FARRAGUT, Tenn. (WATE) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared an opioid addiction withdrawal device, making the treatment eligible for insurance coverage as soon as states adopt the technology. The nerve stimulator, known as NSS2 Bridge, takes away the pain of withdrawal. A facility in Farragut called The Goodman Center is the only one in the state to have it.
Lewis Frazer, the CEO of The Goodman Center, said they have offered this device to roughly 20 patients so far. Frazer said none of them take pills or opiates anymore.
“This is a tool that can be used in an overall treatment plan,” he said.Previous story:FDA clears nerve stimulator to aid recovery from opioids
The Bridge is placed behind the ear for at least five days. It emits electrical impulses and takes away the pain of withdrawal. Then the patients move to the Vivitrol program, a monthly injection to stay off the drugs.
“They get medication assisted treatment along with counseling to deal with the issues then have a great chance for success,” Frazer said.
The device is costly without FDA approval for opioid withdrawal symptoms. It costs $1,500 without insurance coverage, so that is why this announcement is so significant.
“This device will actually be a prescription for patients and make it more affordable for patients,” said Frazer.
Insurance will not cover it right away. The state must adopt the technology and that could take a few months.Previous story: Farragut wellness center using new device to fight opioid epidemic
“The inquiries from both patients and providers in Tennessee are as high or higher than any state in the country,” said Brian Carrico, the president of Innovative Health Solutions.
Innovative Health Solutions is the medical technology firm that created this device. Carrico said he plans to talk to Medicaid providers in Tennessee this week.
“So they can get back to their families and their kids and their jobs and be paying taxes,” Carrico said.
Frazer said dozens have called The Goodman Center expressing interest in the device but many are waiting for the price to go down.
The Bridge is currently available in more than 30 states. Carrico said five have verbally committed to covering this device starting January 1.