Healthcare Industry News:  durable medical equipment 

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 News Release - April 25, 2006

Sorenson Medical ambIT Pumps Offer Unique Reimbursable Solution to Rising Pain Management Medical Costs

ambIT Pumps, Classified as "durable medical equipment," Reduce Costs for Patients and Insurers While Improving the Quality of Treatment

SALT LAKE CITY--(HSMN NewsFeed)--April 25, 2006--Sorenson Medical, a provider of pioneering portable ambulatory infusion pumps, today announced that the company's ambITŪ infusion pumps provide a reimbursable solution to the increasing cost of post-surgical pain management and other therapies.

Sorenson Medical's ambIT infusion pumps provide effective, precise delivery of narcotics and regional nerve-blocking medications for all types of post-operative pain management, as well as chronic and acute pain relief (IV and epidural). These small, lightweight pumps are on the leading edge of a trend toward portable infusion devices that enable patients to go about their normal lives while they receive treatment. Using the ambIT pump, patients can recover safely and pain-free at home after surgery, avoiding the risk of addiction to narcotics and of hospital-acquired infections, while saving medical costs by reducing the length of hospital stays.

In a Jan. 11, 2006, Wall Street Journal article about infusion pumps, Laura Landro writes, "With studies showing nearly half of the 70 million patients who have surgery each year don't get adequate treatment for post-surgical pain, doctors have been eager to try new strategies."

As the Wall Street Journal article mentioned, home infusion pumps -- which treat wounds with local anesthetics through tiny catheters inserted into the patient's skin -- are a growing alternative to narcotic drugs in post-operative pain management and other treatments. Their widespread adoption, however, has been hampered by the reality that they are often not reimbursed by medical insurers.

Sorenson Medical's ambIT pumps provide a compelling solution to this dilemma. In contrast to other infusion pumps on the market, which are disposable, Sorenson Medical's reusable ambIT pumps are classified as durable medical equipment (DME). This DME classification enables Sorenson Medical ambIT pumps to be an essential, reimbursable component of post-surgical treatment and healing, and a growing number of insurers are providing reimbursement for their use.

"Our ambIT pumps are reimbursed by insurers because they meet all standard criteria for durable medical equipment (DME) products; they are used in the patient's home for oncology, chronic pain management and other therapies," said LeVoy Haight, Sorenson Medical's chief operating officer. "Other low-cost pumps in the market are not reimbursable, because they are disposable and don't meet federal durable medical equipment criteria."

The official DMERC classification for the Sorenson Medical ambIT pump is E0781: "Ambulatory infusion pump, single or multiple channels, electric or battery operated, with administrative equipment, worn by patient."

Recently Sorenson Medical received a 510(k) indication approved by the U.S. FDA that "the ambIT PreSet infusion pump significantly decreases narcotic use and pain when used to deliver local anesthetics to surgical sites or nerves when compared with narcotic only pain management."

"Coupled with a growing body of published medical peer review articles about the effectiveness of localized infusion therapy, the Sorenson Medical ambIT pump emerges as a cost-effective, medically necessary standard of care option," said Haight. "By preventing the need for outpatient hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers to un-bundle facility costs when trying to receive reimbursement for competitive products, the ambIT infusion pump also helps decrease the costs for surgery centers. The cost for the patient and insurer is further reduced because Sorenson Medical manufacturers the ambIT pump, rather than working through a middleperson."

For patients and insurance companies, the use of Sorenson Medical pumps can greatly reduce the cost of unplanned utilization of medical resources, such as unscheduled follow-up treatment and unplanned patient admissions in the aftermath of surgery.

The use of a continuous infusion of local anesthetics reduces the health care costs to hospital and ultimately the patient or insurance provider. A study conducted from 2000-2004 by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care found that unscheduled follow-up care was required in 14 percent of the patients who had Knee Arthroscopy with Meniscectomy. The main reasons for the follow-up care were: (1) pain control; (2) nausea/vomiting; (3) medication problems; and (4) bleeding. Of the four reasons the first three can be controlled by infusing a local anesthetic. A separate study of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction found that using a continuous infusion of local anesthetic reduced the readmission rate to the hospital from 17 percent to 4 percent.

"We are confident the use of Sorenson Medical ambIT infusion pumps will significantly reduce the need for follow-up care and hospitalization -- often by 75 percent or more," said Haight. "In addition to these savings benefits, patients will experience less pain and be able to carry on with their normal lives while they receive treatment."

Sorenson Medical invites patients, insurers, administrators of medical facilities and providers of treatment to contact Sorenson Medical (service@sorensonmedical.com or 877-352-1888) for further information about reimbursement.

About Sorenson Medical

Sorenson Medical (www.sorensonmedical.com) designs and manufactures a line of innovative ambulatory infusion pumps that provide precise delivery of medication for clinical applications, including: acute postoperative pain, long-term chronic pain, chemotherapies and extended infection therapies. The ambIT line of ambulatory infusion pumps is on the leading edge of a medical trend toward lightweight portable infusion devices, which enable patients to receive drug therapy safely in the comfort of their homes. These devices make it possible for patients to return home sooner without compromising their quality of care, enabling hospitals to reduce costs. The Sorenson Medical line of ambIT infusion pumps are also easy for surgeons and other physicians to use, with programming that is simple and intuitive. Sorenson Medical is FDA registered and is certified to ISO 13485: 2003. Sorenson Medical's products are CE marked (European Conformity) for distribution in the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA), and have been approved by the Chinese FDA for distribution throughout the People's Republic of China.


Source: Sorenson Medical

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