MolecuLight Inc, a provider of handheld fluorescence imaging for real-time visualisation of bacteria for chronic wounds, has been informed by the American Medical Association (AMA) that in its summary of panel actions September 2019 meeting, the CPT Editorial Panel accepted the addition of new Category III codes 0X30T, 0X31T to report “wound bacterial localisation and treatment” effective, 1 July 2020, enabling a reimbursement pathway for point-of-care fluorescence wound imaging.
At that time a novel code excluding the “X” will be reported by the AMA when the final datafiles are distributed by the AMA. Point-of-care fluorescence wound imaging is achieved using MolecuLight’s handheld fluorescence imaging device, the i:X.
“The announcement by the AMA that the procedure for fluorescence imaging of bacteria will receive a Category lll CPT code is an extremely exciting milestone both for MolecuLight and for the growing body of clinical users of the i:X handheld fluorescence imaging device,” said Anil Amlani, MolecuLight’s CEO.
“The availability of this new category III CPT code now provides a reimbursement pathway for fluorescence wound imaging procedures. This enables greater physician and patient access to the benefits of the procedure to meet the significant unmet needs of the wound care industry and supports better outcomes for patients. The AMA process also includes a detailed review of published clinical evidence of the distinct procedure.
“This announcement of the forthcoming code is therefore also a recognition of the demonstrated clinical utility of the procedure across the continuum of wound care. Application of this procedure provides caregivers with a novel, cost-effective approach to clinically manage bacteria in wounds, and can facilitate improved patient outcomes.”
“In working to heal wounds, in many ways we’ve been flying with the equivalent of a stick and rudder— and sometimes that means flying blind”, says David Armstrong, professor of Surgery and director of the Southwestern Academic Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA) at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, USA.
“Advanced technologies such as this one can ultimately serve to make physicians, surgeons and nurses ‘instrument-rated’ to not only heal people faster, but also to reduce risks for infections, hospitalisations and amputations. The fact that the procedure is being recognised with a new pathway to reimbursement by the AMA is very exciting, as we might now be able to measure what we manage,” he said.
Category III CPT Codes are temporary codes for emerging technologies and procedures that allow for specific data collection associated with the work and costs of the procedures. Reimbursement for procedures reported with a Category III code is at the payer’s discretion.
As these procedures become more commonly adopted and established, MolecuLight will continue to work with the AMA to move these codes from Category III to Category I CPT status.
Certain elements of the procedure’s description and details of the code may be subject to change and will be finalised upon formal issuance of the Category lll Code.