Healthcare Industry News: neurostimulator
News Release - January 4, 2006
Boston Scientific Announces New Medicare Pass-Through Payments for Rechargeable NeurostimulatorsMedicare reimbursement expanded for Precision(TM) SCS System in all settings
NATICK, Mass., Jan. 4 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Boston Scientific Corporation (NYSE: BSX ) today announced that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved its application for a transitional pass- through payment category that will provide hospitals additional device payments when rechargeable neurostimulators such as the Precision® Implantable Pulse Generator (IPG) are implanted in the hospital outpatient setting.
Effective January 1, 2006, the new device pass-through code (C1820) includes both the rechargeable neurostimulator generator and the charging system. This code is only intended for use in the hospital outpatient setting under Medicare.
In related news, CMS has released the 2006 Medicare payment rates for the new neurostimulator Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes (L8680-L8699) that are used in the Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) setting. The 2006 payment rate for the Precision® rechargeable generator (L8687) represents a significant increase over the 2005 rate that did not differentiate between rechargeable and non-rechargeable neurostimulators.
"We are very pleased and applaud CMS for improving Medicare reimbursement for the Precision® neurostimulator in all sites of service after they concluded that rechargeable neurostimulators represent a substantial clinical improvement for Medicare patients," said Jeff Greiner, President of Boston Scientific's Neuromodulation Group. "This will help ensure that Medicare patients with chronic intractable pain have access to this state-of-the-art technology."
Launched in the U.S. in March 2005, the Precision(TM) Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) System is the first and smallest rechargeable system to receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Boston Scientific, working with the medical community, requested that CMS revise federal regulations on pass-through criteria to enable approval of its pass- through application. In its CMS reimbursement applications, Boston Scientific provided data indicating that the rechargeable Precision(TM) SCS System significantly improves therapy by reducing the frequency of device replacement surgeries necessitated by the depletion of non-rechargeable generators, while allowing continuous stimulation at high levels as needed to optimize patient pain relief.
"Rechargeable, implantable neurostimulators are a long-awaited, major technological improvement. They avoid the need for frequent, surgical replacement of devices with non-rechargeable batteries that until now has substantially limited clinical practice," said Richard B. North, M.D., Professor of Neurosurgery and Immediate Past President of the North American Neuromodulation Society. "CMS is to be commended for taking these steps that will directly improve Medicare patient access to rechargeable neurostimulators."
Professionals can obtain additional information on reimbursement for rechargeable neurostimulators and the Precision(TM) SCS system at http://www.ControlYourPain.com/Reimbursement.
About the Precision SCS System
The Precision SCS System treats chronic pain by precisely delivering tiny electrical signals to the spinal cord that mask pain signals as they travel to the brain, creating instead a tingling sensation called paresthesia. Spinal cord stimulation is prescribed for patients with chronic pain in the limbs, trunk and back who have not received adequate pain relief from other methods. Patients interested in Precision technology can visit http://www.ControlYourPain.com for more information.
About Boston Scientific Corporation
Boston Scientific is a worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices whose products are used in a broad range of interventional medical specialties. Boston Scientific's Neuromodulation Group is a global leader in the development of implantable, high-technology neurostimulation devices that include new treatments for deafness and chronic pain. For more information, please visit http://www.bostonscientific.com and http://www.advancedbionics.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. The Company wishes to caution the reader of this press release that actual results may differ from those discussed in the forward-looking statements and may be adversely affected by, among other things, risks associated with the regulatory approval and reimbursement process, commercialization of new technologies, intellectual property, and other factors described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Source: Boston Scientific
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