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  • stocks_1_2_3 stocks_1_2_3 Oct 11, 2007 10:25 AM Flag

    The news is big........

    YOQNEAM, ISRAEL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 10/11/07 -- Given Imaging Ltd. (NASDAQ: GIVN), the global leader in capsule endoscopy, today announced that National Government Services (NGS), the Medicare Part B Carrier serving more than 6 million individuals in New York, New Jersey, Kentucky and Indiana, issued a new coverage policy for cirrhotic patients for the evaluation of esophageal varices using capsule endoscopy of the esophagus. The policy becomes effective December 1, 2007. With the addition of the NGS coverage policy to the existing coverage policies, more than 13 million beneficiaries in the United States could have access to PillCam ESO.
    Douglas T. Dieterich, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Liver Diseases, Director, Continuing Medical Education, Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City, said, "Esophageal varices are a major complication of liver cirrhosis and are associated with a rate of mortality of 20%. By allowing Medicare patients access to this less invasive technology, NGS is taking great strides to ensure cirrhotic patients are being evaluated, which will help improve the quality of care for these patients."
    Varices are varicose veins that occur in the esophagus as a result of portal hypertension, which is a symptom of cirrhosis. The increased pressure within esophageal varices makes them susceptible to rupture and bleeding. Approximately 360 of every 100,000 Americans have cirrhosis, and gastroesophageal varices are present in 40-60% of these patients.
    The company also announced that NGS has added coverage for PillCam SB for the detection of small bowel tumors, evaluation of malabsorption syndrome, and small bowel evaluation prior to a small bowel surgical resection to control loss of blood or protein. Multiple additional ICD-9 codes have also been added.
    About PillCam ESO
    Cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in November 2004 to visualize the esophagus in adult patients in a patient-friendly way, physicians can use PillCam ESO to aid in the detection of disorders such as Barrett's esophagus, a potential precursor for esophageal cancer and esophageal varices, which if left untreated, can result in fatal bleeding. PillCam ESO contains imaging devices and light sources at both ends of the capsule that capture up to 14 images per second, a total of 2,600 color images, as it passes down the esophagus in a twenty minute procedure. Exclusive marketing rights for PillCam ESO have been granted to InScope, a division of Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a Johnson & Johnson company.

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