US Medicare to cover Edwards Sapien heart valve

WASHINGTON Tue May 1, 2012 4:24pm EDT

WASHINGTON May 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. Medicare and Medicaid federal health insurance programs will cover the Sapien heart valve from Edwards Lifesciences Corp, U.S. regulators said on Tuesday.

The heart valve, which is threaded to the heart through an incision in the groin or ribs, is meant for patients deemed too sick to have open-heart surgery.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the valve, which is estimated to cost about $30,000, in November.