German government considers capsule endoscopy coverage

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German Gemeinsame Bundesausschuss (Joint Federal Committee) will begin to evaluate capsule endoscopy for outpatient coverage under the German national insurance program, which covers many of Germany's 82 million citizens.

About 10 percent of German citizens currently have coverage for PillCam through private health insurers, according to the Hamburg, Germany-based Given Imaging.

The company anticipates a “monetary code for reimbursement in France in the first half of 2008, as well as additional reimbursement polices for PillCam SB and PillCam ESO in the United States and other countries this year,” said Homi Shamir, president and CEO of Given.
Given said that the Joint Federal Committee is expected to solicit input from medical experts, scientific societies, professional associations and patient organizations within the next two to three months. Thereafter, the company said that the committee will deliberate on reimbursement, and if it receives a positive outcome, would recommend coding and initiate the monetary valuation for the procedure.