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Bard's Endocinch™ Device For Chronic Heartburn Receives New Medicare Reimbursement Code

Murray Hill, NJ -- December 10, 2001 -- C. R. Bard, Inc. (NYSE-BCR) today announced its EndoCinch™ device has been assigned a New Technology APC (Ambulatory Payment Classification) code by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), effective January 1, 2002. The new code,
APC 0979, New Technology - Level X, was announced by CMS in the agency's final rule on Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System for calendar year 2002. While payment levels will vary by local wage adjustment indexes, the published national fixed payment rate for APC 0979 is $1,625.00

"We are pleased with CMS' recognition of the EndoCinch™ device as an innovative and cost effective new technology frequently used in the outpatient setting to treat patients suffering with chronic heartburn," said Bard Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, William H. Longfield. "We believe this New Technology APC designation will assist our customers in their billing process through the Medicare program."

The Bard EndoCinch™ Suturing System permits physicians to place sutures inside the GI tract without the need for hospitalization or surgery. During the procedure, sutures are placed at several locations near the "valve" between the stomach and esophagus. These sutures are tied together to tighten the valve and increase its ability to serve as a barrier to reflux. Since its clearance by the FDA in 2000, the EndoCinch™ device has enabled physicians to offer GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) sufferers a non-invasive outpatient alternative to expensive drug therapy and/or invasive surgery. More than 2,700 procedures using the EndoCinch™ device have been performed to date.

The EndoCinch™ device is marketed and distributed by Bard Endoscopic Technologies (BET), a division of C.R.Bard, Inc. located in Billerica, Massachusetts, specializing in the field of gastroenterology. For more than ten years, BET has been developing minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic products used in conjunction with procedures requiring flexible endoscopy. Visit the company's patient-oriented website for more information on this product.

C. R. Bard, Inc., ( headquartered in Murray Hill, New Jersey, is a leading multinational developer, manufacturer and marketer of health care products in the fields of vascular, urology, oncology and surgical specialty products.


Primary Media Relations Contact

Scott Lowry
Vice President and Treasurer
C. R. Bard, Inc.
730 Central Avenue
Murray Hill, NJ 07974

Tel: 908-277-8365