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Meretek Diagnostics Announces Change In Georgia Medicare UBT Reimbursement


12/21/2006 3:25:53 PM

LAFAYETTE, Colo., Dec. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Meretek Diagnostics announced today that effective January 1, 2007, its BreathTek(TM) UBT (urea breath test) kit for the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) will be entitled to a more favorable Medicare reimbursement rate in Georgia.

The 2007 Medicare Part B clinical laboratory fee schedule for Georgia raises reimbursement for the analysis of the UBT C13 Test (CPT code 83013).

"This effectively opens up the Georgia UBT market for the first time," said Meretek Vice President for Sales David Walton. "This valuable and beneficial test will now be more readily available in Georgia to help doctors diagnose patients and eradicate H. pylori infections."

The BreathTek UBT uses C13 urea, a naturally occurring non-radioactive stable isotope. Meretek has the only C13 UBT approved by the FDA for initial diagnosis and post treatment monitoring of H. pylori.

BreathTek UBT is a simple, non-radioactive, non-invasive test for the diagnosis and post treatment monitoring of active H. pylori infection. The test can be administered in doctors' offices and patient service centers and is well tolerated by patients.

Studies show that 80 to 90 percent of peptic ulcer disease (PUD) cases are caused by an H. pylori infection, and about one in three adults in the U.S. is infected.

In November 2005, the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) updated its position statement on the evaluation of dyspepsia to recommend testing in patients 55 years of age or younger without alarm symptoms with an active test such as the C13 urea breath test or stool antigen test.

The Meretek BreathTek UBT is CLIA non-regulated, and is covered by Medicare and most major insurance carriers.

Meretek products also include the UBiT(R)-IR300 infrared spectrophotometer and the POCone(TM) infrared spectrophotometer instruments, which are used to analyze the patient's breath samples.

For a complete listing of features and benefits of the BreathTek UBT, visit www.meretek.com/physician_testing.asp.

* The UBT abbreviation is used in Georgia Medicare policy not as a Trademark(R), but as a simple acronym for Urea Breath Test.

About Meretek Diagnostics

Located in Lafayette, Colo., Meretek Diagnostics Inc. is a subsidiary of Otsuka America, a healthcare company engaged in the development of advanced, non-invasive, non-radioactive breath tests and instrumentation. Meretek was founded in 1993 by a group from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. The company holds exclusive licenses to patents involving the C13 urea breath test technologies, and all of the their products are approved by the FDA.

For more information about Meretek Diagnostics, Inc. and the company's products, including prescribing information, warnings and limitations, visit the Meretek Web site at www.meretek.com.

Meretek Diagnostics, Inc.

CONTACT: Dan Snyders, +1-303-623-1190 ext. 230, dan@armadamedical.com, orJennifer Hanson, +1-303-623-1190 ext. 239, jenniferh@armadamedical.com,both of Armada Medical Marketing, for Meretek Diagnostics, Inc.


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