Effective July 10th, 2006, doctors can now be reimbursed for Internet-based device interrogations of not only defibrillators, but pacemakers (and biventricular pacemakers) as well! Reimbursement will occur for pacemakers at the device interrogation without reprogramming rate for certain newer pacemaker models. For people with Medtronic devices, this means pacemakers with models from the Kappa 400 series and beyond (like Kappa 400, 600, 700 and 900 series, Sigma, Enpulse, Enrhythm, etc.) will all work with Medtronic's Carelink system. St. Jude and Guidant devices can similarly be reimbursed.
For doctors and patients with pacemakers, this is huge. For the patient, fewer office visits will be needed, better information (like actual battery voltages, impedances, electrograms, event logs, etc.) can be available rather than just pacemaker magnet pacing rates and evaluation of pacing and sensing seen in older telephone checks. So ask your doctor if this is available in your clinic. It might make your day.