Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-compatible cardiac rhythm management (CRM) devices, such as pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators, have gained significant market share in recent months. The impact of this growth is detailed in a recently released report from Vizient, “The Beat Goes On: Weighing Clinical Benefits, Patient Selection, and Healthcare Economics of MRI-Compatible Cardiac Rhythm Devices.”
The report discusses the impact this sudden and dramatic increase in the use of MRI-compatible CRM devices over the last 18 months is having on hospital margins across the country. Even though these devices are more expensive, Medicare continues to reimburse at the rate established for standard device implants, despite their higher costs.
“The rapid growth in the use of MRI-compatible devices by physicians reflects their focus on providing enhanced patient care both short and long term,” said Doug Beinborn, senior director, contract services at Vizient. “It also demonstrates a potential lack of understanding of the difference in device costs and the financial impact to the health care system.”
Data included in the report projects the CRM device market to grow roughly 2 percent each year over the next decade, which means that this reimbursement conundrum will only continue to grow unless it is addressed. For some patients, there are clear clinical benefits from these devices, but understanding the data and trends can help ensure appropriate patient selection while managing overall device spend, the authors report.
The full report can be accessed here.