Aetna Limits the Use of Morcellators
On May 15, 2015, Aetna, the third largest health plan provider in the country with nearly 23 million members, will no longer approve the use of morcellators in most gynecological procedures. Morcellators, surgical devices used to remove uterine fibroids in women, have been found to rapidly spread hidden cancers, which the FDA believes exist in 1 out of 350 of the patients undergoing fibroid surgeries. Although the device has not been formally recalled, growing evidence has resulted in a “black box” warning by the FDA and independent movements by doctors, hospitals, and medical providers to cease the use of the tool. A number of other major U.S. health insurers have taken several steps to curb the use of morcellators.