BCBS of Arizona to cover MTWA testing

Cambridge Heart (Tewksbury, Massachusetts) said that Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Arizona has made its Microvolt T-Wave Alternans (MTWA) testing system a covered benefit for people at risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD).

With the addition of BCBS of Arizona, MTWA testing, Cambridge Heart said, is now available to more than 95% of all private and Medicare beneficiaries in the state of Arizona.

The coverage decision was issued after the insurer's medical director and Medical Policy Panel determined that MTWA testing is considered "medically necessary" for adults at risk of SCD with documented cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction or tachyarrhythmia.

Survey: private health tax penalties opposed

Fewer than 15% of votgers support, and 53% oppose, a proposal pushed by health insurers requiring every American to provide proof of private health insurance or face tax penalties or other fines, according to respondents participating in a new poll.

Conducted by Consumer Watchdog (Santa Monica, California), the poll also found that by just under a two-to-one margin, voters favor requiring a return on taxpayer-funded research that leads to new medical treatments or prescription drugs.

The poll was based on 840 interviews among registered voters in the U.S., conducted Dec. 4-7, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

Osteoarthritis treatment guidelines released

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS: Rosemont, Illinois) has released evidence-based clinical practice guidelines on "Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee, explicitly developed, it said, to include only treatments which are less invasive than knee replacement surgery. While a wide range of treatment options are available, they should always be tailored to individual patients after discussions with their physicians, AAOS said.

The Guidelines and Evidence Report recommends: Not performing an arthroscopic lavage if a patient only displays symptoms of osteoarthritis and no other problems like loose bodies or meniscus tears.

Minrad receives NYSE 10-Q notice

Minrad International (Orchard Park, New York) said it has received a notice from NYSE Alternext US saying that a review of the company's 10-Q for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2008, indicated that the company was not in compliance with certain provision of the exchange's company guide.

The company must submit a plan by Dec. 26, addressing how it intends to regain compliance with Section 1003(a)(iv) of the company guide by March 11, 2009, and Sections 1003(a)(i), 1003(a)(ii), and 1003(a)(iii) by June 11, 2010. This plan is to include specific milestones, quarterly financial projections, and details related to any initiatives the company plans to complete. If the company does not submit a plan or if it is not accepted by the exchange, the company will be subject to delisting.

Minrad is an interventional pain management company.

BioHorizons launches new website

BioHorizons, (Birhmingham, Alabama), an oral reconstructive device company known for proprietary implant designs and regeneration products, has introduced a new interactive website. The company says that the site, www.biohorizons.com, reflects its current branding and offers visitors an on-line experience with useful information. A graphics-based, On-line Catalog allows customers to view product specifications and account history, place orders 24/7 and track shipments.

BioHorizons COO, Todd Strong, said, "At BioHorizons, we have always taken customer care very seriously, talking and listening to our customers and taking their views into account."