April 21, 2008

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Diane Egan
ZOLL Medical Corporation
+1 (978) 421-9637
degan@zoll.com

 

Kim Angelastro  
Publicis Consultants | PR  
+1 (212) 527-8866  
kim.angelastro@publicic-pr.com  

 

Medical Insurance Coverage for LifeVEst Expands with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

April 21, 2008CHELMSFORD, Mass. — ZOLL Medical Corporation (NASDAQ GS: ZOLL), a manufacturer of resuscitation devices and related software solutions, announced that the ZOLL LifeVest® Wearable Defibrillator is now classified as medically necessary under the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts health insurance policy. The new coverage classification streamlines the approval process for prescribing LifeVest.

The LifeVest is typically worn for two to three months by patients at risk for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), either while the decision is made to implant a cardiac defibrillator (ICD) or when an ICD may not be appropriate for the patient. This 1.8 pound device is a vest with electrodes that is connected to a “walkman-sized” defibrillator worn on a belt. It provides constant monitoring of the patient’s heart, immediate protection, and peace of mind, as it records data to help diagnose and treat life-threatening arrhythmias. If a patient is unconscious, the device gives alarms and audible warnings to bystanders that a treatment shock is about to be delivered. The entire event, from arrhythmia detection to the automatic delivery of the shock treatment, takes less than one minute. To date, LifeVest has treated patients in SCA, more than 150 times without requiring bystander intervention, with a 99 % first shock success rate.

Richard A. Packer, President and Chief Executive Officer of ZOLL commented “Having the LifeVest now approved by the largest health plan in Massachusetts is another important step in bringing this technology to more patients. As with many other potential life-saving treatments, it takes insurance coverage to make them accessible to more people who could benefit from them.”

The LifeVest is specifically approved by Medicare and other insurers for those at high risk of cardiac arrest who can’t have immediate implant surgery for an ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator), including those recovering from infections. It may also be prescribed following a heart attack, before or after bypass surgery or stent placement, as well as for those with cardiomyopathy or congestive heart failure. The amount of coverage for each indication is determined by the approving insurance company’s policy.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts now joins Blue Cross Blue Shield organizations in almost every state that also cover the LifeVest. A year ago in February 2007, the parent federation, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), changed its policy on LifeVest from “investigational” to “medically necessary”. Since BCBSA plans insure one of out every three people in the U.S., this marked a significant step in the LifeVest’s acceptance by health plans. LifeVest is also covered by Medicare, numerous state Medicaid plans, and most other managed care health plans in the U.S.

LifeVest has been prescribed for nearly 9,000 patients to date.

About ZOLL Medical Corporation

ZOLL Medical Corporation is committed to developing technologies that help advance the practice of resuscitation. With products for pacing, defibrillation, circulation, ventilation, and fluid resuscitation, ZOLL provides a comprehensive set of technologies, including Real CPR Help® and See Thru CPR™, that help clinicians, EMS professionals, and lay rescuers resuscitate sudden cardiac arrest or trauma victims. ZOLL also designs and markets software that automates the documentation and management of both clinical and non-clinical information.

ZOLL markets and sells its products in more than 140 countries. The Company has direct operations, distributor networks, and business partners throughout the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia, and Australia. 2008 marks the 25th anniversary of ZOLL’s resuscitation product development. For more information, visit www.zoll.com.

Certain statements contained in this press release, including statements regarding the future business of the Company, and other statements contained herein regarding matters that are not historical facts, are “forward-looking” statements (as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995). Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those factors discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in the Company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on February 5, 2008. You should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements in this press release, and the Company disavows any obligation to update or supplement those statements in the event of any changes in the facts, circumstances, or expectations that underlie those statements.

Copyright © 2008 ZOLL Medical Corporation. ZOLL and LifeVest are registered trademarks of ZOLL Medical Corporation. All product names are the property of their respective owners.