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Pressure Wound Therapy Products Available Through Medicare Part B

Armen Hareyan's picture

The Advanced Wound Management Division of Smith & Nephew's negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) products will be available in nine of the ten designated metropolitan areas included in the first phase of the competitive bidding program administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in the U.S. The program, which is scheduled to take effect in July 2008, was established, in part, to ensure that Medicare patients have access to quality homecare products and services and that these and their providers meet Medicare's new financial and quality standards.

The Smith & Nephew EZCARE system for in-hospital use and the V1STA portable system for home use are proven treatments for hard to heal wounds based on the well-established principles of negative pressure wound therapy. The benefits of this treatment have been demonstrated since the late 1800s. The Smith & Nephew systems are FDA-cleared and have demonstrated excellent clinical results at a lower pressure than commonly used in other NPWT technologies.

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This lower pressure is comfortable for the patient and can improve usage rates for the treatment in the homecare environment. The clinical effectiveness of the Chariker-Jeter technique on which the Smith & Nephew NPWT dressing system is based was documented and published in 1989(1). Recent clinical research, published in the June edition of International Wound Journal and that will be presented at the 2008 World Union of Wound Healing Societies meeting in Toronto, Canada, concludes that the Smith & Nephew gauze-based NPWT systems are clinically effective with statistically significant reduction in wound volume and wound area similar to those published for foam-based NPWT systems.

To help ensure that homecare patients have access to clinically-proven NPWT, Smith & Nephew recently announced that it has entered into a preferred provider agreement with Apria Healthcare America's leading provider of integrated home healthcare products and services. Apria was awarded contracts to provide NPWT to beneficiaries in seven of the ten designated competitive bidding areas included in the first phase of the CMS competitive bidding program. With approximately 550 locations throughout the U.S., Apria serves over 2 million patients annually. The Apria/Smith & Nephew collaboration will provide a smooth transition from hospital to homecare, giving more patients access to clinically effective NPWT while reducing overall treatment costs.

In addition to Apria being awarded contracts, Smith & Nephew NPWT systems will be available through existing regional providers in two further competitive bidding areas.