A groundbreaking technology developed by Novita Healthcare (ASX: NHL) to digitally detect attention deficits in young children has qualified for delivery via the US reimbursement Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) system.
Families of child patients who use the TALi Detect digital game-based screening tool will be entitled to a reimbursement under CPT code 96146 which applies to psychological and neuropsychological testing methods with automated administration and scoring.
Novita estimates each child patient will require up to three screenings as part of the recommended TALi technology delivery regime.
Managing director Glenn Smith said the CPT code will assist Novita in securing relevant channel partners and customers to effectively tap into the US clinical market.
“Approximately 6.1 million children across the US are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and, on average, every US classroom of 30 students will have up to three children with ADHD,” he added.
“We are committed to ensuring the families of these children have access to the TALi platform as we believe the technology can significantly improve their lives and reduce healthcare expenditure.”
Devised and administered by the American Medical Association, CPT codes offer doctors and healthcare professionals a uniform language for coding medical services and procedures to streamline reporting, and increase accuracy and efficiency.
The codes are also used for administrative management purposes such as claims processing and developing guidelines for medical care review.
CPT terminology is the most widely accepted medical nomenclature used across the US to report surgical and radiological procedures and laboratory, anaesthesiology, genomic sequencing, evaluation and management services under public and private health insurance programs.
The development and management of the CPT code set relies on a rigorous and transparent process led by the CPT editorial panel, which convenes to ensure codes are issued, updated and maintained on a regular basis to reflect current clinical practice and innovation in medicine.
Attention deficit facts
ADHD is believed to be the most commonly reported childhood condition in the US.
Research indicates students with ADHD incur a higher annual cost to the nation’s education system and an average annual incremental cost to society of $5,007, compared to $318 for students without ADHD.
Mr Smith said prevention and intervention strategies delivered via the CPT reimbursement code system are greatly needed to offset the large financial impact of educating ADHD patients.
“Access to reimbursement can be a significant barrier to the adoption of emerging health technologies,” he said.
“Leveraging CPT codes will drive patient use and help us achieve our stated growth and company mission objectives.”
Australian research and testing
The technology which drives the TALi platform was designed in collaboration with experts from Monash University’s cognitive science department and development of the TALi Detect tool has been supported by an Australian Government Co-operative Research Centre project grant.
A large-scale Australian clinical trial involving more than 300 neurotypical students aged between three and seven years is using TALi Detect to assess differences in attention skills.
Neuroplasticity – or the pliability of the brain – is believed to be an important measure in children within this age group and any type of intervention at this age could potentially change neural pathways.
Following assessment, the children move onto the TALi Train – an intensive program of 25, 20-minute sessions, which aims to strengthen core skills in the areas of selective, sustained and executive attention.
Based within a mobile app, TALi Train has been marketed as the world’s first software designed to improve attention as a cognitive skill in early childhood.
It has already been validated by randomised controlled clinical trials as an early intervention program to help improve attention in typically-developing children and those with attention disorders.
It has been cleared for use by regulatory authorities including the US Food and Drug Administration and Therapeutic Goods Administration, and has received CE Mark certification allowing it to be sold into Europe.
At midday, shares in Novita were trading 72.73% higher at $0.019.