CMS establishes CardioNet reimbursements

CardioNet (Conshohocken, Pennsylvania), a wireless medical technology company with an initial focus on the diagnosis and monitoring of cardiac arrhythmias, said that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has established reimbursement rates that cover the CardioNet system.

The reimbursement rates are applicable to the Category I CPT codes established by the American Medical Association and published on Oct. 10 for Mobile Cardiovascular Telemetry. The codes and rates are contained in the Medicare Program Final Rule for calendar 2009 and will become effective on Jan. 1.

The 2009 national reimbursement rate for the technical component related to use of the CardioNet System (CPT code 93229) has been carrier-priced, meaning, similar to today, Highmark Medicare Services will continue to be responsible for the reimbursement rate for the new code.

The current technical reimbursement rate established by Highmark Medicare Services is $1,123. CardioNet said it believes that the current technical reimbursement rate will positively impact its growth prospects for 2009 and beyond.

American Bio Medica gets Nasdaq extension

American Bio Medica (Kinderhook, New York) said that it received a letter, dated Oct. 22, from the Nasdaq advising the company that, because of the extraordinary market conditions, the market has suspended enforcement of its bid price and market value requirements through Jan. 16, 2009.

As a result of this suspension, ABMC will now have until Feb. 10, 2009, to regain compliance.

On Oct. 16, ABMC had 22 calendar days remaining in its compliance period for its bid price deficiency. Upon reinstatement of the rules on Jan. 19, 2009, ABMC still will have that number of days, or until Feb. 10, 2009, to regain compliance.

The company can achieve compliance at any time during either the suspension or the extended compliance period if the closing bid price of its common stock is $1 a share or more for a minimum of 10 consecutive trading days.

Medical Staffing realigning per-diem network

Medical Staffing Network Holdings (Boca Raton, Florida) said it is realigning its per-diem branch network. The company will be increasingly focused on expanding its local contract business. Local contract staffing is assignments that range two weeks in length or longer and are filled through a local branch. Over the past few months, the company has increased its local contract staffing to approximately 25% of the per diem division's revenue.

The company said its actions are in response to recent successes in its vendor management services (VMS) operations. The VMS group has been awarded six contracts during 2008, which further reduces its dependency on daily transactional business. The success of the VMS division together with the focus on local contract staffing has enabled the company to increase the visibility of its revenue stream.

The company said it has decided to consolidate its national branch footprint by closing 20 per-diem locations where local contract and VMS business opportunities were less evident.

Study says exercise improves glucose control

Patients with diabetes who participate in a program combining aerobic and high-force eccentric resistance exercise demonstrate improvements in glucose control, physical performance, and body fat composition, according to a study published in the November 2008 issue of Physical Therapy (PTJ), the journal of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA; Alexandria, Virginia).

"Although aerobic exercise is what is typically recommended for treating people with diabetes, this study shows that adding a high-force strength training component has significant advantages," said APTA spokesperson Robin Marcus, PhD, the study's lead researcher.

Diabetes affects about 24 million adults and children in the U.S. The onset of Type 2 diabetes — a chronic illness marked by decreased insulin sensitivity and overall poor glucose control — is fostered by decreased physical activity.

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