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J Vasc Surg. 2012 Jul;56(1):e1-16. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2012.04.051.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services conducts a medical evidence development and coverage advisory committee meeting on carotid atherosclerosis.

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  • 1Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Publication of the eagerly anticipated Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy Versus Stenting Trial in May 2010 was anticipated to engender much activity in the realm of interventions for carotid stenosis. Specifically, a variety of professional societies, including the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS), published updated practice guidelines in the calendar year 2011, timed to include data from large-scale well-conducted clinical trials comparing carotid endarterectomy with carotid artery stenting (CAS). In anticipation of a renewed application to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to reconsider the national coverage determination for CAS, the SVS Board of Directors voted in June 2011 against any change in the national coverage determination for CAS. CMS convened a Medicare evidence development and coverage advisory committee (MEDCAC) meeting to consider fundamental aspects of the treatment of carotid atherosclerosis on January 25, 2012, to allow an unbiased and current deliberation of the state-of-the-art technology and science referable to the management of carotid atherosclerosis. The MEDCAC differs substantially from a reconsideration of coverage determination and, in this case, was built around seven research questions. The MEDCAC consists of a panel of experts who, after reviewing the literature and submitted comments by interested stakeholders, and after hearing testimony from invited speakers and at-large presentations, held a panel vote on the research questions. Given that management of carotid atherosclerosis is a core element of vascular surgical practice, the SVS had a major presence at the MEDCAC in the form of a comprehensive written document individually considering the research questions and a variety of presentations addressing various aspects in carotid disease management. The purpose of this report is to detail the SVS's position on the MEDCAC research questions referable to the management of carotid atherosclerosis and to otherwise detail the proceedings of the MEDCAC.

Copyright © 2012 Society for Vascular Surgery. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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