Kansas City joins Hawaii Medical Services Association, BCBS South Carolina, and Avalon in considering WATS3D a covered benefit
SUFFERN, NY (March 9, 2021) – WATS3D, a diagnostic platform used by physicians to detect Barrett’s esophagus (BE), pre-cancer and cancerous cells in the esophagus, has received a positive medically necessary designation from Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Kansas City. The technology, developed by CDx Diagnostics and clinically proven to significantly increase the detection rate of both BE and esophageal dysplasia compared to traditional screening methods, is now a covered benefit for BCBS Kansas City’s 611,000 members across Kansas and Missouri.
This marks the fifth organization to add WATS3D to its benefits in the last quarter. Members of BCBS Kansas City, Hawaii Medical Services Association (HMSA), BCBS South Carolina, and Avalon, now have access to the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) Guideline approved technology. “We’re excited to strengthen our medical policy status within the Blue Cross Blue Shield network with the addition of Kansas City,” said CDx Diagnostics CEO Bill Huffnagle. “The advocacy from referring physicians and endorsements from foremost medical societies has been instrumental in building awareness within the payer community. Most importantly, more than 600,000 individuals in the Kansas City market now have access to this potentially life-saving technology.
WATS3D overcomes the limitations associated with traditional upper endoscopy screening and surveillance methods through the use of a unique combination of superior sampling, advanced 3D imaging, and artificial intelligence analysis to reliably detect Barrett’s esophagus (BE) and esophageal dysplasia. The technology has received recognition for completing the five major pillars of evidence-based medicine, including Analytic Validity, Clinical Validity, Clinical Utility, Cost Effectiveness and Recommendations by Major Medical Societies, including the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) and the American Foregut Society (AFS).
In 2019, the ASGE included WATS3D in its Standards of Practice Committee’s guideline for the screening and surveillance of BE. In 2020, the technology was deemed a safe and effective adjunct to forceps biopsies in the evaluation of BE, low-grade dysplasia, and high-grade dysplasia by SAGES and its Technology and Value Assessment Committee (TAVAC).