Over 50% of Hospital CFOs Plan to Adopt New Technology in Response to Medicare Cuts for Cardiac Device Infections

-- National Survey Shows that Cardiac Device Infections Will Have a Significant Financial Impact Now That Medicare Will No Longer Reimburse --

Over 50% of Hospital CFOs Plan to Adopt New Technology in Response to Medicare Cuts for Cardiac Device Infections

Medicare’s decision to stop reimbursing hospitals for the treatment of potentially avoidable surgical site infections following cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) procedures, including pacemaker and defibrillator implants, will significantly impact hospital practices according to a new national survey of hospital chief financial officers (CFOs).

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released its Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) Final Rule for Fiscal Year 2013 which adds Surgical Site Infection following CIED implantation as a condition subject to the Hospital Acquired Condition (HAC) payment provision. CMS considers these infections to be reasonably preventable and has classified them as complicating conditions that would otherwise result in higher payment to the hospital. Under the new policy, CMS will pay for the original implantation surgery, but will not reimburse hospitals at a higher rate for treating the infection.

The survey polled 50 hospital CFOs at academic health centers and community hospitals across the United States to determine how hospital practices are likely to change as the result of the new CMS rule. Findings included:

Patients with surgical site infections following CIED procedures spend an average of two extra weeks in the hospital, undergo repeat surgical procedures to treat the infection, and cost the facility an average of $72,485. Additionally, such patients experience significant increases in morbidity and mortality, with 1-year mortality rates of 26.5 – 35.1%, depending on device type.

“Surgical site infections are expensive to treat and have a significant financial impact on hospitals as well as on patients’ health and wellbeing,” stated Robert White, Chief Executive Officer of TYRX, Inc., the leader in the commercialization of implantable medical devices intended to help reduce surgical site infections (SSIs). “New technologies, such as the AIGISRx Antibacterial Envelope, can play an important role in reducing the incidence of such infections and thus lowering hospital costs.”

The survey, conducted by Epocrates, was sponsored by TYRX, Inc.

TYRX, Inc., headquartered in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, is a pioneer in the development, manufacture, and distribution of innovative, implantable combination drug-device products including the AIGISRx Antibacterial Envelope. The AIGISRx Envelope is specifically designed to aid in the stabilization of CIED placement as well as to help reduce surgical-site infections associated with Cardiac Implantable Electronic Devices (CIEDs). AIGISRx products contain the antimicrobial agents rifampin and minocycline, which have been shown to reduce infection by organisms representing the majority of the infections reported in CIED-related endocarditis, including “superbugs” or MRSA.*

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Data on file at TYRX and published in .2009;32(7):898-907.