HCFA Publishes New Pass-Through Codes for Reimbursing Outpatient Prostate Cancer Cryoablation

New Reimbursement Codes Effective this Week



Apr 04, 2001, 01:00 ET from Endocare, Inc.

    IRVINE, Calif., April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Endocare, Inc. (Nasdaq:   ENDO), a
 leader in the development of cryoablation technology for the treatment of
 cancer, today announced that the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA),
 the government agency that administers the Medicare program, has published
 updated reimbursement codes for transitional "pass-through" payment for
 temperature-monitored cryoablation procedures for prostate cancer performed in
 the hospital outpatient setting, thus increasing the level of reimbursement
 available for these procedures.  The use of the HCFA pass-through payments
 enables hospitals to recoup additional non-covered costs associated with
 necessary devices utilized during temperature-monitored cryoablation.
     "This favorable pass-through eliminates economic obstacles for patients
 and hospitals who wish to take advantage of this important treatment option on
 an outpatient basis," said Endocare Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Paul
 Mikus.  "As outpatient procedures such as cryoablation become more prevalent,
 it is important that the medical benefits and cost savings to the healthcare
 system translate into appropriate reimbursement levels.  We applaud the HCFA
 action, as it recognizes the importance of the outpatient procedure, and we
 believe that such actions by the Administration will result in more and better
 treatment options for their patient beneficiaries."
     Cryosurgery is a minimally invasive procedure that uses extreme cold
 temperatures to freeze and destroy cancerous cells in and around the prostate
 gland.  Patients who undergo cryosurgery typically can return to daily
 activities within a week.  An advanced form of cryosurgery developed by
 Endocare called targeted cryoablation combines cryosurgery with ultrasound and
 temperature monitoring, enabling physicians to visualize the freezing process
 and thereby improve safety and efficacy.
 
     About Endocare
     Endocare, Inc. -- www.endocare.com -- is a vertically-integrated medical
 device company that develops, manufactures and markets cryosurgical and stent
 technologies for applications in oncology and urology.  The company has
 initially concentrated on developing devices for the treatment of the two most
 common diseases of the prostate, prostate cancer and benign prostate
 hyperplasia.  The company is also developing cryosurgical technologies for
 treating tumors in other organs, including the kidney, breast and liver.
 
     This release contains forward-looking statements.  These statements are
 subject to risk and uncertainties including, but not limited to, those
 discussed in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly
 Report on Form 10-Q and other filings with the Securities and Exchange
 Commission.  Such risk factors include, but are not limited to, limited
 operating history of the Company with a history of losses; fluctuations in the
 Company's order levels; uncertainty regarding market acceptance of the
 Company's new products; uncertainty of product development and the associated
 risks related to clinical trials; the rapid pace of technological change in
 the Company's industry; the Company's limited sales, marketing and
 manufacturing experience; the ability to secure and protect intellectual
 property rights relating to the Company's technology and the ability to
 convince health care professionals and third party payers of the medical and
 economic benefits of the Company's products.  The actual results that the
 Company achieves may differ materially from any forward-looking statements due
 to such risks and uncertainties.  We undertake no obligation to revise or
 update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason.
 
     For further information please contact: Investors, Matt Clawson,
 matt@allencaron.com, or Media, Len Hall, Len@allencaron.com, both of Allen &
 Caron, Inc., 949-474-4300, www.allencaron.com, for Endocare, Inc.; or Paul
 Mikus, President and CEO of Endocare, Inc., 949-595-4770, www.endocare.com.
 
 

SOURCE Endocare, Inc.
    IRVINE, Calif., April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Endocare, Inc. (Nasdaq:   ENDO), a
 leader in the development of cryoablation technology for the treatment of
 cancer, today announced that the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA),
 the government agency that administers the Medicare program, has published
 updated reimbursement codes for transitional "pass-through" payment for
 temperature-monitored cryoablation procedures for prostate cancer performed in
 the hospital outpatient setting, thus increasing the level of reimbursement
 available for these procedures.  The use of the HCFA pass-through payments
 enables hospitals to recoup additional non-covered costs associated with
 necessary devices utilized during temperature-monitored cryoablation.
     "This favorable pass-through eliminates economic obstacles for patients
 and hospitals who wish to take advantage of this important treatment option on
 an outpatient basis," said Endocare Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Paul
 Mikus.  "As outpatient procedures such as cryoablation become more prevalent,
 it is important that the medical benefits and cost savings to the healthcare
 system translate into appropriate reimbursement levels.  We applaud the HCFA
 action, as it recognizes the importance of the outpatient procedure, and we
 believe that such actions by the Administration will result in more and better
 treatment options for their patient beneficiaries."
     Cryosurgery is a minimally invasive procedure that uses extreme cold
 temperatures to freeze and destroy cancerous cells in and around the prostate
 gland.  Patients who undergo cryosurgery typically can return to daily
 activities within a week.  An advanced form of cryosurgery developed by
 Endocare called targeted cryoablation combines cryosurgery with ultrasound and
 temperature monitoring, enabling physicians to visualize the freezing process
 and thereby improve safety and efficacy.
 
     About Endocare
     Endocare, Inc. -- www.endocare.com -- is a vertically-integrated medical
 device company that develops, manufactures and markets cryosurgical and stent
 technologies for applications in oncology and urology.  The company has
 initially concentrated on developing devices for the treatment of the two most
 common diseases of the prostate, prostate cancer and benign prostate
 hyperplasia.  The company is also developing cryosurgical technologies for
 treating tumors in other organs, including the kidney, breast and liver.
 
     This release contains forward-looking statements.  These statements are
 subject to risk and uncertainties including, but not limited to, those
 discussed in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly
 Report on Form 10-Q and other filings with the Securities and Exchange
 Commission.  Such risk factors include, but are not limited to, limited
 operating history of the Company with a history of losses; fluctuations in the
 Company's order levels; uncertainty regarding market acceptance of the
 Company's new products; uncertainty of product development and the associated
 risks related to clinical trials; the rapid pace of technological change in
 the Company's industry; the Company's limited sales, marketing and
 manufacturing experience; the ability to secure and protect intellectual
 property rights relating to the Company's technology and the ability to
 convince health care professionals and third party payers of the medical and
 economic benefits of the Company's products.  The actual results that the
 Company achieves may differ materially from any forward-looking statements due
 to such risks and uncertainties.  We undertake no obligation to revise or
 update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason.
 
     For further information please contact: Investors, Matt Clawson,
 matt@allencaron.com, or Media, Len Hall, Len@allencaron.com, both of Allen &
 Caron, Inc., 949-474-4300, www.allencaron.com, for Endocare, Inc.; or Paul
 Mikus, President and CEO of Endocare, Inc., 949-595-4770, www.endocare.com.
 
 SOURCE  Endocare, Inc.