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Medicare to consider public opinion about medical maggots
Date:4/21/2008

eting is to obtain industry and public reaction to CMS preliminary coding recommendations. According to the published meeting agenda, CMS officials plan to recommend that medicinal maggots not be given a reimbursement code because "No insurer (i.e., Medicare, Medicaid, Private Insurance Sector) identified a national program operating need to establish a HCPCS Level II code to identify Medical Maggots (http://www.cms.hhs.gov/MedHCPCSGenInfo/Downloads/SO-April22_2008.pdf).

Members of the BioTherapeutics, Education and Research (BTER) Foundation disagree with the CMS recommendation, and plan to demonstrate that beneficiaries, health care professionals and taxpayers do see a need for patients and their doctors to be able to use, code, and be reimbursed for using medicinal maggots. According to the charitys director, Dr. Ronald Sherman, BTER Foundation representatives will remind CMS officials that the same efficacy and safety studies that FDA evaluated before clearing Medical Maggots for marketing in the U.S. also demonstrated lower medical costs and high rates of limb salvage. In fact, when used on patients who failed all other medical and surgical treatments for their gangrenous wounds were offered only amputation or maggot therapy, 40-50% of patients who chose maggot therapy healed their wounds and saved their limbs. BTER Foundation members also will present study data that shows that many doctors will not prescribe maggot therapy when their insurance companies do not, or are perceived not to reimburse for the maggots. Not having a reimbursement code for medicinal maggots is like not allowing maggots on the formulary of any insurance company, he says. This is not what we would expect from Medicare, as the leading proponent of high-quality, equitable, cost-efficient medical care.

BTER Foundation Board member Pam Mitchell will also defend maggots at the hearing. She r
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Contact: Pam Mitchell
info@BTERFoundation.org
949-278-9756
BioTherapeutics, Education & Research Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

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