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Medicare adopts new nationwide coverage policy for The Vest airway clearance system

Advanced Respiratory -Lungs for Life FoundationMedicare has adopted a new nationwide coverage policy for high-frequency chest wall oscillation medical equipment. The policy covers the use of The Vest system for patients with cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, and, upon case-by-case review, others fighting respiratory conditions. Below I have attached a copy of our press release dated today. For a complete overview of the policy please visit http://www.thevest.com.

This is tremendous news. Combined with our current policies – shipping The Vest system upon prescription, 30-day in-home trials, patient training, comprehensive reimbursement support and a lifetime warranty – this policy will help make the device immediately accessible to all your patients in need. And now the reimbursement process has just become easier for your Medicare patients – and for us. For that, we all have reason to celebrate.

Along with this improved coverage and easier reimbursement process your patients can have the benefit of the newest model of The Vest system, Model 104, which was just released last month. It offers the same consistent, effective airway clearance therapy as earlier models and it’s portable. Weighing only 17 pounds, it’s half the weight and one-third the size of our previous device – approximately the size of a portable audio system. It’s also digitally automated and easier to use, making it a great choice for all of your patients with airway clearance needs. And its new patient-friendly design makes it easier for patients to be compliant with your orders, resulting in improved outcomes.

Airway clearance therapy via The Vest system is an important part of the standard care regimen for patients with cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, bronchiectasis, and COPD. In the last decade more than 30,000 patients have used The Vest system in their home to successfully manage their airway clearance needs, representing over 80,000 patient years of experience.

For more information on The Vest system please visit www.thevest.com. If you would like to visit in person with a local representative, please contact us at 1-800-426-4224 or send us your comments or questions on the web at http://www.thevest.com. We look forward to serving your patients with airway clearance needs. Thank you for your interest and support.

Sincerely,

Elden H. Russell
President, Advanced Respiratory


NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Advanced Respiratory applauds Medicare’s adoption of a nationwide coverage policy for The Vest airway clearance system

New coverage policy will help patients with cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis and other respiratory conditions breathe easier

ST. PAUL, Minn., June 16, 2003 – Advanced Respiratory, manufacturer and distributor of The Vest™ airway clearance system, today reported that Medicare has adopted a nationwide coverage policy for the use of durable medical equipment that provides high-frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO) therapy.

The coverage policy applies to patients with cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis, and, on a case-by-case review, patients with other respiratory diseases or conditions.

“We applaud Medicare’s decision, as it will have tremendous impact on the health and quality of life of Medicare patients who are fighting to breathe," said Elden Russell, president and CEO of Advanced Respiratory. "With The Vest system, patients can easily and effectively remove trapped secretions from their lungs. This leads to easier breathing, less infections and hospitalizations, and improved health." Medicare is one of over 1,100 insurers that pay for The Vest system. The Vest Airway Clearance System -Lungs for Life Foundation

The Vest system is a small and powerful, but gentle medical device – employing HFCWO technology – used in patients’ homes to provide airway clearance therapy. Approximately the size of a portable audio system, the device consists of an inflatable vest attached to an air-pulse generator. The generator rapidly inflates and deflates the vest, compressing and releasing the chest wall 5-20 times per second to create airflow within the lungs. Its gentle pressure moves trapped mucus from the smaller airways in the lungs to the larger airways, where it can be removed through coughing or suctioning. The action also works to thin thick secretions, making them easier to clear.

Advanced Respiratory Inc., headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., is the privately-held manufacturer and distributor of The Vest airway clearance system. For more information about the types of patients that could benefit from The Vest system, Advanced Respiratory and its products and services, visit the company’s Web site, http://www.thevest.com.

Contact:
Kerstin March, Advanced Respiratory, 651.234.1633

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