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CMS to cover Abbott’s glucose monitoring device

(Reuters) – Abbott Laboratories mentioned on Thursday its newly launched glucose monitoring device could be lined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, increasing its utilization to thousands and thousands of diabetes sufferers within the United States.

The device, FreeStyle Libre Flash, was authorised by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September. It permits diabetes sufferers to constantly observe blood sugar ranges with out having to prick their fingers.

Abbott’s device is the second steady glucose monitoring system after DexCom Inc’s G5 Mobile to be lined by the federal company.

DexCom’s device is analogous to Abbott‘s, however requires fingertip testing about two to 4 occasions a day for optimum accuracy.

Abbott’s device has a retail worth of $70 for a reader and $36 per sensor, which lasts for 10 days.

“(This) cost is much less than other CGM systems that are available commercially,” mentioned Jared Watkin, senior vice chairman of Abbott’s Diabetes Care unit.

Watkin added that the Medicare pricing could be totally different as it’s based mostly on sure reimbursement codes.

CMS rolled out deep cuts to reimbursement charges for sure laboratory and diagnostic exams beneath Medicare in November, a transfer that would save the federal government about $670 million in Medicare funds in 2018.

The reimbursement charges for the CGM system beneath the prevailing codes are $three,000 for a yr, of which the federal company pays $2,400 and the remainder is paid out of pocket by the sufferers, Watkin mentioned. “Those codes can change,” he added.

Reporting by Divya Grover in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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