BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota to begin FeNO Coverage in August
Jun 8, 2012
SOLNA, Sweden - 8 June, 2012 - Aerocrine AB (OMX Nordic Exchange: AERO) announces that BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota will retire its medical policy for FeNO testing effective August 27, 2012.
BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota has announced that it will retire their negative coverage policy regarding Fractional exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO) testing after a 90-day transition period. Following the transition period, exhaled nitric oxide measurement (CPT code 95012) will be covered for patients with asthma.
BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota is the largest insurance company in the state and provides coverage to approximately 66 percent of the privately insured or nearly 1.8 million lives. With this and other recent private payer coverage changes, more than 82 percent of people in Minnesota will have coverage for FeNO testing.
“The practice of inactivating or retiring a negative coverage policy is increasingly more common and it has led to significant increases in FeNO coverage across the U.S. by many commercial insurance companies,” stated Wendy Smith Fuss, Aerocrine’s Director of Health Policy and Economics.
“I have used FeNO to assess the severity of inflammation that underlies asthma, something that regular pulmonary function tests do not measure”, reports Hannelore Brucker, M.D. of the Southdale Allergy and Asthma Clinic in Minneapolis. She adds that “FeNO testing has influenced my treatment decisions in several ways. FeNO testing helps me follow the effects of treatment and whether or not my patients are actually taking their asthma treatments. It also helps me identify breathing problems that are not related to asthma and look for other causes.”
“There are now over 25 BCBS plans nationally that cover this innovative and cost effective test for asthma,” stated Kathy Hodgdon of Aerocrine. “FeNO testing also helps reduce the economic burden of asthma to society by helping health care providers get the right medications to the right patients at the right time”
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by symptoms including cough, wheezing and difficulty in breathing. Asthma is one of this world’s most common and costly diseases, affecting 8-10 percent of the population and costing over $50B annually in the U.S. alone. This disease has no cure and proper diagnosis and management are key to effective asthma management.
For more information, contact:
Scott Myers, President & CEO, Aerocrine AB, Phone: +46 768 788 379
Kathy Hodgdon, Sr Director of Marketing, Aerocrine Inc., telephone +1 (314) 566 8546
Ken Marshall, President, Aerocrine Inc., telephone +1 (919) 280 9687
Aerocrine AB is a medical technology company focused on the improved management and care of patients with inflammatory airway diseases. As the pioneer and leader in the technology to monitor and manage airway inflammation, Aerocrine markets NIOX® Flex and NIOX MINO®. Both products enable fast and reliable management of airway inflammation and may therefore play a critical role in more effective diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of patients with inflammatory airway diseases such as asthma. Aerocrine is based in Sweden with subsidiaries in the US, Germany and the UK. Aerocrine shares were listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange on 15 June 2007. Aerocrine discloses the information provided herein pursuant to the Securities Markets Act and/or the Financial Instruments Trading Act. The information was submitted for publication at 08:00 a.m. on June 8, 2012.