Friday, June 16, 2006

Medicare Approves Reimbursement for Remote Heart Device Follow-up

As predicted (and after lots of work from the device industry) Medtronic announced today that implantable cardiac defibrillators (including cardiac resynchronization devices) AND pacemakers can be followed remotely using Medtronic's Carelink system (or systems from St. Jude and Guidant , er, Boston Scientific, as I have previously reviewed) and reimbursements made to physicians for this follow-up effective 10 July 2006. While this is good news for patients and doctors, it is PARTICULARLY good news for Medtronic, Boston Scientific, and St. Jude, since these device manufacturers might be able to off-load many of the device checks their field clincial personnel are asked to perform on behalf of physicians, and hence improve their availability for what they're really paid to do: sell devices.


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