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Medicare Announces Expanded Coverage for Warfarin Patients Monitoring Clotting Time at Home
Date:3/19/2008

fewer complications overall than those who do not, because self-testing may increase patient time in therapeutic range.(1) Studies also suggest that PT/INR self-testing (performed with a blood sample from a fingerstick) is just as accurate as fingerstick testing performed by a healthcare professional and conventional testing performed on a laboratory analyzer.(2,3,4)

"I feel comfortable with more of my patients monitoring from home because handheld meters like the CoaguChek XS System are easy to use, and I know the results will be as reliable as results from our office meter and from the lab," said Dr. Jacobson. "Plus, this gives my patients the convenience of testing at home with a simple fingerstick rather than having blood drawn from their arm and waiting for lab results."

Under the new Medicare B policy, the patient portion of costs for self- testing is expected to be about $30 a month (based on a national average) for the use of a PT/INR meter and test strips, and about $35 for the initial training. Patients with supplemental insurance coverage could potentially have little or no out-of-pocket expenses.

All patients on anticoagulant medication need a prescription from their doctor for a self-testing meter and supplies before being able to monitor their own clotting time at home. Patient self-testing is also designed to augment, not eliminate, testing and therapy management that is overseen by a doctor. Patients who self-test notify their doctors of clotting time results so they can make the proper adjustments to medication.

Patients interested in finding out more about self-testing their PT/INR should talk to their doctor. For more information on the CoaguChek XS System for Patient Self-Testing, visit http://www.ASmartWayToTest.com.

About Anticoagulation Monitoring

Certain patients with atrial fibrillation, a mechanical heart valve or deep vein thrombosis requi
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SOURCE Roche Diagnostics
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