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NuVasive Says Cigna, Humana Back Spine Procedure; Shares Rise

By Jon Kamp Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES NuVasive Inc. (NUVA) said Tuesday that both Cigna Corp. (CI) and Humana Inc. (HUM) have shifted gears and will now cover the flagship spinal procedure involving the company's devices, after the insurers had previously considered it experimental. The San Diego-based company has long said that the fact insurers wouldn't cover "eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion," or XLIF, wasn't an impediment because doctors could get patients treated by seeking coverage under a more generic term for back surgery. Nevertheless, the turnarounds at Cigna and Humana remove a lingering question mark for NuVasive because all major insurers that once wouldn't cover XLIF have changed course. The procedure involves fixing spinal problems from patients' sides. NuVasive shares rose 5.8% to $29.49 in after-hours trading after slipping 10 cents during regular trading hours Tuesday. Shares have been under pressure due to a more emergent concern with insurers these days. They are raising hurdles for certain spinal-fusion procedures that they don't believe are well supported by medical evidence, pressuring the whole spinal-device sector. NuVasive has cut guidance multiple times recently while citing this issue. "We are very pleased with the recent coverage decisions by both CIGNA and Humana," Alex Lukianov, NuVasive's chairman and chief executive, said in a release. "We applaud the efforts of surgeons, surgical societies and the insurance companies to ensure beneficial technologies, like our XLIF procedure, are available to those patients suffering from spine related issues." The Cigna and Humana decisions follow turnarounds at Aetna Inc. (AET) and UnitedHealth Group's (UNH) UnitedHealthcare early last year. -By Jon Kamp, Dow Jones Newswires; 617-654-6728; jon.kamp@dowjones.com

Stock News for Nuvasive (NUVA)
DateTimeHeadline
05/26/201516:37:54Amended Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4/a)
05/26/201508:31:38Current Report Filing (8-k)
05/20/201517:18:32Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
05/06/201516:13:19Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
05/06/201511:03:45NuVasive Upgraded at Zacks (NUVA)
05/05/201518:06:02NuVasive Climbs on Strong Earnings, Sales Growth
05/05/201516:37:01TheStreet Upgrades NuVasive to "Buy" (NUVA)
05/05/201515:21:43NuVasive Given a $55.00 Price Target by Brean Capital Analysts...
05/04/201517:15:04Quarterly Report (10-q)
05/04/201516:21:11Current Report Filing (8-k)
05/01/201516:52:27Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
04/30/201515:25:49Additional Proxy Soliciting Materials (definitive) (defa14a)
04/30/201515:20:38Proxy Statement (definitive) (def 14a)
04/30/201506:30:52Current Report Filing (8-k)
04/30/201503:31:23NuVasive Stock Rating Reaffirmed by Canaccord Genuity (NUVA)
04/28/201516:48:49Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
04/08/201517:54:15Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
04/03/201516:00:00Seeking Alpha's Biotech Weekly: Billion Dollar Deals, Gilead...
04/01/201510:10:10NuVasive CEO Resigns After Probe Finds Policy Violations
04/01/201508:36:45Current Report Filing (8-k)

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