United Healthcare Clarifies Policy on CTA as First-line Test

On May 20, 2020, ASNC President- elect Randall Thompson, MD, FASNC, Health Policy Committee Chair David Wolinsky, MD, MASNC, and staff met with United Healthcare (UHC) leaders regarding a recent policy on coverage for computed tomographic angiography (CTA). 

The UHC policy, effective April 1, 2020, allows coverage for (CTA) as a first-line test for patients with stable chest pain and low- to intermediate-risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). ASNC's leaders expressed significant concerns that the policy would act as a de facto directive to order CCTA over other stress test modalities, such as PET, SPECT, or stress echo. However, the UHC leadership emphasized that the company is not mandating practice changes where other forms of stress testing are appropriate for the patient. The new policy is aimed at supporting CCTA coverage where its use is appropriate rather than forcing the use of one modality over the other.

“ASNC is pleased that United Healthcare leaders were able to meet with us to clarify our concerns over the policy on CTA,” said Dr. Thompson following the meeting. “Our priority is always to advocate for policies that allow practitioners to deliver the appropriate care for each patient's circumstances.”

Background - ASNC Working for You 

ASNC learned about the UHC coverage statement early last week, when concerned members brought concerns about a seemingly new policy to the Society's Health Policy Committee. ASNC immediately reached out to UCH to clarify whether the policy was a new position on CTA.

“ASNC leaders and staff are continually monitoring the federal, state and local landscape for issues that could affect our members' ability to deliver optimal patient care,” said Dr. Wolinsky, “but we also rely on our members to be our eyes and ears in the field. We urge members to contact us at when they become aware of new or emerging challenges. ASNC works hard to be both responsive and nimble to members' concerns.”