbursement coverage for capsule endoscopy

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Aetna insurance company has updated its reimbursement policy on capsule endoscopy to include the initial diagnosis of suspected Crohn's disease following inconclusive conventional tests such as small-bowel follow-through and upper and lower endoscopy.

Aetna's announcement expands its April 2003 decision to cover capsule endoscopy only in patients with suspected bleeding following inconclusive upper and lower gastrointestinal endoscopies.

Given Imaging develops, produces and markets the Given diagnostic system, which features the M2A capsule endoscope for the direct visualization of the entire small intestine. The system uses a disposable miniature video camera contained in a capsule, which is ingested by the patient. The M2A capsule passes naturally through the digestive tract, transmitting high quality color images, without interfering with the patient's normal activities.

The system received clearance from the FDA in August 2001.