Spark Biomedical, Inc enlists the expertise of former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Eric D. Hargan, to help make novel opioid withdrawal treatment more accessible and affordable for patients

The Hargan Group will provide policy expertise and guidance as Spark Biomedical seeks insurance coding and coverage for transcutaneous auricular neurostimulation (tAN®) therapy

Dallas, TX, Nov. 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Spark Biomedical, Inc, a leader in wearable neurostimulation for opioid withdrawal relief, today announced the Company will join forces with Eric D. Hargan and The Hargan Group to navigate the payment and coverage landscape to garner support for the Sparrow Therapy System. More specifically, Mr. Hargan and his consulting firm will provide policy and strategic support to Spark as it prepares its flagship opioid withdrawal treatment platform for widespread physician and patient adoption. 

In early 2021, Spark Biomedical received FDA clearance and launched its Sparrow Therapy, a wearable neurostimulation system for opioid withdrawal relief. Currently, the therapy is available through select physicians across the U.S.; however, it is not yet covered by most major commercial and public payors. As a result, patients must pay out of pocket for this effective, drug-free, non-invasive withdrawal treatment. For most patients, an out-of-pocket payment often prevents them from seeking treatment and from taking a critical first step toward recovery.

Daniel Powell, Chief Executive Officer of Spark Biomedical, stated, "In a time where opioid overdose deaths are at an all-time high, the Spark team understands the dire patient need and the importance of insurance coverage in the treatment equation. There is no time to waste when hundreds of patients are dying every day. So, we're dedicating more of our efforts and investing additional resources to help expedite our journey to coverage – including the mission-critical partnership with The Hargan Group."

"Our patients can't afford for us to delay or make any avoidable missteps in the process of gaining coverage and coding for treatment," said Chris Hanna, Spark Chief Operating Officer. "With his work on Operation Warp Speed, Eric Hargan and team are uniquely positioned to help Spark more effectively and efficiently navigate the reimbursement landscape. We want physicians and patients to rest assured we've enlisted the best guide we could to get us over the finish line."

Before founding his consulting group, Hargan served as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where he and his team drove the development, revision, and finalization of the Transparency in Coverage Rule and the Consolidated Appropriations Act. He previously served as Acting Secretary of HHS and served at HHS under the George W. Bush administration. In addition to serving on the Board of Operation Warp Speed, Eric oversaw the set-up and launch of the Provider Relief Fund and other parts of the U.S. pandemic response. Since leaving his post at HHS, Eric has joined the Boards of University Hospitals in Cleveland; Alio Medical; SIU Medicine; Tomorrow Health;  HealthTrackRx and is an adjunct professor for health law and regulation at Vanderbilt University.

"It's an honor to work with Spark Biomedical in finding partnerships and opportunities to reach new patients around the country struggling with opioid use disorder, said Eric Hargan. In October of 2017, as HHS Acting Secretary, I made the first determination and announcement that the opioid crisis was a Public Health Emergency (PHE). While we made some great progress during the last few years, COVID-19 has seen overdose deaths reach an all-time high in our country. Growing up in rural Southern Illinois, I saw first-hand the devastation that opioid withdrawals can wreak on individuals, families, and communities. I wish many of my peers would have had access to the incredible technology that Spark has produced. I look forward to working with Daniel Powell, Chris Hanna, and the team at Spark to make sure that as many patients get access to this as possible."


About Spark Biomedical, Inc. 

Spark Biomedical, Inc. is a leading U.S.-based wearable neurostimulation solutions developer devoted to the life-saving work of helping 36.3 million people worldwide overcome withdrawal, heal from addiction, and achieve the better quality of life they deserve. With opioid-related misuse and overdose deaths on the rise, the Company's mission is to eliminate opioid addiction by working to address the full opioid addiction lifecycle, including, Withdrawal Management, Opioid Sparing, Relapse Prevention, and PTSD/Trauma abatement.

Learn more at or on LinkedIn.

About The Hargan Group

The Hargan Group is a healthcare consulting firm focused on helping its clients navigate the challenges of a rapidly changing and complex healthcare landscape. Eric D. Hargan, former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and his colleagues have a deep level of expertise and contacts in the healthcare space. They're excited to apply this knowledge when providing our clients' strategic advice, crafting public policy solutions, and providing unique insight on navigating the healthcare sector. For more information on The Hargan Group, visit You can follow him on Twitter at @EricDHargan. 


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