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Foundation Awards $1.3 Million to Integrated Healthcare Association to Improve Medical Device Use
Date:5/30/2008

tals with information that will be used to help improve quality of care, purchasing methods, and payment systems."

Building on the insights from the regional pilot project, the grant allows IHA to:

-- Aggregate comparative data for benchmarking quality and costs

-- Identify best practices strategies for value assessment and a statewide

hospital technology collaborative

-- Explore new financial incentives, potentially including payment methods

for hospitals when purchasing devices for manufacturers and for health

insurers when reimbursing hospital claims, e.g., through bundled

"episode of care" pricing

The episode-based payment method will be piloted by at least one health plan with participating hospitals, and these experiences will be documented and disseminated to health plans and providers with statewide support from key stakeholders.

Medical device purchasing processes have received greater national attention regarding physician conflicts of interest with medical device companies. Hospitals want benchmarking data and need to adopt best practice strategies to lower medical device costs. Health plans also find it difficult to keep pace with the increasing hospital costs for orthopedic and cardiac implants, especially when their contracts carve out the device.

"Most hospitals simply don't have evidence-based and comparative data they need to make sound medical device purchasing decisions or reasonably negotiate with medical device companies," stated James C. Robinson, PhD, Kaiser Permanente Distinguished Professor of Health Economics, UC Berkeley; Washington, D.C. "Surgeons make the device purchasing decision, but costs are paid by the hospital and ultimately passed on to the purchaser and consumer." Dr. Robinson is a member of the board of directors at IHA and chairs the medical technology project.

With greater focus on value based purchasing practices and rising
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SOURCE Integrated Healthcare Association
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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