FDA Approved Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy Can Improve The Quality of Your Life

As of August 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) approved vagus nerve stimulation therapy as a treatment for depression. This therapy completely changed my life, when everything else had failed. It can improve the quality of your life as well. You need to educate yourself about this new medical breakthrough therapy.

In my book:

Out of the Black Hole: The Patient's Guide to Vagus Nerve Stimulation and Depression

I include all of the information and benefits of this remarkable procedure. However, until vagus nerve stimulation(VNS) therapy for depression reaches universal coverage at the overall policy level, every reimbursement decision (Medicare, VA and private insurers) will be on a case-by-case basis. This is despite the fact the procedure and codes are identical to those of VNS Therapy for epilepsy (which does have universal coverage). Congress needs to pass the Paul Wellstone Mental Health Parity Act, named in honor of the late Senator Paul Wellstone. This act would eliminate the discriminatory insurance coverage of mental illness by third party payers.

The Case Manager (which is provided free of charge by the manufacturer of the vagus nerve stimulator) that would be assigned to you, will help with the reimbursement process. In my book, Out of the Black Hole: The Patient's Guide to Vagus Nerve Stimulation and Depression, I list the procedural codes, sample letters( with the help of the Patient Advocate Foundation) as well as how to contact a Case Manager responsible for your geographic area. The Case Manager is your "go to" person who can provide additional patient education and referrals to psychiatrists and surgeons with experience and training in VNS located near you.

You need to be your own best advocate by fully educating yourself. For more information visit http://www.VagusNerveStimulator.com There is a free newsletter to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments.

Charles Donovan is the author of:

Out of the Black Hole: The Patient's Guide to Vagus Nerve Stimulation and Depression

and is founder of the VagusNerveStimulator.com Web site. He was implanted with the vagus nerve stimulator on April 4, 2001 in the investigational trial of vagus nerve stimulation and depression. He testified at the FDA Medical Devices Panel Meeting in Washington,D.C.

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