Industry News: Volume 3 Issue 24

PRESS RELEASE: Echosens Releases White Paper: Addressing Risk for Cirrhosis, Liver Failure and Liver Cancer Among America’s Veterans

Download “Aligning with the Veterans Administration to Battle Chronic Liver Disease

October 08, 2019 09:54 AM Eastern Daylight Time

WALTHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Echosens, a high-technology company offering the FibroScan family of products, today announces the release of its White Paper, Aligning with the Veterans Administration to Battle Chronic Liver Disease,” examining the impact of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and its more serious subset non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), as both a medical and economic crisis among military and civilian populations. The paper highlights the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VAs) strategy to address liver disease, including its broadened contract with Echosens to include the FibroScan 430 mini+ portable technology.

“Because high prevalence of NAFLD and NASH poses serious challenges to the VA, earlier diagnosis—and risk stratification—of patients with underlying liver conditions presents a huge opportunity to impact outcomes for patients and reduce costs for the VA system,” says Jon Gingrich, CEO, Echosens North America. “The ability for the VA to add FibroScan for examination of liver disease, wherever it’s needed, helps reduce costs and ease the burden on both physicians and patients.”

FibroScan is a painless, five-minute examination that provides scores that can be used to diagnose and monitor liver health. The VA has estimated that 78% of veterans are overweight or obese. Adding to the problem of treating NAFLD, diabetes and other related chronic conditions, 3.2 million (35%) of enrolled veterans live in rural communities and face unique barriers to care, such as lack of public transportation, a paucity of broadband coverage, long travel distances to VA health care facilities and a shortage of care providers.

The paper features alarming trends: the military has experienced a 12-fold increase in the number of active service members diagnosed with NAFLD. Service members with severe NAFLD resulting in impaired liver function are unable to perform their military duties and are disqualified from service. This once rare disorder was diagnosed in 19,069 service members between 2000 and 2017, but increased rapidly from 12.6 cases per 100,000 people in 2000 to 152.8 per 100,000 people in 2017.

“The addition of portable FibroScan systems will enable the VA to save time, money and, most importantly, help veterans with hepatitis C virus get follow-up assessments and halt the progression of NAFLD,” adds Gingrich.

About Echosens

Echosens, the developer of FibroScan®, is an innovative high-technology company offering a full range of products and services supporting physicians in their assessment and management of patients with chronic liver diseases. FibroScan is supported by over 2,500 peer reviewed publications and examinations are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and many insurance plans.

Brittany Tedesco
CPR Communications
[email protected]
201.641.1911 x 14

New study: Full-scale ‘Medicare for All’ costs $32 trillion over 10 years

By Peter Sullivan – A new study finds that a full-scale single-payer health insurance program, also called “Medicare for All,” would cost about $32 trillion over 10 years. 

The study from the Urban Institute and the Commonwealth Fund found $32.01 trillion in new federal revenue would be needed to pay for the plan, highlighting the immense cost of a proposal at the center of the health care debate raging in the presidential race.

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.

Kaiser Permanente workers ratify new agreement

By Amy Baxter – Roughly 57,000 unionized workers in California from Kaiser Permanente have ratified a new agreement with the healthcare nonprofit. The agreement, which ended a scheduled strike in October by the workers amid negotiations for a new workforce contract, was announced at the end of September.

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.

US ‘medical tourists’ seek cheap health care abroad – When Veronica Merrill decided to undergo stomach surgery for weight loss, she found two options: pay $12,000 at home in the United States, or have it done in Mexico for $4,000.

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.

Spread of ACOs And Value-Based Payment Models In 2019: Gauging the Impact of Pathways to Success
By David Muhlestein, William K. Bleser, Robert S. Saunders, Robert Richards, Elizabeth Singletary, Mark B. McClellan – In December 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a major overhaul of the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) by finalizing Pathways to Success. This was one of the largest changes to the Medicare ACO program since its initiation, with the most visible change being the shorter timeframe for ACOs to transition to downside risk (and to higher levels of downside risk).

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.