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SI-BONE, Inc. Announces Medicare Palmetto Removes MIS SI Joint Fusion from Non-Coverage

SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- SI-BONE, Inc. (San Jose, California), a medical device company that pioneered the use of the iFuse Implant System,® a minimally invasive surgical (MIS) device indicated for fusion of the sacroiliac (SI) joint, announced today that the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) Palmetto GBA will begin covering MIS SI joint fusion, including when performed using the iFuse Implant System, effective today, on a case-by-case basis.  Specifically, Palmetto has removed the CPT® code, 0334T, which is used by physicians to report the iFuse procedure, from their list of non-covered services.  Palmetto is one of eight Part A/B MACs in the United States and the first to make this decision.  The change will enable Medicare beneficiaries to receive coverage for the iFuse procedure throughout the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. This coverage decision by Palmetto was based on published clinical data demonstrating the safety, effectiveness and clinical value of the iFuse procedure.

"To ensure Medicare beneficiaries have access to the latest effective, evidence-based treatments, Palmetto GBA now allows access to MIS SI joint fusion for patients suffering from degenerative sacroiliitis or sacroiliac joint disruptions who fail conservative therapy.  By removing the procedure from the non-coverage list, Palmetto confirms that the procedure is consistent with generally accepted standards of medical practice in the medical community and is safe and effective," said Michael Mydra, Vice President of Health Outcomes and Reimbursement.

SI-BONE, Inc. received original 510(k) clearance in November 2008 from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its iFuse Implant System (then called the "SI Joint Fusion System") for fracture fixation of long bones and large bone fragments of the pelvis for conditions including sacroiliac joint disruptions and degenerative sacroiliitis, and an additional clearance in April 2011 for sacroiliac joint fusion for conditions including sacroiliac joint disruptions and degenerative sacroiliitis. The CE mark for European commercialization was obtained in November 2010.

Clinical publications have identified the SI joint as a pain generator in up to 22% of low back pain patients.1 In addition, DePalma et al, Pain Medicine 2011, identified the SI joint as a low back pain generator in 43% to 61% of post-lumbar fusion, so-called "failed back surgery," patients.2 Initial treatment options for patients with SI joint disorders typically involve non-surgical management and, when non-surgical treatment of the SI joint fails, surgical treatments such as the iFuse may provide an option.

The iFuse Implant System is a commercially available device in the U.S. and Europe. The iFuse procedure uses a small incision for delivery and implantation of titanium implants.  The implants are coated with a porous, titanium plasma spray that acts as an interference surface, designed to help decrease implant motion and provide immediate fixation and allow for biological fixation to support long term fusion. These implants have substantial thickness and sophisticated metallurgy and are able to produce a much stronger construct than that of conventional screws used to surgically fix bony structures.  The iFuse System is intended for sacroiliac joint fusion for conditions including sacroiliac joint disruptions and degenerative sacroiliitis.  As with all surgical procedures and permanent implants, there are risks and considerations associated with surgery and use of the iFuse Implant.

About SI-BONE, Inc.
SI-BONE, Inc. (San Jose, California) is the leading sacroiliac joint medical device company dedicated to the development of tools and products for diagnosing and treating patients with low back issues related to SI joint disorders.  The company has developed, and is manufacturing and marketing, less invasive approaches using implants for the treatment of certain SI joint pathology.  SI-BONE has an experienced management team with extensive experience in orthopedic and spine medical devices.  SI-BONE and iFuse Implant System are registered trademarks of SI-BONE, Inc. ©2014 SI-BONE, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  8639.021014

1 Bernard TN, Kirkaldy-Willis WH. Recognizing specific characteristics of nonspecific low back pain. Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research. 1987;217:266–80.

2 DePalma M, Ketchum JM, Saullo TR. Etiology of chronic LBP patients having undergone lumbar fusion. Pain Medicine. 2011;12:732-9.

SOURCE SI-BONE, Inc.

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