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Cook Surgery Reports Significant Hospital Medicare Reimbursement for Promising New Fistula Repair Procedure

January 23, 2007

Cook Medical today announced a significant Medicare reimbursement for hospitals nationwide performing minimally invasive fistula repair procedures with Cook Surgery’s Surgisis AFP plug, the first medical device approved for fistula repair.

“The plug has created life-changing improvement for thousands of patients suffering from painful and complex fistulas,” said Andy Cron, Vice President and Global Strategic Business Unit Leader for Cook Surgery. “Now with this update to Medicare’s payment system, we’re hopeful that even more patients will have access to this therapy.”

Beginning January 1, 2007, eligible hospitals that accurately report the fistula repair procedure to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) with the new Category III Current Procedural Terminology (CPT©) code 0170T will receive on average approximately $1,800 in reimbursement per procedure. This payment applies to Medicare patients treated in a hospital’s outpatient department. A significant increase from the current average reimbursement of $250 per procedure, eligible hospitals will now obtain an additional $1,550 in reimbursement per procedure using the Surgisis AFP plug for fistula repair.

A fistula is an abnormal channel that develops between body organs; they most commonly occur in the intestinal tract. The Surgisis AFP plug provides an innovative yet simple treatment for the notoriously difficult condition. The cone-shaped, biological-derived device is placed in the fistula tract where it serves as a bio-scaffold for native tissue regeneration, closing the fistula.

Since its launch, the Surgisis AFP plug has experienced tremendous success, with U.S. physicians now treating more than 550 fistula patients per month using the plug. The device is implanted in procedures treating fistulas related to cryptoglandular disease, Crohn’s disease, colitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases. More than 500 physicians have attended regional training courses and medical meetings featuring lessons and workshops demonstrating the Surgisis AFP plug for treating complex fistulas. It is currently offered at a significant number of U.S. medical institutions and Cook expects additional hospital adoption as a result of the increased Medicare reimbursement.

About Cook Medical

The world’s largest privately held manufacturer of medical devices with international headquarters in Bloomington, Ind., COOK® (www.cookmedical.com/) is a leading designer, manufacturer and global distributor of minimally invasive medical device technology for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Since its founding in 1963, Cook has created innovative technologies for drug-eluting and bare metal stents, aortic and vascular endografts, catheters, wire guides, introducer needles and sheaths, embolization coils, medical biomaterials and contract manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals, vena cava filters and other minimally invasive medical devices for radiology, cardiology, urology and women’s health, critical care medicine, surgery, gastroenterology, bone access and endovascular therapies. Cook Medical was named the 2006 Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry Magazine Medical Device Manufacturer of the Year.




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