MedSolutions launches programme to reduce unnecessary ICD surgeries

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MedSolutions, a leading provider of quality-driven medical cost management services, announced the launch of its Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) Surgery Management Program, which uses evidence-based guidelines to ensure the clinical appropriateness of ICD and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D) implantation.

With the cost of each ICD/CRT-D procedure averaging $34,000* and 157,082 procedures being performed annually in the US each year, the ICD/CRT-D market represents approximately $5.3 billion in cost per year in the US. In addition, the estimated annual growth rate of ICD/CRT-D procedures is 11% to 14% respectively.

While clinical guidelines dictate waiting three months after diagnosis of heart failure and at least 40 days after a heart attack before ICD/CRT-D implantation, many physicians take a more aggressive approach to surgery. Earlier implantation has not been shown to benefit patients and, in some cases, the physicians or facilities providing the surgery may lack knowledge of evidence-based guidelines for ICD implants.

Studies have shown that as many as 22.5% of ICD/CRT-D surgeries fail to meet established clinical guidelines, putting patients at greater risk for serious complications, including cardiac perforation, infection, and even death. According to one recent study, patients who received an ICD despite failing to meet evidence-based guidelines had significantly higher risks of post-procedure complications and in-hospital death, as well as longer hospital stays, than individuals who met evidence-based criteria.

MedSolutions’ Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Surgery Management program uses evidence-based clinical guidelines built upon the latest guidelines from the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, and Heart Rhythm Society and provides a dedicated cardiac queue, including cardiologists and nurses experienced with the complexities of cardiac care, to determine whether ICD implantations are clinically appropriate.

Gregg Allen, chief medical officer at MedSolutions, said: “By reducing unnecessary and inappropriate ICD/CRT-D surgeries, our program helps improve health outcomes while limiting unnecessary costs associated with the procedure. As a result, members experience improved outcomes and payors can reduce total claims costs related to cardiac implantables by 10% to 15%.”

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