German Social and Youth Agency Reimburses ReWalk Robotics Exoskeleton for the First Time
Agency Approved Reimbursement for ReWalk on Appeal, Reversing Initial Denial
YOKNEAM ILIT, Israel, BERLIN, Germany and MARLBOROUGH, MA – ReWalk Robotics Ltd. (Nasdaq: RWLK) and ReWalk Robotics d.b.a. Argo Medical Technologies GmbH (“ReWalk” or “Company”), the leading global exoskeleton developer and manufacturer, announced today that for the first time, a German Social and Youth Agency based in Karlsruhe has reimbursed the ReWalk Personal exoskeleton system for a qualifying user. This approval, which was rendered on appeal, continues the trend of a growing number of health plans and health systems worldwide recognizing the benefits of exoskeletons and providing reimbursement of systems to beneficiaries.
“The reimbursement of the ReWalk system by the Social and Youth Agency of the city of Karlsruhe is another significant milestone for persons with spinal cord injury in Germany,” said Larry Jasinski, ReWalk CEO. “This decision finds ReWalk’s exoskeleton technology to be a medical aid that enables eligible users to participate in daily life through ambulation. It is also, importantly, another critical decision by German agencies and insurers to reimburse powered exoskeleton systems.”
The beneficiary, David Hartmann, suffered a spinal cord injury in 2009 and is a T9 paraplegic. Mr. Hartmann has been relegated to the use of a wheelchair for the seven years following his accident. He was introduced to the ReWalk technology at a trade show in April 2015, and first used the system in June of that year.
Mr. Hartmann originally applied for the costs to be reimbursed by his medical insurance provider, the employer-based health insurance fund MH Plus. MH Plus referred the claim to the Social and Youth Agency of the city of Karlsruhe, which initially rejected the claim, citing alternative methods of mobility such as wheelchairs and public transportation.
In response to an appeal filed on September 1, 2015, the Social and Youth Agency on October 26, 2015 approved reimbursement of the costs for the provision of the ReWalk Personal exoskeleton system, and will reclaim these costs from MH Plus pursuant to § 14 paragraph 4 of the German Social Security Code IX.
ReWalk has consistently demonstrated its commitment to facilitating increased patient access to its device and in this case, worked closely with the beneficiary throughout the reimbursement and appeals process.
“There are no words to describe what it means to me to have my own ReWalk system that is personalized to my own body,” says David Hartmann. “For many years, I thought my diagnosis of paraplegia meant that I would never walk again. Thanks to ReWalk, I am now able to walk independently and to interact with others at eye level.”
In December 2015, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) issued a national policy for the evaluation, training and procurement of ReWalk Personal exoskeleton systems for all qualifying veterans across the United States. In early 2016, a commercial health plan in the Northwest region of the United States approved coverage and reimbursement for a ReWalk Personal exoskeleton system, following the ruling of an external independent review organization that overturned the health plan’s initial denial of coverage.
“Following the acceptance of the costs by health insurers and professional associations, we are pleased that the Social and Youth Agency has now responded positively to the eligibility for reimbursement of the ReWalk system. We cordially invite all interested Social and Youth Agencies to contact our staff if they have any questions regarding the ReWalk system and its eligibility for reimbursement,” Jasinski said.
About ReWalk Personal 6.0
ReWalk Personal 6.0 is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with spinal cord injury to stand upright and walk. The system provides user-initiated mobility through the integration of a wearable brace support, a computer-based control system and motion sensors. The system allows independent, controlled walking while mimicking the natural gait patterns of the legs. The ReWalk device is the most studied exoskeleton in the industry. Studies have identified a number of health benefits including: improved bladder and bowel function, improved mental health, improved sleep, reduced fatigue, decreased body fat, decreased pain and improved posture and balance.
About ReWalk Robotics Ltd.
ReWalk Robotics Ltd. develops, manufactures and markets wearable robotic exoskeletons for individuals with spinal cord injury. Our mission is to fundamentally change the quality of life for individuals with lower limb disability through the creation and development of market leading robotic technologies. Founded in 2001, ReWalk has headquarters in the US, Israel and Germany. For more information on the ReWalk systems, please visit www.rewalk.com.
ReWalk® is a registered trademark of ReWalk Robotics Ltd. in Israel.
Forward Looking Statements
In addition to historical information, this press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements may include projections regarding ReWalk’s future performance and, in some cases, may be identified by words like “anticipate,” “assume,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “future,” “will,” “seek” and similar terms or phrases. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on management’s current expectations, which are subject to uncertainty, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict and many of which are outside of ReWalk’s control. Important factors that could cause ReWalk’s actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements include, among others: ReWalk’s expectations regarding future growth, including its ability to increase sales in its existing geographic markets and to expand to new markets; ReWalk’s ability to maintain and grow its reputation and the market acceptance of our products; ReWalk’s ability to achieve reimbursement from third-party payors for our products; ReWalk’s expectations as to its clinical research program and clinical results; ReWalk’s ability to improve its products and develop new products; ReWalk’s ability to maintain adequate protection of its intellectual property and to avoid violation of the intellectual property rights of others; ReWalk’s ability to gain and maintain regulatory approvals; ReWalk’s ability to maintain relationships with existing customers and develop relationships with new customers; and other factors discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in ReWalk’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2014 filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on February 27, 2015 and other documents subsequently filed with or furnished to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statement made in this press release speaks only as of the date hereof. Factors or events that could cause ReWalk’s actual results to differ from the statements contained herein may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for ReWalk to predict all of them. Except as required by law, ReWalk undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.
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