ADA to establish new reimbursement code for oral cancer screening

Zila, Inc. has announced that the Code Revision Committee of the American Dental Association (ADA) has approved a new dental reimbursement code for oral cancer screening products. Zila's ViziLite product provided the pathway for the new code, and Zila anticipates that OraTest will also satisfy the code requirements once its FDA clearance is obtained. 

Zila said it recently received notice that the Committee approved a code for an "adjunctive pre-diagnostic test that aids in detection of mucosal abnormalities including pre-malignant and malignant lesions, not to include cytology or biopsy."

Douglas D. Burkett, Ph.D., Chairman, CEO and President of Zila, Inc., said, "The ADA Committee's action is further evidence that the dental profession recognizes the importance of early detection in the prevention and treatment of oral cancer."

Dr. Burkett continued, "There has never been such a reimbursement code available to dentists, because there has never been an FDA approved product for oral pre-cancer and early cancer identification -- until ViziLite. ViziLite's recent clinical efficacy data was cited as a factor in the Committee's decision."  

"We are unaware of any available products, other than ViziLite, that will be covered under this new code. We expect that the code will encourage the use of ViziLite, and we anticipate that this reimbursement code will be available for OraTest when its regulatory approval is achieved."

Zila envisions ViziLite and OraTest to be synergistic products that provide a means for all adults to benefit from improved identification of oral pre-cancers and early cancers, and possibly prevent the disease through early intervention. ViziLite is currently being sold to dental offices nationally and OraTest is in phase III clinical trials as part of the FDA approval process.

The ADA-administered Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature supports accurate recording and reporting of dental treatments. The codes can be used to report dental procedures provided under public and private dental insurance benefit plans.  Obtaining insurance reimbursement from specific carriers is a separate process. Zila is now engaged in this process for the ViziLite product.

The Code Revision Committee is balanced to include representatives from the dental profession and third-party payers.  It receives regular requests for code revisions, reflecting the dynamic changes in dentistry. Each request receives structured and rigorous evaluation before it can become part of the code, which is the national standard for reporting dental procedures electronically under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The new code will be published in the next version of the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (the Code) and will be effective on January 1, 2005.

For more information about Zila, visit www.zila.com.

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