MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Physicians may be relying too heavily on drug-eluting stents for patients who aren’t at significant risk of restenosis, a preference that could represent an unnecessary financial burden on the healthcare system, a new study suggests.
Opting for less expensive bare-metal stents for patients whose blood vessels aren’t at high risk of re-narrowing could save hundreds of millions of dollars per year without significantly increasing patients’ risk of requiring a repeat procedure, according to a retrospective study of the National Cardiovascular Data Registry CathPCI .
If just half of the low-risk patients currently receiving DES got bare-metal stents instead it would mean more than $200 million saved and only about a 0.5% increase in target lesion revascularization procedures, TheHeart.org reported.
"Our intention was not to advocate a sweeping policy change that would limit physician and patient autonomy but rather to illustrate the potential for cost savings, without a significant increase in patient morbidity, that could be achieved with an evidence-based approach to stent selection, and to encourage shared decision making with patients," researchers wrote.
Practice Fusion launches health info tech incubator
Free electronic medical record service provider Practice Fusion launched a health technology incubator to give back to the start-up environment it grew from.
Special ultrasounds to detect cancer
University of North Carolina researchers developed an ultrasound imaging technique identify a type of "bendiness" of blood vessels that may be a sign of cancer.
Crowd-sourced med-tech funding from Medstartr
A new crowd-sourced funding project called Medstartr is set to launch today, following in the footsteps of sites like Kickstarter, which allows entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas online and solicit funding.
Massachusetts eases restrictions on gift bans
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed into law a measure that eases some of the strict rules governing gifts that device and drug makers offer healthcare professionals, allowing med-tech companies to pay for "reasonable expenses" associated with training programs.
On June 4-5, DeviceTalks Minnesota is taking over the Twin Cities medtech industry with one of the most anticipated conferences of the spring.
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