Inamed(Santa Barbara, California), developer of the BioEnterics Lap-Band System, said that Blue Cross of California and the Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans of Georgia, Wisconsin and Missouri have revised their coverage policies for the surgical treatment of morbid obesity to include laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. The only FDA-approved band is Inamed's Lap-Band System.

The company said that, while some insurance companies are moving to restrict coverage for other obesity surgery procedures due to high mortality, costs and complication rates, the trend continues to be for health plans to add coverage for the Lap-Band System. The California, Georgia, Wisconsin and Missouri policy revisions follow similar announcements in the past year by the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Plans of Arkansas, Minnesota, Tennessee, Illinois, Texas and New Mexico, Inamed said.