The CardioMEMS implantable heart failure monitor acquired earlier this year by St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) significantly reduced 30-day hospital readmissions in Medicare-eligible patients – a key driver of the $227 million paid in readmission penalties by hospitals last year – according to a retrospective analysis of St. Jude’s Champion trial.
The study showed a 58% reduction in all-cause readmissions and a 78% reduction in heart failure readmissions in patients with Class III heart failure age 65 and older who’d been hospitalized within the prior year, St. Jude said. The research was presented this week during the American Heart Assn.’s annual meeting in Chicago, according to a press release.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services levied the $227 million in penalties last year as part of its Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program. The program covers 30-day readmissions for heart failure, heart attack and pneumonia discharges, St. Jude said, and is expected to generate another $428 million in penalties next year. The program is expanding in 2015 to cover chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and total hip and knee replacements.
St. Jude is betting big on CardioMEMS, which it acquired for $435 million last June after CardioMEMS’ FDA pre-market approval win triggered a buyout. St. Jude owned a 19% stake in CardioMEMS when the FDA nod came down last May.
The CardioMEMS device uses a wireless sensor implanted in the pulmonary artery via catheter to directly measure pressure in the vessel. It’s designed to help physicians manage patients’ medication to control their heart failure before visible changes to weight or blood pressure occur, according to the release.
"These data are recognition of the importance the CardioMEMS HF system brings to heart failure patients burdened with multiple hospital admissions each year and the cost savings it brings to the healthcare system," chief medical officer Dr. Mark Carlson said in prepared remarks. "We continue our commitment of investing in meaningful clinical research with this new data analysis from the Champion trial that is helping shape the way physicians are caring for their patients."