Zoll Medical (NSDQ:ZOLL) CEO Rick Packer sees silver lining in the storm cloud that gathered while he waited for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to decide whether to limit reimbursement for Zoll’s LifeVest wearable defibrillator.
CMS ultimately decided to keep the coverage intact, but in the meantime, Packer told MassDevice, a raft of supporters from the medical community stepped up to back the LifeVest technology to CMS. Zoll stands ready to capitalize on that goodwill, Packer told us.
"This kind of played out the way we expected it to play out," Packer told MassDevice. "This may look like a big dark cloud, but it does have a huge silver lining. Now we get to start exploiting that silver lining."
ZOLL shares tanked 27% in early August after investors were spooked over a single paragraph in a quarterly report revealing that reimbursement for the company’s flagship device was under review. But the company just about recouped that loss this morning, as investors on The Street stampeded to buy up ZOLL shares. Prices spiked more than 25.5% today to $58.78 as of about 1:45 p.m.
Reimbursement rates remained intact while CMS reviewed its policy, so patient access to LifeVest wasn’t compromised and physicians were free to continue prescribing its use, Packer told us. Meanwhile, the medical community reacted with an outpouring of support, information he says Zoll can use to win over the rest of the payer community.
CMS’ Durable Medical Equipment Medical Administrative Contractors received letters from the Heart Rhythm Society, American College of Cardiology, American Heart Assn., American Assn. of Heart Failure Nurses, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Assn., Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation and more than 50 physicians in support of maintaining reimbursement levels for LifeVest, according to a press release.