Reimbursement for TAVI surgery for heart valve narrowing of the vulnerable elderly

An artificial heart valve implanted in class has been insured care for patients with a narrowing of the heart valve and a high risk of surgery since September 30, 2020. The National Health Care Institute is of the opinion that the TAVI treatment (transcatheter aortic valve implantation) is not reimbursed for patients with an average to low surgical risk. To do this, proof must first be provided that the TAVI artificial valves will continue to function properly for more than 2 years after the procedure. This is reported by the National Health Care Institute.

As soon as new research gives reason to do so, the Zorginstituut is ready to take a new position on reimbursements from TAVI for people with an average or low surgical risk.

Folded artificial valve through the groin

Heart valve narrowing, or aortic valve stenosis, is the most common heart valve disease in Western countries and is most common in people over the age of 80. In the Netherlands, about ten percent of all elderly people between the ages of 80 and 89 have this condition, in which the heart valve no longer works properly and the heart can no longer pump the blood properly. This can lead to fainting and chest pain, among other things. Heart valve replacement can be done with open heart surgery or by TAVI. The latter is a much less invasive treatment, in which the artificial valve is inserted and placed through the patient’s groin when folded.

Better quality of life

For patients for whom open-heart surgery is too high a risk, TAVI has been reimbursed since 2011. There are now patients with severe aortic valve stenosis and a high surgical risk. These are usually frail elderly people with multiple illnesses. Because the recovery period after treatment with TAVI is shorter than after open-heart surgery, effective care is available for this vulnerable group that contributes to a better quality of life, according to the Zorginstituut in its position.

By: Nationale Zorggids

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