Saturday, January 16, 2010

Can Someone Make Up Their Mind?

Recently, OTW wrote an article about NASS "flexing its muscle" on behalf of NuVasive by notifying the five insurance carriers in question that supposedly have denied reimbursement on the basis that XLIF is investigational and experimental. TSB says "supposedly" since most of us are still confused as to what Alex Lukianov meant in his investors conference call when he said; "this is a local problem, not a national problem." If one has the H1N1 virus in Seattle, but it hasn't spread to Atlanta, is it a problem or not? As some of our colleagues have stated, "where there's smoke, there always is a fire, at least a little one.

But with that said, NuVasive should not have to be defending this procedure as investigational and experimental. A pre-emptive strategy is in place but they still have challenges with the carriers because they now will scrutinize the cost of this procedure. The problem lies in the marketing of this procedural system and there in lies the confusion with the insurance industry. Sometimes too much voodoo marketing comes back to bite you in an area below the equator.

Ironically, NASS has jump into the melee by writing a reasonable letter on behalf of its members and NUVA. So at least the market and the analysts can get back to some semblance of normalcy. Sometimes these people just love to manipulate the market considering that there have been reports of "shorting" NUVA's stock.

As we move into the new year, Lukianov has set the "bar" at a level that may be a bit harder to clear by his sales management team. Ever wonder why this company has such a high attrition rate? With reports coming out of Europe that there is some customer discourse, inventory concerns and the onus of convertible debt, the question remains, can NUVA continue to rely on XLIF and Osteocell (old technology with a new spin) to hit those numbers? TSB wants to know what our readers have heard on the street?


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