The Tether™ device now deemed “medically necessary” for the treatment of pediatric scoliosis in additional patients covered by Highmark and BCBS North Dakota.
WESTMINSTER, Colo., March 15, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — ZimVie Inc. (Nasdaq: ZIMV), a global life sciences leader in the dental and spine markets, today announced that Highmark, one of America’s leading health insurance organizations and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, which covers primarily Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, and West Virginia, and BCBS North Dakota, the largest payer in the state of North Dakota, have issued positive medical policy decisions applicable to vertebral body tethering (VBT). Effective January 30, 2023 for Highmark and March 6, 2023 for BCBS North Dakota, the policies outline the criteria for medical necessity and expand potential treatment eligibility to patients indicated for VBT within the 4+ million members covered under Highmark and the 280,000+ lives covered by BCBS North Dakota.
“The Highmark and BCBS North Dakota coverage decisions validate the expectation we noted when we announced the Anthem BCBS positive coverage decision in July, that additional policy updates would follow. It is encouraging to see broader endorsement of this opportunity to positively impact the lives of children with scoliosis through a motion preserving alternative to spinal fusion,” said Rebecca Whitney, SVP and President of Global Spine for ZimVie. “We are honored to work with orthopedic and neurosurgeons to develop vertebral body tethering solutions that may allow children with scoliosis to return to their active daily lives.”
ZimVie’s Tether™ device, a first-of-its-kind non-fusion scoliosis treatment, is the first and only FDA-approved device for VBT. Its humanitarian device exemption (HDE) was granted based on over seven years of clinical data validating the safety and effectiveness of The Tether in scoliosis correction. Over 1,300 children have received The Tether since HDE approval in August of 2019, with approximately 65 U.S. surgeons performing the procedure today.
“Highmark’s recent positive policy decision for vertebral body tethering highlights the advancements that have come through diligent research in understanding the optimal patient indications for this promising technology,” said Amer Samdani, M.D., board-certified neurosurgeon, chief of surgery for Shriners Hospitals for Children – Philadelphia, and pioneer in vertebral body tethering. “As VBT relies on remaining growth potential, I am thrilled that this timely approval will allow an increased pediatric patient population to access treatment without missing the window of opportunity.”
Highmark’s policy decision can be found here:
The BCBS North Dakota policy decision can be found here:
For more information on ZimVie Spine solutions for restorative procedures, please visit https://www.zimvie.com/en/spine.html.
ZimVie is a global life sciences leader in the dental and spine markets that develops, manufactures, and delivers a comprehensive portfolio of products and solutions designed to treat a wide range of spine pathologies and support dental tooth replacement and restoration procedures. The company was founded in March 2022 as an independent, publicly traded spin-off of the Dental and Spine business units of Zimmer Biomet to breathe new life, dedicated energy, and strategic focus to its portfolio of trusted brands and products. From its headquarters in Westminster, Colorado, and additional facilities around the globe, the company serves customers in over 70 countries worldwide with a robust offering of dental and spine solutions including differentiated product platforms supported by extensive clinical evidence.
For more information about ZimVie, please visit us at www.ZimVie.com. Follow @ZimVie on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram.
The Tether is a Humanitarian Device. Authorized by Federal law for use in the treatment of skeletally immature patients that require surgical treatment to obtain and maintain correction of progressive idiopathic scoliosis, with a major Cobb angle of 30 to 65 degrees whose osseous structure is dimensionally adequate to accommodate screw fixation, as determined by radiographic imaging. Patients should have failed bracing and/or be intolerant to brace wear. The effectiveness of this device for this use has not been demonstrated.
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Media Contact Information:
Laura Driscoll • Laura.Driscoll@ZimVie.com
Mark Richards • Mark.Richards@ZimVie.com
Investor Contact Information:
Gilmartin Group LLC
Marissa Bych • Marissa@gilmartinir.com