On the long list of device industry challenges, insurance codes rise to the top

A continued decline in venture capital may be hampering the advance of medical device startups, but the absence of insurance reimbursement codes is a far bigger issue, Albuquerque Business First is reporting. The newspaper interviewed Ashley Wallin, executive director and vice president for AdvaMed's Emerging Growth Company Council, who said that companies are increasingly struggling to obtain and keep insurance codes. Wallin noted that companies often have an easier time obtaining a code when they're trying to get a device to market. Once a device has FDA approval and doctors are actively using it, however, that spike in purchases, and broader use of the existing insurance code, can bring on greater regulatory scrutiny. The result: Regulators may discontinue approving the device for treatment as a cautionary move to manage spending, Wallin told the newspaper. Of course, without an insurance code for reimbursement, companies have a device that lacks a reliable source of revenue. Story (sub. req.)

Editor's Note: This item was updated to correct an error in the source material.

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