Healthcare Industry News: Gamma Knife
News Release - January 12, 2006
Gamma Knife(R) Surgery Reimbursement for 2006 Solidifies Efficacy of Technology as Standard of Care in RadiosurgeryATLANTA, Jan. 12 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Elekta, Inc., world leader in stereotactic radiosurgery and manufacturer of Leksell Gamma Knife®, commented on the published final rule for proposed changes to the Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Payment Classification (APC) system by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) involving payment rates for cobalt 60-based stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) which includes Gamma Knife® treatment delivery.
"CMS recognition that stereotactic radiosurgery, such as Gamma Knife® surgery, becoming a standard of care is consistent with the message Gamma Knife® users stated when questioned about new technologies claiming to be "the gold standard" in radiosurgery," said Anthony DeCarolis, CEO of Elekta, Inc. and head of Elekta's operations in North America.
"CMS has acknowledged the data presented by peer study groups at the Gamma Knife® users meeting and listened to their comments regarding the appropriate billing and payments for cobalt 60 based radiosurgery, by establishing payment coding for the procedure (HCPCS G0243) under a clinical APC (APC 0127)."
Continued Mr. DeCarolis, "Stereotactic radiosurgery as a treatment modality has seen a significant increase in the companies with technologies claiming to be the standard of care or the "Gold Standard" in their advertising and marketing literature. Elekta has been providing the Gamma Knife® solution to the market where it is presently being used in more than 100 facilities in the United States and more than 220 hospitals world-wide. More than 350,000 patients have been treated on the system with an ever- growing number of indications. Gamma Knife® surgery has established itself as the leading radiosurgery technique with more than 2,000 peer-reviewed articles in the literature, more than any other radiosurgery system, regardless of technique."
Effective for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2006, payment for Gamma Knife® surgery under the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment system as published by CMS will be increased by 28 percent as compared to the current reimbursement rates for 2005. This increase in reimbursement solidifies CMS belief in the efficacy of this technology and promotes continued adoption of the technique by the providers. Elekta feels this is an improvement in the financial reimbursement and rewards outcomes analysis for Leksell Gamma Knife® users.
Elekta is an international medical-technology group, providing meaningful clinical solutions, comprehensive information systems and services for improved cancer care and management of brain disorders. All of Elekta's solutions employ non-invasive or minimally invasive techniques and are therefore clinically effective, gentle on the patient and cost-effective.
Clinical solutions include Leksell Gamma Knife® for non-invasive treatment of brain disorders and Elekta Synergy® for image guided radiation therapy (IGRT). Following the acquisition of IMPAC Medical Systems Inc. in April 2005, and Medical Intelligence in December 2005, the Elekta Group became the world's largest supplier of oncology software.
Elekta's systems and solutions are used in over 3,000 hospitals around the world to treat cancer and to manage clinical operations as well as to diagnose and treat brain disorders, including tumors, vascular malformations and functional disorders.
With approximately 1,700 employees, Elekta's corporate headquarters is located in Stockholm, Sweden, and the company is listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange under the ticker EKTAb.
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