Back pain procedure OK'd for extra payment

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved a pass-through payment that provides additional device payments for the X STOP procedure when the device is implanted in a hospital outpatient setting.

Manufactured by St. Francis Medical Technologies in Alameda, CA, X STOP is designed to treat lumbar spinal stenosis, a common spinal problem that involves the narrowing of the spinal canal.

Effective Jan. 1, 2007, the new device pass-through code, C1821, will include device costs for single- and double-level treatments. Non-device related costs will be reimbursed under newly assigned APC 0050, at $1,455.67 per treated level.