WIRE)–ZOLL Medical Corporation (NASDAQ GS: ZOLL), the manufacturer of the LifeVest® Wearable Defibrillator, announced today that
North Carolinas Division of Medical Assistance has established a coverage
policy for wearable cardioverter defibrillators. The LifeVest® is a wearable
cardioverter defibrillator (WCD) worn by patients at risk of sudden cardiac
The policy, effective November 1, 2011, states that a WCD is
considered medically necessary and covered by North Carolina Medicaid for
patients, both ischemic and non-ischemic, who are at risk for sudden cardiac
death and are not suitable candidates for immediate implantable cardioverter
defibrillator (ICD) implantation. This new policy is effectively identical to the
current Medicare coverage policy, providing coverage for patients with a low
ejection fraction early after an acute cardiac event (e.g., myocardial
infarction, non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy, or other dilated
cardiomyopathy) during ICD waiting periods, familiar or inherited conditions
with high-risk of ventricular tachyarrhythmias, documented ventricular
tachyarrhythmias, and when an ICD cannot be implanted or requires explantation
(e.g., infection or other temporary medical conditions).
“We are pleased with the decision by North Carolina Medicaid
to provide coverage for wearable defibrillator therapy, especially given these
challenging financial times for state budgets. I believe the decision to
initiate coverage, after their thorough review of all available research and
literature, highlights that wearable defibrillator therapy delivers both the
quality of patient care and the economic value that payers are seeking,” said
Richard A. Packer, Chief Executive Officer of ZOLL. “As payers more closely evaluate
coverage policies for therapies to protect patients from sudden cardiac death
(SCD), including wearable defibrillators and implantable defibrillators, they
see the wisdom of the current Medicare policy originally initiated in 2005. The
recent determination by North Carolina Medicaid that wearable defibrillators
are medically necessary to protect patients at risk of SCD during ICD waiting
periods represents yet another affirmation of that policy, which enables
physicians to cost effectively save more lives.”
The LifeVest is worn by patients at risk for SCA, providing
protection during their changing condition and while permanent SCA risk has not
been established. The LifeVest allows a patients physician time to assess his
or her long-term arrhythmic risk and make appropriate plans.
The LifeVest is lightweight and easy to wear, allowing
patients to return to their activities of daily living, while having the peace
of mind that they are protected from SCA. The LifeVest continuously monitors
the patients heart and, if a life-threatening heart rhythm is detected, the
device delivers a treatment shock to restore normal heart rhythm.
The LifeVest is used for a wide range of patient conditions
or situations, including following a heart attack, before or after bypass
surgery or stent placement, as well as for those with cardiomyopathy or
congestive heart failure that places them at particular risk.
The LifeVest is covered by most health plans in the United States,
including commercial, state, and federal plans.
For more information, go to www.zoll.com or call 1-800-543-3267.
About ZOLL Medical Corporation
ZOLL Medical Corporation develops and markets medical devices and software
solutions that help advance emergency care and save lives, while increasing
clinical and operational efficiencies. With products for defibrillation and
monitoring, circulation and CPR feedback, data management, fluid resuscitation,
and therapeutic temperature management, ZOLL provides a comprehensive set of
technologies that help clinicians, EMS and
fire professionals, and lay rescuers treat victims needing resuscitation and
A NASDAQ Global Select company and a Forbes 100 Most
Trustworthy Company in 2007, 2008, and 2009, ZOLL was designated in 2011 as one
of Forbes Top 100 Small Public Companies in America with annual revenues under
$1 billion. ZOLL develops and manufactures its products in the United States, in California,
and Rhode Island.
More than 400 direct sales and service representatives, 1,100 business partners,
and 200 independent representatives serve our customers in over 140 countries
around the globe. For more information, visit www.zoll.com.