KARLSRUHE, GERMANY AND MORRISVILLE, N.C.—July 30, 2012—TearScience®, a privately held medical device company, today announced it has identified analog procedure codes for German eye care physicians to use when assessing and treating evaporative dry eye with the TearScience® system. Dr. Gernot Petzold of Kulmbach in Bavaria, Germany and an independent health care consulting firm identified appropriate codes according to the public medical code for physicians (GOÄ). The codes help privately insured patients claim reimbursement for both the LipiView® tear film evaluation instrument and LipiFlow® treatment for evaporative dry eye.
Evaporative dry eye is a common and growing problem in developed nations. Dry eye can be triggered by environmental factors such as air conditioning and heating and life style issues such as prolonged use of computers, handheld devices and video games, which decrease the frequency of blinking. Blinking causes Meibomian glands located in the eyelids to secrete the oily lipids that are needed to keep the water portion of tears from evaporating too quickly from the surface of the eye. Evaporative dry eye occurs when Meibomian glands become obstructed and do not secrete the oily lipids.
The TearScience® system includes the LipiView® Ocular Surface Interferometer, Korb Meibomian Gland Evaluator (MGE), and the LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System. LipiView® captures, archives, manipulates and stores detailed digital images of a dry eye patient’s tear film. LipiView® and MGEs are two devices that help physicians perform a dry eye assessment. LipiFlow® treats a root cause of evaporative dry eye by unblocking and evacuating obstructed Meibomian glands during an in-office procedure. The goal of unblocking the glands is to allow them to resume their natural production of lipids required for a healthy tear film.
“I have been using the TearScience® system in my practice for more than a year and am seeing very positive results,” said Dr. Petzold. “My experience confirms the reports I received from my colleagues who participated in the U.S. FDA clinical study and from other European adopters of the technology. LipiFlow® works and is emerging as a new standard of care for evaporative dry eye. My colleagues are beginning to pay attention to this new, disruptive technology as early adopters can now benefit a previously underserved patient population and be on the leading edge of dry eye patient care.”
The value assigned to the procedure codes identified meets TearScience’s expectations.
“Obtaining these procedure codes is our first step in building the TearScience® system as the new standard of care for evaporative dry eye in the German ophthalmic market, said Diethart Reichardt, senior vice president of TearScience’s European region. “TearScience® is working diligently to provide private insurance reimbursement to our leading-edge physician customers in Germany. We will announce results on this later in 2012.”
TearScience officially launched its system in select European markets in November, 2011 after obtaining CE Mark to market the TearScience system throughout Europe in 2011. National product launches have taken place in Paris, France at the AOP/ACR conference in December 2011, at the AAD conference in Düsseldorf, Germany in March, 2012, and at the Royal Academy Ophthalmology meeting in Liverpool, UK in May, 2012.
About TearScience, Inc.
Headquartered in Morrisville, North Carolina, TearScience has pioneered devices that provide significant clinical improvement in the treatment of evaporative dry eye. Of the millions of dry eye sufferers worldwide, approximately 86 percent have evaporative dry eye, which is caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) and a lipid deficiency of the eye’s natural tear film. The Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) workshop, involving two years of work by 50 leading experts from around the world, concluded that MGD is an under-estimated condition and is very likely the most frequent cause of dry eye disease. Common symptoms of the disease include eye irritation, dryness, redness, tiredness, and visual disturbances. TearScience’s integrated, in-office system enables eye care professionals to effectively address a root cause of evaporative dry eye, obstructed Meibomian glands. For additional information, visit www.tearscience.com.
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