Prior Authorization Requirement for Itamar's WatchPAT™ Home Sleep Apnea Test Removed for all Independence Blue Cross Members
CAESAREA, Israel, Aug. 31, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Itamar Medical Ltd. (NASDAQ and TASE: ITMR), a medical technology and digital health company focused on the development and commercialization of non-invasive medical solutions to aid in the diagnosis of respiratory sleep disorders, today announced that effective July 2020, Independence Blue Cross (IBC) has removed their prior authorization requirement for home sleep apnea tests (HSAT) following an extensive dialog that included presentation of evidence. All membership approaching five million members across 27 states has been impacted within the Family of Companies, which includes Independence Blue Cross, AmeriHealth New Jersey, Independence Administrators, and AmeriHealth Administrators.
While Medicare does not require prior authorization for home sleep studies, most commercial health plans still require it for their members, practically reducing materially the economic incentive to conduct HSATs. With this update, nearly all IBC members will benefit from the option to take a sleep apnea test at home with no pre-authorization burden.
It is estimated that 54 - 60 million people in the U.S suffer from sleep apnea, with roughly 80% of cases going undiagnosed and even more untreated. Sleep apnea is asleepdisorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Sleep apnea is also often associated with other serious health problems, especially cardiovascular disease.
"We are excited that undiagnosed patients of IBC with suspected Obstructive Sleep Apnea can now more easily access the tests they need to confirm their diagnosis and manage their condition," said Gilad Glick, President and Chief Executive Officer of Itamar Medical. "Sleep apnea is not only a serious ailment; it is also often an indicator and independent risk factor of other serious health disorders. We are committed to continue to lead the journey of reducing the barriers sleep apnea patients face as we develop a more efficient alternative to the traditional care pathway so that people can be diagnosed for sleep apnea safely, quickly and efficiently from the comfort of their own bed. I want to thank the Baker Tilly health economic team in supporting our market access roadmap and this first win."
About Itamar Medical Ltd.
Itamar Medical is a medical technology company focused on the development and commercialization of non-invasive medical devices and solutions to aid in the diagnosis of respiratory sleep disorders. Itamar Medical commercializes a digital healthcare platform to facilitate the continuum of care for effective sleep apnea management with a focus on the core sleep, cardiology and direct to consumer markets. Itamar Medical 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 system costs. The Company's key product, WatchPAT, is commercially available within major markets including the US, Japan, and Europe. Itamar Medical is a public company traded on the Nasdaq and on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchanges, and is based in Caesarea, Israel with U.S. headquarters based in Atlanta, GA. For additional information visit www.itamar-medical.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other applicable securities laws. Statements preceded by, followed by, or that otherwise include the words "believes", "expects", "anticipates", "intends", "estimates", "plans", and similar expressions or future or conditional verbs such as "will", "should", "would", "may" and "could" are generally forward-looking in nature and not historical facts. For example, when we discuss reducing the barriers sleep apnea patients face to undergoing a sleep apnea test, we are using forward-looking statements. Because such statements deal with future events, they are subject to various risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including events and circumstances out of Itamar Medical's control and actual results, expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, could differ materially from Itamar Medical's current expectations. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, risks, uncertainties and assumptions discussed from time to time by Itamar Medical in reports filed with, or furnished to, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and the Israel Securities Authority ("ISA"), including the Company's latest Form 20-F which is on file with the SEC (accessible at www.sec.gov) and the ISA. Except as otherwise required by law, Itamar Medical undertakes no obligation to publicly release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
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Itamar Medical Ltd.
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