A federal court has ordered Health and Human Services to use a unique billing code for a certain type of feeding device.
The manufacturer of the product — called Relizorb, a cartridge that helps patients with pancreatic illnesses absorb nutrients through a stomach tube — had previously said that it may be forced to go out of business without the change. On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals Monday issued a preliminary injunction, forcing HHS to create the new billing code.
Medicare had previously paid for Relizorb the same as other feeding supplies, Bloomberg Law reported Tuesday. But manufacturer Alcresta Therapeutics — along with cystic fibrosis patient Jonathan Flath — requested the injunction. Both parties argued that they would be “irreparably harmed” in the absence of the unique code, with Alcresta losing more than $17.3 million in sales last year because Medicare did not cover the device under current billing codes. The company contends that it would be forced to close by the end of 2018 without such a “meaningful change in reimbursement.”
Alcresta did not immediately respond to a McKnight’s request for comment Wednesday.