Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Standalone ERs Fail to Bend the Cost Curve

Ilene MacDonald, reporting for Fierce Healthcare on 8.12.15, informs readers that:
Florida and Texas are the latest states to see an increase in the number of standalone emergency rooms popping up in high-traffic, commercial areas.

According to the author:

...the care offered is just as expensive as a hospital ER. The Sun Sentinel reports that an average charge for an ER visit in Broward County, Florida, was $3,737 and in Palm Beach County, the average cost was $4,675. Indeed, patients who go to free-standing ERs often complain that the facilities provide misleading pricing information. And critics say that many patients could receive less expensive care from a physician practice or urgent care facility...

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

New Device Could Make Bariatric Surgery Obsolete

Varun Saxena, in a 7.29.15 Fierce Medical Devices article, reports: 
ReShape Medical's Integrated Dual Balloon System just burst regulatory barriers, becoming the first device of its kind to earn the FDA's stringent PMA approval for novel, high-risk devices. The Fierce 15 company's device consists of two salt water-filled silicon balloons that reduce appetite by taking up space in the stomach "or by other mechanisms that are not yet fully understood," according to the FDA. 
Unlike invasive weight-loss surgery, which can involve risks like malnutrition following a duodenal switch, involving removal of most of the stomach, the Dual Balloon is inserted through the mouth via an endoscope in a minimally invasive manner. The FDA says the procedure takes less than half an hour and requires mild sedation.