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Innovations seek Medicare add-on payments, as US industry asks for clearer coverage definitions:

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

Two US device companies - Cardica and St Francis Technologies - are seeking Medicare's new technology add-on payments in fiscal year 2007 to help defray the added cost of these novel products. Cardica is requesting the payment for its C-Port Distal Anastomosis System for patients who need a vein as a conduit during a coronary bypass operation. It would replace a conventional hand-sewn anastomosis, which typically uses 8-14 sutures evenly-placed around the periphery of a thin-walled vein graft to connect it to the patient's small coronary artery. The C-Port is capable of placing the same number of automatic sutures in a mere 20 seconds, "a huge advance" - compared to 10 minutes for a conventional hand-sutured anastomosis, Indianapolis cardiac surgeon Keith Allen explained during the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) new technology Town Hall meeting in Baltimore, on February 16.

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