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Birdbomb
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« on: August 28, 2008, 07:41:24 AM »

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Thursday August 28, 3:27 pm ET  

Cyberonics shares plummet on threat of payment cut from government's Medicare program


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Shares of Cyberonics Inc. fell Thursday after an analyst said the government likely will cut payments for doctors who help replace the company's epilepsy-fighting implants.
Houston-based Cyberonics markets the Vagus Nerve Stimulation, a pacemaker-shaped device that is implanted in the chest and sends electrical signals to nerves in the neck. The government's Medicare program, which provides health care coverage to 44 million seniors, pays for the device when it is used to treat epilepsy.

 
Analysts reported Thursday that Medicare has recommended cutting payments to physicians for replacing the wires that connect the device to the patients' nervous system.

Shares of Cyberonics fell $4.4, or 17.2 percent, Thursday to $20.70 in afternoon trading.

Stanford Group Co.'s David Blaszczak said Medicare officials on Wednesday discussed cutting payments for the procedure by more than 50 percent. Medicare noted the government has been incorrectly paying a higher rate for the procedure for years.

While the replacement wires account for a small part of Cyberonics' revenue, Blaszczak said the lower payment rate could dissuade doctors from installing the nerve stimulator in the first place.

Calls placed to the company for comment were not immediately returned.

Medicare is scheduled to release its final decision in November, and it will take effect in 2009.[/size]

Oh boy!  If this happens, half of the patients will be left high and dry!  This is devastating news!


 
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Dispatch
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2008, 06:22:24 AM »

<_< If there is a cut in payment, what is going to happen to the patients now?  Is CYBX going to cut some deals to help these patients?  This device has turned into too much of a profit venture, which is corporate America I would suppose, but it is now all about profit for even the doctors.  It's not about the patient.   Some people have had great benefit from VNS, so they are going to suffer.  HHHMMM, this is sad.  No back up plans I suppose either for these patients continued care.  I just had a thought, would primary insurance pick up the slack?  Maybe not for TRD, but what about Epilepsy?  I can figure Senator Grassley and the Senate Finance Committee are paying attention to this.  Another thought...what if the USA went to a national health care plan?  I know the UK and Canada have that, but not knowledgeable how VNS is paid for in those countries if the person is under the national care.  A good question for Andrew and our Canadian members.

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« Last Edit: August 30, 2008, 06:27:24 AM by Dispatch » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2008, 07:05:38 AM »

A few other articles I'd read about this, some doctors said they's just stop implanting it.  That statement alone says it's a FOR-PROFIT-ONLY venture, not about patient care.  So why not just lower the price and profit margin? Ain't gonna happen.

Little known fact ~Life expectancey of leads is about 3 years.~  I have a member with  statement from Cyberonic[span style=\'color:green\']$
to varify.   This could be a very interesting developement.[/span]
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VNS implanted Sept 02, turned off Dec 04, Generator ex-planted Nov 07
Electrodes are in me for LIFE!
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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2008, 04:38:16 AM »

Would a 3 year life expectancy mean the leads will stop being functional in about 3 years, and would that include the quality of the leads such as in breaking? : g :

 :huh: Per my operative report, parts of the leads broke off into pieces in my neck during explant.  That was a delicate procedure, so makes me wonder why the leads were breaking.  I know he didn't go in there great guns using force.

Dispatch B)
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« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2008, 05:57:11 AM »

Hi BB,

Are you able to be more specific about the statement from Cyberonics about the leads?  Did a member post to the forum or did they tell you directly?

I'm very interested to know what to expect.  We're still doing the battle with the insurance company so I can't have anything done until that is resolved.  But since I'm pretty sure I already have some kind of lead problem, I'd like to have that info before meeting with the surgeon.

Thanks!!!!   Anne
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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2008, 06:11:17 AM »

I am not able to go into detail on the forum.  check you pm.
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VNS implanted Sept 02, turned off Dec 04, Generator ex-planted Nov 07
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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2010, 02:02:23 PM »

I have Medicare and have not seen a doctor since I dont know when. Last neuro "let me go" because I had too many medical problems and I guess didnt have a cle about the vns because he wanted to know who takes care of that. I said "You I thought" he said go back to old dr. (which I cannot) so Im stuck. No doc.
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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2010, 11:20:19 PM »

 Smiley HI JO!

Don't know how I managed to miss your post-sorry 'bout that!

Oh my goodness--hope you've been able to find a VNS doc.  I hate to refer anyone to Cyberonics, but they may need a call from you.  You need to make sure you have a doc managing your VNS, and they have a list.  I think you can also go to their website (www.vnstherapy.com), and there's a doc list on there somewhere.

Hope things are good, and looking forward to hearing from you again soon!  Take care!

Cool
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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2010, 03:37:51 AM »

Hope you can find a doctor for your VNS. Keep us posted!
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