SonaCare Medical, based in Charlotte, N.C., announced an increase in Medicare payment for prostate high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) ablation in the ambulatory surgical center (ASC) setting.

In the October 2017 update of the ASC payment system, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) indicated that the ASC payment status for C9747, the code used to bill for HIFU ablation of prostate tissue, now recognizes HIFU as a “device-intensive procedure.” The new typical ASC payment level is $5,444.89, as compared to the approximately $4,000 payment amount that went into effect July 1.  The hospital-based payment rate remains at approximately $7,500.

“We are delighted to have CMS initiate device intensive status of prostate HIFU ablation,” says Mark Carol, MD, CEO of SonaCare Medical. “HIFU ablation with Sonablate is suited ideally for delivery in an ASC, which is a physician- and patient-friendly environment for outpatient procedures. An increased payment makes it more likely that prostate HIFU ablation will be offered in ASCs, thereby enabling greater opportunity to provide this single-visit procedure, with its extremely limited side effect prole, to as many men as possible.”

Since Sonablate received FDA clearance on October 9, 2015, more than 1,200 patients have had a Sonablate HIFU prostate procedure across the 40-plus locations in the United States.