An independent review board has ordered an unspecified health insurer in the northeastern USA to reimburse a patient for a $69,500 exoskelton from Rewalk, whose products enable people with spinal cord injuries to walk.
The board found that the exoskeleton was "medically necessary."
The ReWalk personal system mechanically powers hip and knee movement, allowing the patient to walk, but also helping with a number of ailments commonly suffered by the wheelchair-bound. The press release from ReWalk lists "improved bladder and bowel function, improved mental health, improved sleep, reduced fatigue, decreased body fat, decreased pain and improved posture and balance." According to the release, ReWalk's exoskeleton is currently the only such product approved for personal at-home use by the FDA for patients with spinal cord injury.
Review Board Rules Health Insurance Must Cover Robotic Exoskeletons