VERSAILLES - A Versailles-based company that has developed what it says is the first medical device to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms is "very close" to receiving insurance approval for use in multiple states. Innovative Health Solutions Inc. President Brian Carrico says crossing the hurdles at the state level with the NSS-2 BRIDGE will help offset costs for the technology and procedure that could cost up to $1,500. During an interview in the Business of Health, Carrico said the device serves patients at the most challenging part of their addiction: the withdrawal stages.

He says it is an especially important tool for addicts in rural areas where the problem is most profound and health care options may not always be easy to access. "The most important thing about this device is that it's an outpatient procedure, so that patients in rural communities can actually get this," Carrico told Reporter Kylie Veleta. "This allows people in the rural communities to get back to work. It allows people in the justice system -- instead of going to jail, they can now get the BRIDGE and treatment and recovery."

The device, which recently received U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance, is roughly the size of a USB thumb drive and is placed behind the ear. Carrico explains that three small electrodes are inserted under the skin and "block" the part of the brain that drives negative symptoms. He says it works for five days, which covers the typical time the opioids are in a user's system. The company's research shows a nearly 85 percent reduction in withdrawal symptoms. Relief, IHS says, takes hold in about an hour.

Jeffersonville-based Key Electronics Inc. manufactures the NSS-2 BRIDGE and IHS recently launched a Carmel office. The company plans to add 30 jobs in Hamilton County and remain headquartered in Ripley County.

Carrico says when it comes to approval in Indiana, "we're in-process." He says the steps typically take four-to-six weeks and the company began its filings in the state in December, "so I'm expecting in the next week or two to have a meeting with Indiana to find out if coverage has been accepted or if we have some other things to do with the state."

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