If a person qualifies as a candidate for Vagus Nerve Stimulation for treating depression, their individual case will then be evaluated for approval.
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Question: Is vagus nerve stimulation covered under insurance? Mark S. George: This device, depending upon which hospital you go to, what surgeon you have to do it, what the surgical cost are, it will cost around may be $30,000 to get in and running. The devices may be 15-20 and then the surgeon's fees and then the operation fees. So, it's about $30,000 to get you going. Once done, there is no other cost, other than intermittent programming. So it's a capital cost that 30,000, but it could last five years. But, it's much more expensive than saying, you know four weeks of process. So, it's very hard to try. And so far, insurance carriers have been some what resistant to paying for it, for depression. They were also resistant to pay for it, paying for it with epilepsy, when it first was approved. But over time, over really about three or four years, most of the insurance carriers said all of this is worthy. It is at least as good as other drugs and we think we will pay for it. Right now, since it was just FDA approved last year for depression, most insurance companies are saying no, not yet. However, they are open to negotiations for each and every patient. So a lot of what we do here is, people who will come and say, we think their doctor also say we think this person might be a candidate for vagus nerve stimulation, we will evaluate whether we think its appropriate or not. If we think it is, then we have to work with them to talk with the insurance company about getting it approved and so on an individual case by case basis, we can sometimes, we get approved.