Volcano Urges HHS Secretary to Prioritize Comparative Effectiveness Research

Comparative effectiveness has gotten its share of press since being included in the economic-stimulus bill. I talked about its potential effect on the industry in both my March and April editorials.

May 2, 2009

2 Min Read
Volcano Urges HHS Secretary to Prioritize Comparative Effectiveness Research

One medical device manufacturer has come out in support of comparative effectiveness research and is urging the newly confirmed HHS secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, to put it high on her agenda."As a medical device manufacturer, we support the presidentâEUR(TM)s proposed investment for comparative research to reduce our reliance on procedures that have become standard despite their high cost and lack of efficacy," says California-based Volcano Technologies in a press release. "Most manufacturers in our industry fear that the presidentâEUR(TM)s intentions to fund this research may prove that imaging technologies like MRI and CTA are often overused and fail to provide enough value to justify their cost. With healthcare spending representing an unsustainable 17% of our GDP, the United States needs to focus on treating the right patient at the right time with the right method to lower costs, improve outcomes, and foster research and development."Volcano, which manufactures devices designed to facilitate endovascular procedures, notes that there are significant improvements to be made on common, complex procedures such as bypass surgery. Such procedures are costly, and the recovery is difficult for elderly patients. By continuing to invest in less-invasive catheter-based procedures with precision guidance, physicians may deliver the same if not better results with a $15K stent procedure instead of $47K surgery."We strongly believe that funding comparative effectiveness research will illuminate the positive impact that diagnostic tools such as intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and fractional flow reserve (FFR) are having on patient care and healthcare spending."Volcano, for one, says that it stands ready to develop product that ensure that patients, insurers, and reimbursement administrators can refine our healthcare system to put patient safety first while fostering efficiency and innovation. The company points out that there is no reason that one should be sacrificed for the other.With this in mind, Volcano says it welcomes Secretary Sebelius to HHS and that it looks forward to working with the former Kansas Governor on issues related to healthcare reform. Specifically, the company says it hopes that Secretary Sebelius will move quickly on the presidentâEUR(TM)s budget for comparative effectiveness research and hopes that resource investments will focus on precision diagnostics to improve patient treatment and outcomes and effectively lower healthcare spending."We urge Secretary Sebelius to ensure that new policies created by her department facilitate research and development jobs that can speed our transition to less-costly technologies to provide more-accurate diagnosis and treatment. Increasing reimbursement for these diagnostic tools may seem costly now, but it will save the healthcare system billions down the road.Such a move on the part of a device company will help ensure that the industry is an integral part of ensuring that comparative effectiveness is done right.âEUR"Sherrie Conroy

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