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Complete Kits for Deep Brain Stimulation Covered by NHI Starting June 1, 2022

     Effective from June 1, 2022, the stereotactic surgical medical kit (including fiducial markers, implantation extension set, and micro targeting electrode) required for treatment of Parkinson's disease by Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is included under NHI, providing Parkinson's patients with more comprehensive care. Henceforth, the entire kit needed for DBS is covered by NHI.
     Roughly 300 patients will benefit each year from coverage of the complete kit of special devices for DBS treatment of Parkinson's disease; a complete kit includes the deep brain neurostimulator, deep brain stimulator lead set and deep brain stimulator stereotaxic set.
     Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disease of the motor nervous system. Parkinson's patients often experience obstructions in the movement of their extremities, such as stiffness, tremors, and loss of balance. Symptoms are often not adequately controlled by medication alone; once medication becomes unable to control symptoms, doctors recommend surgery for DBS. Stereotactic medical devices are used for surgical positioning and imaging markers. A small electrical pulse is generated by implanted electrodes (chips) to rectify abnormal activity of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and thereby control abnormal cranial nerve signals. This, in effect, lessens symptoms and improves quality of life for Parkinson's patients.
     The NHIA further stated that in consideration of both the needs and the finances of Parkinson's patients, the deep brain neurostimulator implanted for DBS was covered on January 1, 2015, and the limit that everyone was covered once in their lifetime was removed in 2016. Furthermore, the NHIA advocated to include the leads, extensions, and locking caps that the stimulator itself requires to transmit the electric pulses, which all entered into NHI coverage on August 1, 2019.

  • Date:2022-06-16