Non-invasive vents and Medicaid: Are more states expanding coverage?

 - 
Friday, July 13, 2018

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – North Carolina Medicaid’s recent decision to cover non-invasive ventilators for patients means Aeroflow Healthcare can now offer the service in its own backyard.

The North Carolina Medicaid fee schedule payment amount for EO466 is about $1,211.

“This allows us to further our mission of providing the highest level of care to even more patients in need,” said Robert Hunter, national sales director for the Ashville-based provider. “We are very proud of North Carolina for stepping up and making the same decision.”

Aeroflow already offers ventilators for its Medicaid patients in South Carolina and Tennessee.

Although non-invasive ventilator technology has been on the market for several years, North Carolina isn’t the only state that has been slow to cover it, or to only cover it for certain patients or diagnoses.

“A lot of states will just pay for them with ALS and neuromuscular diseases,” said Max Hoyt, vice president of government relations for Lafayette, La.-based Viemed Healthcare, a large regional provider of ventilators and other respiratory services. “Or, they will only pay for them until age 18.”

Hoyt is hopeful that as more data continues to support the value of non-invasive ventilation that will change.

“Non-invasive ventilation drastically drops patient mortality in the first week,” he said. “No one asks, ‘Does it save lives?’ Yes, it does.”

Non-invasive vents also save money in the long run, says Hunter.

“It’s the best decision for patient care and for saving money on hospital readmissions,” he said.