An Administrative Law judge in Tallahassee, Fla., has ruled that Florida Blue Cross Blue Shield must cover an exoskeleton system developed by ReWalk for a patient with a spinal cord injury, according to a press release.
“The recent Florida ruling is significant and consistent with the growing body of established scientific data that supports the value of exoskeletal walking,” Larry Jasinski, chief executive officer of ReWalk, said in a press release. “We are encouraged by the chorus of experts who are supporting paralyzed individuals in their appeals processes, and heartened by the trend of coverage rulings that continues to increase in states across the United States. It is our fervent hope that insurance companies will stop this arduous process of appeals and formulate standard operating policies for coverage of all eligible [spinal cord injury] plan members.”
After a formal evidentiary hearing, Administrative Law Judge R. Bruce McKibben ruled that there is “persuasive evidence,” including clinical studies and literature, that exoskeletons as a treatment for spinal cord injuries are no longer experimental or investigations. The decision followed expert testimony that argued exoskeletons meet a common standard of medical practice for spinal cord injuries.
ReWalk, which has headquarters in Massachusetts, Berlin and Israel, manufactures and markets wearable robotic exoskeletons for patients with spinal cord injuries.
“We will continue to advocate for the rights of the disabled in providing them technology that can enable them to walk again and enjoy the demonstrated health benefits that occur with use of the device,” Jasinski said in a press release.