New Asthma Treatment Successful but Costly (ABC News)

September 05, 2012
For hundreds of severe asthmatics who have undergone bronchial thermoplasty – the first nondrug treatment for asthma approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2010 – the results have been life-changing. However, the dramatic improvement comes with a hefty price tag. Dr. Michael Simoff, director of bronchoscopy and interventional pulmonology at Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan, has had 30 to 40 patients referred to him over the past six months for the procedure. He's had to turn many patients away because insurance will not pay for the treatment and the patients can't afford it. "It puts us in a difficult situation," said Simoff. "My hands are tied, because we see people, we evaluate them and see that they're good candidates, but they don't fill the criteria to be in a study." Full Story