Medicare To Reimburse Preventive Cholesterol Screening

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) recently announced the 2005 Physician Fee Schedule, which guarantees access to preventive cardiovascular screenings for 39 million Medicare-eligible beneficiaries. As the nation's leading cardiologists gather at the American Heart Association's 2004 Scientific Sessions, this will improve cardiac healthcare for seniors, according to Cholestech, a leader in point of care cholesterol testing.

WHAT: Beginning in January of 2005, all Medicare beneficiaries will have access to preventive cardiovascular screening blood tests for the early detection of cardiovascular disease and all new Medicare members will be covered for an initial physical examination. Both include the use of three clinical laboratory tests to detect early risk for cardiovascular disease, including total cholesterol, a HDL-cholesterol, and a triglycerides test. WHY: Until enactment of this bill, Medicare beneficiaries were only covered for cholesterol tests if they suffered from diagnosed illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes or other disorders associated with elevated cholesterol levels. In many cases, eligible seniors were already victims of one or more conditions that cholesterol screening might have caught and prevented. WHO: Cholestech President and CEO Warren E. Pinckert II will be available for comment on the impact of the new Medicare ruling and the latest advances in cholesterol screening technology. WHERE: American Heart Association -- 2004 Scientific Sessions New Orleans Convention Center Booth 3343


CONTACT: Chris K. Joseph, +1-510-339-2293, or, forCholestech

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