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New report from Vizient assesses the challenges for hospitals in evaluating and adopting innovative medical devices

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style
IRVING, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Over the last six years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a number of highly innovative medical devices that have revolutionized cardiovascular care. These novel devices have provided advanced treatment options, improved quality of life and extended longevity for patients. Unfortunately, reimbursement has often failed to keep up with many of increasingly expensive treatment options. In the report, “The cost of medical device innovation: can we keep pace?” released today, Vizient looks at how hospitals must develop a systematic process that enables the evaluation and adoption of emerging technology in a way that benefits patients and providers in a financially sustainable way.

“A critical question facing providers is when they should implement an innovative technology. Physicians often want to be early adopters and have access to the latest technology because their goal is to always provide the best care for patients. But many potentially innovative technologies are never widely adopted for various reasons,” said Joe Cummings, technology program director for Vizient and a contributor to the white paper. “To use a value-based evaluation paradigm, the hospital’s technology adoption committee must engage in a systematic review of the clinical literature to determine pertinent clinical outcomes and also conduct financial analyses to estimate the total cost of care.”

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Key findings from the report include:

An average 273.3 percent increase in price over the predicate medical device was found in a review of Vizient data for several recent innovative cardiovascular medical device introductions.
A review of select cardiovascular medical devices revealed considerable variability in the ratio of device cost to reimbursement. In fact, for some of the recent innovations, the device cost alone consumed a very high proportion of the overall reimbursement for the procedure, leaving minimal coverage for other expenses such as supplies, room costs and other miscellaneous resources required for the procedure.
Hospitals, working collaboratively through multidisciplinary committees, must use a systematic, open and objective process focused on innovation assessments to determine which technologies provide better (optimal) patient care with improved value.
Suppliers initially, then technology advocates, must provide better clinical data during the launch and early-adopter phases of a medical device introduction. The data must clearly demonstrate better outcomes to support informed decision-making by physicians and hospitals.
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