Aetna Could Face Class-Action Suit Over Proton Therapy Denials

Due to a Jan. 27 federal court order, CVS Health Corp.’s Aetna health insurance division could be the defendant in a class-action lawsuit regarding Aetna’s restrictive coverage decisions in breast and prostate cancer treatment. In a lawsuit filed in Florida district court, a federal judge found that Aetna improperly denied coverage of proton therapy to cancer patients who ultimately had to pay for the treatment out of pocket.

Proton beam radiation therapy (PBRT) is a type of cancer treatment “that uses high-powered energy to treat cancer and some noncancerous tumors,” according to the Mayo Clinic, which also notes that “studies have compared proton radiation and X-ray radiation, so it’s not clear whether proton therapy is more effective at prolonging lives.” The therapy isn’t widely available, although new proton therapy centers are being built in the U.S. and in other countries.

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has been a reporter for nearly a decade. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered a wide variety of topics in his hometown of Seattle, where he continues to live. Peter’s work has appeared in publications including The Atlantic and The Stranger. Peter attended Colby College.

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