New Code is a Potential Precursor to Higher Reimbursement Levels in German DRG System
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Feb. 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Avinger, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVGR), a leading developer of innovative treatments for peripheral artery disease (PAD), announced that the German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI, Cologne) has established a tracking code, known as an OPS code (Operationen- and Prozedurenschluessel), for peripheral vascular optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging. This tracking code will apply to both Avinger’s Pantheris image-guided atherectomy catheter and Ocelot family of catheters for the crossing of chronic total occlusions (CTOs), which utilize OCT imaging as part of the Company’s proprietary Lumivascular platform. Although no incremental reimbursement has been assigned at this point, the tracking code is in place to gather data that could provide support for higher incremental reimbursement in the future. The next-generation Pantheris system was granted a CE Mark in December 2017. In Germany, hospital treatments are reimbursed through a diagnosis-related group, or DRG, lump sum payment system. The designation of new technologies to be tracked for use and associated costs in the DRG system occurs once each year when the new surgery and procedure OPS codes are made available to the Institute for the Hospital Remuneration System, InEK, Siegburg.
“We are encouraged by the establishment of this code covering OCT imaging performed with our Pantheris and Ocelot catheters, which we believe will allow us to demonstrate additional patient and physician benefits with the goal of establishing increased German reimbursement levels down the road,” said Jeff Soinski, President and Chief Executive Officer of Avinger. “We are also pleased that in supporting this code, the relevant medical societies have confirmed that OCT is a suitable imaging modality for use in the peripheral arteries.”
Atherectomy is a minimally invasive treatment for PAD in which a catheter-based device is used to remove plaque from a blood vessel. Lumivascular technology allows physicians, for the first time ever, to see from inside the artery during an atherectomy procedure by using OCT, which is displayed on Avinger’s proprietary Lightbox console. Physicians performing atherectomy with other devices must rely solely on X-ray as well as tactile feedback to guide their interventions while treating complicated arterial disease. With the Lumivascular approach, physicians can more accurately navigate their devices and treat PAD lesions through real-time OCT images generated from inside the artery, all without exposing healthcare workers and patients to the negative effects of ionizing radiation.
About Avinger, Inc.
Avinger is a commercial-stage medical device company that designs and develops the first-ever image-guided, catheter-based system that diagnoses and treats patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD). Avinger is dedicated to radically changing the way vascular disease is treated through its Lumivascular platform, which currently consists of the Lightbox imaging console, the Ocelot family of chronic total occlusion (CTO) catheters, and the Pantheris® family of atherectomy devices. Avinger is based in Redwood City, CA. For more information, please visit www.avinger.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include statements regarding potential future reimbursement increases. Such statements are based on current assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, include our dependency on a limited number of products; our ability to demonstrate the benefits of our Lumivascular platform; the resource requirements related to Pantheris; the outcome of clinical trial results; potential exposure to third-party product liability, intellectual property and other litigation; lack of long-term data demonstrating the safety and efficacy of our Lumivascular platform products; experiences of high-volume users of our products may lead to better patient outcomes than those of physicians that are less proficient; reliance on third-party vendors; dependency on physician adoption; reliance on key personnel; and requirements to obtain regulatory approval to commercialize our products; as well as the other risks described in the section entitled “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in our quarterly Form 10-Q filing made with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 14, 2017. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof and should not be unduly relied upon. Avinger disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
Public Relations Contact:
VP of Marketing & Business Operations
Chief Business Officer & CFO