SOLNA, Sweden--()--Regulatory News:
“With the decision in Texas, FeNO is now reimbursed by almost 60% of all private and public payers.”
Aerocrine AB (STO:AERO-B) announces that Texas Medicaid will begin coverage of FeNO testing on April 1, 2013. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission conducted a Rate Hearing on February 13th in Austin and physicians were in full support of the proposed Medicaid payment rates.
Texas has the third largest Medicaid population in the U.S. after California and New York with more than 3.7 million beneficiaries. With the addition of Texas, Medicaid will cover Fractional exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO) testing in 36 states and the District of Columbia. This innovative test aids in assessing and managing asthma since conventional asthma tests often do not correlate with allergic airway inflammation, which is the key component of the disease.
Daniel Ramirez, M.D., a board certified allergist of adult and pediatric patients in San Antonio, provided oral testimony at the hearing in support of the proposed Medicaid rates. “This new non-invasive technology helps us more effectively assess and manage our patients’ asthma. It is particularly useful in communicating to my patients the extent to which they need – or don’t need – their medications. It serves well as a “truth serum” in making sure patients take their inhaled steroid medications as prescribed.” He closed by saying, “I used this device at a financial loss to my practice simply because I knew the benefits that it provided to my patients.”
Aerocrine Inc. confirmed that several other Texas physicians submitted written comments supporting FeNO coverage and the proposed Medicaid payment rates. Joseph Diaz, M.D., a board certified allergist in San Antonio noted, “I use FeNO measurement to assess the severity of allergic inflammation that underlies asthma, something that pulmonary function testing does not measure. He also stated, “FeNO testing has influenced my treatment decisions in several ways. It provides valuable information on the effects of treatment and whether or not my patients are actually taking their inhaled steroid medications. It also helps me identify breathing problems that are not related to asthma and look for other causes.”
“We have seen significant increase in coverage since the publication of the American Thoracic Society Practice Guideline on Clinical Applications for FeNO in 2011. Recent publications on the clinical efficacy of FeNO measurement, combined with excellent health economic benefits provides compelling evidence that has convinced health plans to cover FeNO,” said Ken Marshall, President for Aerocrine’s U.S. Operations. “With the decision in Texas, FeNO is now reimbursed by almost 60% of all private and public payers.”
“In the last 6 months, Horizon BlueCross BlueShield of New Jersey, Virginia Medicaid, Utah Medicaid, Indiana Medicaid, Medica Health Plans and BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota joined other payers such as UnitedHealthcare in covering FeNO. It’s all about the right medication, to the right patient at the right time,” said Kathy Hodgdon, Aerocrine marketing.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by symptoms including wheezing and difficulty in breathing. Asthma is one of this world’s most common and costly diseases, affecting 8-10 percent of the population and costing over $50B annually in the U.S. alone. The disease has no cure and proper diagnosis and management of the disease are key to effectively treating patients and keeping their asthma under control.
Aerocrine AB is a medical products company focused on the improved management and care of patients with inflammatory airway diseases. As the pioneer and leader in technology to monitor and manage airway inflammation, Aerocrine markets NIOX MINO® and NIOX Flex®. Both products enable fast and reliable management of airway inflammation and may therefore play a critical role in more effective diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of patients with inflammatory airway diseases such as asthma. Aerocrine is based in Sweden with subsidiaries in the U.S., Germany, Switzerland and the U.K. Aerocrine shares were listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange in 2007.
Aerocrine may be required to disclose the information provided herein pursuant to the Securities Markets Act and/or the Financial Instruments Trading Act. The information was submitted for publication at 8:00 a.m. on February 20, 2013
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