eNews November 10, 2020

The latest news affecting you and your customers… from the Independent Medical Specialty Dealers Association

How is COVID-19 affecting your business, your people, your customers? IMDA is a membership organization, and in times like these, we can all use some camaraderie. If you have a COVID story to share, advice to offer, or a warning to sound, send it to Mark Thill, IMDA’s communications director, at mdthill1913@gmail.com, with the subject line “IMDA COVID story.” We’ll compile them and send them back out to you.

Health system becomes medical device investor

Tampa General Hospital announced the creation of InnoVentures, a venture capital fund to support early-stage startups and direct investments. TGH InnoVentures will be comprised of three primary vehicles: 1) the TGH Innovation Lab, which will serve as an onsite program to support team members and physicians in improving operational efficiencies and solving problems within the organization, 2) TGH Accelerator, which will invest and nurture early-stage healthcare or health care delivery companies, and 3) TGH InnoVentures, which will directly invest in healthcare and healthcare-related companies. TGH InnoVentures will officially launch in the first quarter of 2021.

Manufacturers’ payments pay off: study

Financial transactions between physicians and medical device manufacturers are common, and new research indicates that physicians are “substantially more likely” to use cardiac devices made by the manufacturer that pays them the most, according to a study published in JAMA, reports Cardiovascular Business. Even so, the rates of in-hospital mortality or complications did not appear to be impacted by the presence of payments.

Lead author Amarnath R. Annapureddy, M.D., of Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut, and colleagues examined data from more than 145,000 patients who received an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) or cardiac resynchronization therapy-defibrillator (CRT-D) from 2016 to 2018. More than 4,000 physicians were included in the study, and 94% of them had received payments from at least one device manufacturer. The median payment received was $1,211.

Of the physicians who did receive payments, 8% received payments from a single manufacturer, 17% received payments from two manufacturers, 37% received payments from three manufacturers and 37% received payments from all four manufacturers tracked for this analysis. Overall, the team found somewhere between 38.5% and 54.7% of patients received ICDs and CRT-Ds made by the manufacturer that provided their physician with the largest payments. Ninety-six percent of those patients underwent implantations at a hospital where devices made by more than one manufacturer were available.

COVID-19 and hospital readmissions

COVID-19 is a complex clinical illness with potential complications that might require ongoing clinical care, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A CDC study shows that among 126,137 patients with an initial COVID-19 admission during March–July 2020, 15% died during the hospitalization. Among the 106,543 (85%) surviving patients, 9% (9,504) were readmitted to the same hospital within 2 months of discharge through August 2020. More than a single readmission occurred among 1.6% of patients discharged after the index hospitalization. Readmissions occurred more often among patients discharged to a skilled nursing facility (15%) or those needing home health care (12%) than among those discharged to home or self-care (7%). The odds of hospital readmission increased with age among persons aged ≥65 years, presence of certain chronic conditions, hospitalization within the 3 months preceding the initial hospitalization, and if discharge from the hospitalization was to a SNF or to home with health care assistance.