Tag Archives: cost saving

Tales From the Road – European Society of Cardiology (ESC) in Barcelona

The last three and a half days exhibiting and demonstrating our EECP® Therapy and Biox products at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) in Barcelona were extremely busy, slightly challenging at times, and very, very rewarding. Attendee traffic at our booth was very good due to a number of factors but especially the pre-show preparation which included setting up key meeting with prospective customers and mailing invitations to distributors, physicians, hospital and government personnel to visit our booth. Visitors enjoyed the opportunity to learn about our company, our products and how we can help them meet the challenges of providing more cost-effective healthcare to a rapidly growing and aging patient population in their respective countries.

Bolstered by the inclusion, for the first time, of EECP® Therapy in the ESC guidelines on the management of stable coronary artery disease with a IIa class recommendation, we received a significant amount of new and renewed interest in EECP® Therapy. In the addenda to the writing committees, after they had reviewed the large volume of clinical literature regarding EECP® Therapy, stated, “The results of these studies proving the concept and clinical effects of EECP treatment lead to the recommendation that EECP Therapy should be considered for symptomatic treatment in patients with invalidating refractory angina.”

In addition, a poster, entitled the “Long-term clinical outcomes in patients with coronary artery disease and moderate angina pectoris treated with enhanced external counterpulsation” by Dr. Ozlem Soran, et al, from the University of Pittsburgh Medical, Pittsburg, PA, was presented in this year’s ESC annual meeting. In the abstract, the authors summarized the clinical benefits by stating that “Patients presenting for EECP treatment with class II angina had different baseline profiles compared with Class III and IV angina. However, both cohorts achieved substantial reduction in angina with high event free survival rates at 2 years.”

There was considerable interest shown by both cardiologists as well as the administrators of hospitals, clinics and private physician practices in the company’s latest offering, the MobiCare™ wireless vital signs patient monitor. The comprehensive monitoring features and the unique communications capabilities of MobiCare™ provide clinician with accurate patient information and optimal flexibility to view the patient’s vital signs remotely on a tablet or smart phone.

Supported by our colleagues from Biox as well as personnel from our European and Korean distributors, the exhibition booth, though very busy at times, was well covered and it soon became customary to hear at least three or four foreign languages spoken in the booth simultaneously.

During the exhibition we closed multiple sales deals, including the sale of the Lumenair™ EECP® Therapy system used for live demonstrations in the show right out of the booth.

Tales from the Road: Thoughts After a Successful Show at the 2014 Arab Health Exhibition & Congress

We consider our exhibition at Arab Health last week to be one of our most successful tradeshows to date. This was largely accredited to our new Vasomedical exhibition booth and our strategic location at the show. The live demonstrations of EECP® Therapy generated large audiences and the booth’s visibility and new look were better at displaying our EECP Therapy and Biox patient monitoring products.

Attendees going to and from different exhibition halls, meetings and presentations stopped in our booth as they walked through the main concourse.  They wanted to know more about EECP® Therapy, the Biox ECG Holter and ambulatory blood pressure monitors, and our new wireless MobiCare® patient monitors. From the moment the exhibition halls opened to after the exhibit halls closed, our booth continued to stay busy.

At the show we spoke with an extensive number of physicians, distributors, hospital, and health ministry personnel from all of the countries in the Middle East and many different countries in Africa, as well as representatives from India during the four days of the exhibition.

Arab Health was a very successful meeting where we generated many leads, captivated lots of interest, and educated global medical industry leaders unfamiliar with EECP Therapy.  All the people we met in Dubai were warm and friendly and one gets the sense of being in a melting pot that is open to innovative medical technologies like EECP Therapy.

We look forward to working with many of the people we met at the show to bring our products to more patients in the Middle East region, Africa and Southeast Asia.

Tales from the Road: Medica, Dusseldorf

After years of being told by the organizers of Medica Dusseldorf that there was no new booth space available for Vasomedical, last week we were finally able to participate as exhibitors in the largest medical industry fair in the world: Medica.

At the conference in Dusseldorf, Germany, we exhibited our EECP Therapy and Biox ECG Holter and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring products. In addition, this has been an excellent platform for the introduction of MobiCare™, our new innovative wireless patient monitors. We exhibited along with more than 4,500 medical industry companies, and showcased our products to more than100,000 visitors. Judging by the busy traffic in our booth, I am sure this year’s show broke all attendance records.

The response from attendees at Medica to our current products was excellent. We received visits from customers who use our products and distributors who sell our products. We’ve also received visits from customers and distributors who are currently, or have previously, used our competitor’s products – they heard about our products and wanted to see them first hand. Amongst all the visitors to our booth we saw both higher name recognition for Vasomedical EECP and Biox products, as well as an increased number of visitors who have put Vasomedical EECP and Biox products on their schedules for visits to our booth.

 

Many Hospitals Not Taking Steps to Reduce Readmissions

Under the provisions of the current Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), hospitals are being incentivized to reduce 30-day readmission rates. If a hospital is found by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to fall into the lowest quartile for high 30-day readmission rates for acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), congestive heart failure (CHF) or pneumonia, it will be penalized up to one percent of its Medicare payments.

However, in an article by Kim Carollo on the Cardiovascular Business web site, Ms. Corollo cites a research letter published online on Oct 21, 2013 in JAMA Internal Medicine stating that many hospitals have not taken the recommended steps to reduce their readmission rates.

To compound the matter, the PPACA program includes provisions to increase penalties to 2 percent in 2014 and to raise them to 3 percent in 2015. It is also likely that this PPACA program may be expanded in 2015 to include penalties for excessive coronary bypass surgery, percutaneous coronary interventions and vascular procedures which could put these hospitals in greater jeopardy of even more penalties.

Based upon scientific evidence published in peer reviewed clinical journals  Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP®) Therapy has demonstrated to significantly reduce re-hospitalizations and emergency room visits in Congestive Heart Failure patients. One can only hope that hospitals with EECP Therapy promote their programs and those that have not yet added the Therapy to the services they offer should seriously consider how much this treatment can do for them, their staff and most importantly, their patients.

Medicare to Punish Hospitals for Excess Readmissions

Medicare, under the new healthcare legislation,is taking steps to crack down on excessive readmissions with the goals of increasing quality of care, reducing costs and minimizing the number of trips back to the hospital patients will have to make.

According to an article by Jordan Rau in Kaiser Health News, Medicare has identified 2,225 hospitals that will have their Medicare payments reduced by up to 1 percent as a result of the fines imposed under the penalty provisions of the current Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) this year. Eighteen hospitals will lose 2 percent, the maximum penalty allowed under the new legislation for one year starting on October 1, 2013. The penalty program, which began one year ago, is designed to pay hospitals for the quality of their performance, not simply the number of patients they treat.

The program this year started by punishing hospitals for unplanned patient readmissions within 30 days after initial treatment for those treated and released for heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia.

Based upon the first year’s results some large hospitals may lose more than $1 million in penalties. Also, hospitals that avoided the penalties may have even lost more in revenue due to their reduced admissions. Obviously, the hospitals are not too happy about this plan, especially those hospitals that treat large numbers of lower income patients. Low-income patients have a harder time following their post discharge instructions due to the cost of buying expensive medications, not fully understanding discharge instructions, or having the means to support a particular diet to avoid congestive heart failure.

Hospitals have taken additional steps, such as hiring more staff to follow up with patients outside the hospital to avoid these readmissions or giving them free medication upon discharge, as Medicare does not pay for these services. When one looks at this picture it just begs the question: why wouldn’t hospitals be more receptive to adding alternative therapies – such as EECP® Therapy – to their services so that they could also realize the same significant reduction in hospital readmissions that have been demonstrated in clinical studies, such as one authored by  Dr. Ozlem Soran at the University of Pittsburgh?

EECP Therapy is a proven treatment that will reduce hospital re-admissions. Now we need to persuade hospitals to jump on the EECP Therapy bandwagon by adding EECP Therapy services in their clinical departments or hospital owned physician practices.

Tales from the Road: The American Diabetes Association

We have just wrapped up our first exhibition at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) meeting in Chicago – which was a great experience and showed us that there is more opportunity to expand the reach of EECP® Therapy than ever before!

The show lasted from June 21st through 25th and was well attended with approximately 14,000 attendees from across the United States and around the world. The Vasomedical booth had a steady flow of interested attendees, and we spent a great deal of time educating attendees about EECP Therapy and the benefits it can have for patients.

The people we spoke with were fascinated to learn that EECP Therapy can provide relief to patients with angina symptoms such as chest or atypical pain, shortness of breath and fatigue, among others. This event was so relevant to our business because many patients with diabetes also have ischemic heart disease and can experience angina symptoms despite being on maximal medication. To our delight, numerous attendees commented that when they return home they are planning to speak to their cardiologists and hospitals about the positive effects EECP Therapy can have on their patients.

The attendees were interested to learn more about the clinical evidence recently published by the researchers at the University of Florida in Gainesville demonstrating the positive effects of EECP Therapy on glucose tolerance and insulin resistance.

At the exhibition, we also saw a great deal of interest in our BIOX ECG Holters and ambulatory blood pressure monitors as well as our EZ® pulse oximeters.

We thought the ADA was a successful conference, as we were able to raise awareness for EECP Therapy in this new patient population. We are continuing to learn more about diabetic patients and the potential impact EECP Therapy can have on this patient group’s quality of life.  We hope by next year’s ADA we have even more insight to share!

Next stop: Amsterdam, Netherlands!