News | January 03, 2007

Medicare May Pump Big Dollars to Thoratec

AP reports that a Dec. 27 Medicare proposal may could double the number of hospitals authorized to implant the HeartMate mechanical heart device made by Thoratec, the only company with a U.S.-approved device to treat heart failure patients who are not eligible for heart transplant because they have a life expectancy under two years.

Sixty-nine hospitals are currently reimbursed for implanting the battery-powered device, which is surgically implanted in the chest to help the heart pump blood throughout the body. The $65,000 device is also used as a temporary treatment for patients awaiting a heart transplant and patients recovering from open-heart surgery.

Even more significant for Thoratec, analysts predict the resulting expansion of their present market will also familiarize many more physicians with the company’s next-generation product, HeartMate II, a smaller, quieter and more durable device that could be used as an "off-label" treatment in thousands of heart failure patients who aren't eligible for highly expensive transplant operations, but are expected to live several years.

A research note from First Albany analyst Jason Mills says the Medicare change could significantly widen the market for HeartMate II, which is slated for Food and Drug Administration approval this summer.

Comments on the proposed policy are being accepted through Jan. 26, and the government will issue a final decision in April. Hospitals can then apply to become Medicare-certified to implant Heartmate under the new criteria.

Related Content

Leviticus Cardio and Jarvik Heart Unveil Wireless Heart Pump System
News | Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD) | February 11, 2019
Heart failure experts at the National Research Center for Cardiac Surgery in Astana, Kazakhstan, recently announced the...
Medtronic Receives FDA Approval for Less-Invasive Heart Pump Implant Procedure
Technology | Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD) | July 17, 2018
Medtronic plc recently received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for a less-invasive implant approach...
CorWave's Next-generation Neptune LVAD Receives Funding

Image courtesy of CorWave

News | Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD) | July 11, 2018
French-based CorWave announced that its CALYPSO program has received 14 million euros to develop CorWave Neptune, a new...
Abbott Recalls the HeartMate 3 Left Ventricular Assist System, LVAD
News | Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD) | May 23, 2018
Abbott has initiated a Class I recall of the HeartMate 3 Left Ventricular Assist System due to a malfunction in the...
FDA Approves Abiomed Impella CP With SmartAssist and Optical Sensor
Technology | Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD) | April 02, 2018
Abiomed Inc. announced that it received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Pre-Market Approval (PMA) for its...
Reduced Device Clotting, Decreased Strokes Seen With HeartMate 3 at Two Years
News | Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD) | March 13, 2018
At two years of follow-up, severely ill patients with advanced heart failure who received a novel heart pump fully...
Medtronic HeartWare HVAD System Approved for Destination Therapy
Technology | Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD) | October 04, 2017
October 4, 2017 — Medtronic received U.S.
Abiomed Receives FDA PMA Approval for Impella RP for Right Heart Failure
Technology | Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD) | September 28, 2017
Abiomed Inc. recently received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pre-market approval (PMA) for the Impella RP ...
Abbott Receives FDA Approval for HeartMate 3 Left Ventricular Assist System
Technology | Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD) | August 29, 2017
Abbott announced it has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its Full MagLev HeartMate 3 Left...
Overlay Init