April 25, 2019

ReWalk places 17th system with BCBS beneficiary

Courtesy/ReWalk
A demonstration of ReWalk's exoskeleton systems.

ReWalk Robotics shares are up more than 5% Thursday after the company announced an increasing amount of Blue Cross Blue Shield beneficiaries winning requests for coverage of ReWalk's exoskeleton devices for spinal cord injury patients.

In a recent case, a paralyzed Mississippi woman was reimbursed under a regional BCBS plan, marking the 17th time the insurer has covered the system.

According to ReWalk. Blue Cross last year adopted a patient-based reimbursement submission process to leverage elements of U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the right to have ReWalk appeal a coverage denial on a patient's behalf before independent medical review boards.

That was the case for the Mississippi woman after an independent reviewer declared the company's Personal 6.0 Exoskeleton medically necessary, the company said.

The company's shares opened Thursday trading at about $3.50 compared to Wednesday's close of $3.25.

"It is important to see that patients are uniformly gaining a determination that ReWalking is medically necessary and not being found to be experimental or investigational when reviewed by a qualified independent medical expert," said ReWalk CEO Larry Jasinski.

In the U.S., Connecticut-based health insurer Cigna Corp. said in February it would begin taking coverage requests on a case-by-case basis. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs revised a policy in 2015 to allow for the evaluation, training and procurement of the company's devices.

"Allowing a qualified paralyzed individual who simply wants the quality of life and benefits that come from exoskeletal walking should become a standard for all insurers," Jasinski said.

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