Washington E-Newsletter

AANS and CNS Express Concern about Cigna’s Intraoperative Neuromonitoring Coverage Policy

On June 14, representatives from the AANS and the CNS led a meeting with Cigna medical directors and representatives from the American Academy of Neurology, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery and North American Spine Society to express concerns about Cigna’s intraoperative neuromonitoring (IONM) policy. Previously, the AANS and the CNS raised these concerns in a March 29 letter to Cigna.

Following the meeting, Cigna sent a letter to the AANS and the CNS acknowledging neurosurgery’s recommendations to cover IONM during cervical spine surgery in patients with ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament (OPLL) or cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM). Cigna indicated it will update its IONM Coverage Policy to clearly state that the health plan will cover IONM during cervical surgery in patients diagnosed with OPLL. In addition, Cigna noted that the policy accounts for high-risk patients undergoing spinal surgery in the presence of significant spinal cord compression and myelopathy as part of the claim review for IONM, including those with CSM.