The initial step in establishing a physician reimbursement rate for the measurement of exhaled nitric oxide will go into effect in January 2007 with the awarding of a new Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Category One code, CPT 95012, by the American Medical Association.

NIOX manufactured by Aerocrine Inc, New York, measures airway inflammation in an easy non-invasive way with the results immediately available. Physicians can use the device in their office to evaluate their patient’s response to anti-inflammatory treatment. A decrease in exhaled nitric oxide concentration suggests that the anti-inflammatory treatment may be decreasing the lung inflammation associated with asthma. The test system should make it easier for doctors to monitor a patient’s asthma.

“CPT 95012 helps clear the way for physicians using the NIOX systems to receive reimbursement from payors,” said Trevor T. Bourke, president of Aerocrine. “We anticipate that this approval will accelerate acceptance of the critical role NIOX will play in the future of asthma management.”

The CPT code follows the 2003 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for clinical use and the 1999 ratification of the American Thoracic Society.

“Until now, generally accepted guidelines for asthma diagnosis and management were limited to symptom control and flow rates as measured by pulmonary function,” said Myron Zitt, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine, State University of New York, Stony Brook, and former president of the College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology. “The NIOX system provides physicians a simple method to test inflammation,” Zitt said. “I anticipate that this tool will improve our ability to better manage asthma patients and lead to improved outcomes.”