Percutaneous left atrial appendage closure
The left atrial appendage (LAA) is a tubular structure that opens into the left atrium and has been shown to be one potential source for blood clots that can cause strokes. While thinning the blood with anticoagulant medications has been proven to prevent strokes, percutaneous LAA closure has been studied as a non-pharmacologic alternative for patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation who are at high risk for stroke.
Percutaneous left atrial appendage closure coverage
Unless otherwise specified in our members' plan documents, Priority Health covers percutaneous left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) using FDA-approved devices for stroke risk reduction in patients with atrial fibrillation when all of the criteria identified in the medical policy are met.
Percutaneous left atrial appendage closure authorizations
Authorization is required:
For all patients, for all procedures.
Participating providers: Use the Auth Request tool to go to Clear Coverage™
Non-par providers: Use the Percutaneous Left Atrial Appendage Closure authorization form.
Authorization is not required:
Pre-service education is required before authorization
Providers must complete a counseling and shared decision-making visit with the patient to go over instructions for using oral anticoagulation drugs prior to the LAAC procedure before we will authorize payment. Shared decision-making is a collaborative process where the provider helps the patient understand the decision and its consequences, and then helps them apply their values and preferences in order to make a decision.
The visit must:
- Be done with an independent, non-interventional physician
- Include an evidence-based decision tool like Emmi®
- Be documented in the medical record
To order the Emmi program for your patients
There are three options for you to help your patients complete their pre-service education through Emmi®:
- Go to the program on the Emmi® website. Enter your patient's information and email address, click "View Program,"and the program will be automatically emailed to your patient for them to complete. Note: The program will start automatically when you order it, so simply close the video after you click "View Program."
- Give patients without an email address a copy of the self-registration handout. The handout will tell your patient how to complete the education online.
- If patients don't have internet access, consider providing a workstation at your office where they can complete the education.