By Laura Serrano / January 5, 2022
To kick off the year, on January 19, we announced the appointment of Nestor Jaramillo, Jr. as President and Chief Executive Officer. Throughout the year, we continued to grow and expand our leadership team. George Montague was named our Chief Financial Officer; Al Saalabi was appointed Vice President of Quality and Regulatory; Neil P. Ayotte became our Senior Vice President General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer; and Megan Cease as the Director of Clinical Research and Reimbursement. We are grateful for their leadership and look forward to growing further under their leadership in 2022.
In an effort to increase the availability of life-saving ultrafiltration therapy to people experiencing fluid overload, the American Medical Association issued a new Category III Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) for Therapeutic Ultrafiltration. The new CPT code was announced in July 2021 and came into effect on January 1, 2022. Providers can utilize the code when using Aquadex® to deliver ultrafiltration to adults and children (20 kg or more). Reimbursement is an integral aspect of hospital administration decision-making and can play a huge role in whether patients will have access to life-saving technologies. We are confident the code will enable patient access through adoption by providers who prescribe ultrafiltration for their fluid-overloaded patients.
In August, the National Institutes of Health awarded a $1.7 million grant to develop a fully integrated pediatric CRRT. We partnered with Minneapolis-based research and development firm Koronis Biomedical Technologies, the grant recipient, to begin designing and developing a custom pediatric product that will enable clinicians to better care for babies with limited kidney function.
Our efforts from the year were later recognized as we were honored in awards ceremonies in the fall. In October, Nuwellis was selected as a recipient of the Governor’s International Trade Award. This award honors Minnesota companies that are developing and continuing to grow a significant part of their business in foreign markets, increasing or maintaining jobs in Minnesota, and developing novel approaches for competing globally. In addition, the Aquadex SmartFlow system was a winner in the Analytical/Test category of the 2021 R&D 100 Awards, which recognize commercial products, technologies and materials for their technological significance that are available for sale or license.
There’s no question that 2021 was a year of accomplishments, challenges, and growth for all at Nuwellis. We are looking forward to building upon the progress from the last year as we begin 2022.