Pulmonx said today that its Zephyr valve designed to treat chronic respiratory disease is now covered by Priority Health under a revised lung volume reduction policy.
Redwood City, Calif.-based Pulmonx’s Zephyr valves are designed to provide a less-invasive treatment option for emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by blocking off the diseased area of the lung and allowing for healthier tissue to grow and take in air.
The Zephyr valve was approved by the FDA in June 2018. It is the only endobronchial valve listed in Priority Health’s coverage policy.
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Priority Health, owned by Spectrum Health, covers more than 700,000 members in Michigan as the state’s second-largest health plan. Other insurers that cover the Zephyr Valve include Aetna and Humana. Priority Health’s coverage decision makes the Zephyr Valve an available option for over 30 million Americans with commercial insurance.
“It is wonderful that Priority Health is offering its members access to the least invasive and most effective treatment option for severe COPD/emphysema,” president & CEO Glen French said in prepared remarks. “We are very pleased that now many more patients in Michigan will have access to this innovative new treatment.”
“As a physician who manages many patients in Michigan with emphysema and COPD, I am very happy to see Priority Health offer its members access to the Zephyr Valve treatment option,” added Dr. Gustavo Cumbo-Nacheli, of Spectrum Butterworth Hospital. “While there is no cure, this treatment can provide significant life-changing benefits without the risks of major surgery. Patients with COPD/emphysema suffer with very poor quality of life, and until the availability of the Zephyr Valve, had few treatment options that did not involve major surgery, so this treatment is a real game changer for these patients.”