UnitedHealthcare to cover HeartFlow's personalized, noninvasive CT scan analysis tech

By Dave Muoio
Share

HeartFlow, a company that specializes in creating computerized heart models to treat coronary diseases, announced that its HeartFlow fractional flow reserved from CT (FFRct) Analysis will be covered under UnitedHealthcare's plan.

The deal would put the the Redwood City, California-based company’s tech within reach of an additional 45 million beneficiaries, according to a statement, bringing HeartFlow’s total US reach to more than 235 million people in the US.

The HeartFlow Analysis technology uses data from coronary CT scans to create a personalized 3D model of the coronary arteries and analyzes the impacts that blockages have on flow. The idea is for clinicians to able to identify coronary artery disease without the patient undergoing an invasive procedure. Clinicians can then use the model to determine the best way to treat the condition.

A study of HeartFlow’s technology published in 2015 found that 61 percent of its patients avoided an invasive angiogram. According to the company, the technology has also been shown to reduce medical costs by 26 percent over normal testing for patients with suspected coronary artery disease. 

The recent announcement from HeartFlow also noted UnitedHealthcare’s decision to adopt the medical policy for coronary CTA from specialty benefits management company eviCore. This new policy permits use of a coronary CT angiogram as a first-line test for those with coronary artery disease symptoms, and also allows the use of HeartFlow Analysis to better assess uncertain results.

“This decision by UnitedHealthcare underscores the significant value that the HeartFlow Analysis brings to payers, physicians and patients, from both a clinical and economic standpoint,” Dr. John H. Stevens, president and CEO of HeartFlow, said in a statement. “Not only is the HeartFlow Analysis now accessible to tens of millions of additional people, but this advancement also positions HeartFlow as an integral part of the standard approach to heart disease diagnosis and treatment.”

2018 has been a substantial year for HeartFlow so far. In April, National Health Service England chose the company’s technology over nearly 300 other applicants to be funded through its Innovation and Technology Payment program, just a few months after HeartFlow announced the closure of $240 million in Series E funding.