Blue Shield of CA and Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Plan to Include Itamar WatchPAT™ in Their Policies

Non-invasive diagnostic sleep apnea device expert Itamar Medical Ltd. has announced that Blue Shield of California (BSC) and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Plan (BCBS FEP) have included WatchPAT™ as a covered home sleep apnea diagnostic test. 

Background

Itamar Medical is engaged in research, development, sales and marketing of non-invasive medical devices for the diagnosis of respiratory sleep disorders and uses a digital healthcare platform to facilitate the continuum of care for effective sleep apnea management with a focus on the cardiology market.

The Company offers a Total Sleep Solution™ to help physicians provide comprehensive sleep apnea management in a variety of clinical environments to optimize patient care and reduce healthcare costs. Its flagship PAT®-based product, the WatchPAT™ device, is a home-use diagnostic device for sleep breathing disorders. Its digital health platform, including CloudPAT™ and SleePATh™, facilitates seamless and complete care pathway management in a complex environment. It also offers the EndoPAT™ system, an FDA-cleared device to test endothelial dysfunction and to evaluate the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.

At the same time as the announcements, Itamar released news of the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) 2020 Fee Schedule which is the second year of a 3-year proposed plan by CMS to reevaluate reimbursement in home sleep apnea diagnostic codes.  The changes made in the 2020 Fee Schedule are expected to continue to support and expand the broad use of its WatchPAT technology.

In October 2019 both BSC, a health plan that covers approximately 3.7 million lives, and BCBS FEP, a health plan that covers approximately 5.3 million lives, updated their policies to include WatchPAT based on the PAT™ technology with oximetry and actigraphy, as a covered home sleep apnea diagnostic test.  This inclusion of WatchPAT and PAT technology follows an assessment of Diagnosis and Medical Management of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome recently released by Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Evidence Street.

Company comments

“The inclusion of WatchPAT as a recommended test for sleep apnea in the BCBS Evidence Street assessment is an important validation of the clinical value that Itamar’s PAT technology provides,” said Gilad Glick, President and Chief Executive Officer of Itamar Medical. “We believe that the Evidence Street assessment recommendation will result in expanded BCBS plan coverage and that this expanded coverage, combined with the recently announced CMS Fee Schedule changes, will drive further adoption and market share of WatchPAT.”

Source; Globe Newswire

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