Healthcare Economics & Policy

Although the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Oct. 30 that it had settled with 457 hospitals for allegedly improperly implanting implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), it said it will to continue to investigate hospitals and health systems that fail to comply with the ICD implantation rules.

As the healthcare industry shifts towards a more value-based system, payers, physicians, patients and pharmaceutical companies are paying more attention to the costs and benefits of new treatments. Steven D. Pearson, MD, has been interested in those topics for a long time and has emerged as a leading voice when it comes to comparative effectiveness research and health policy.

After investigating the possible misuse of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) for five years, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Oct. 30 that it had settled with 457 hospitals in 43 states for allegedly improperly implanting ICDs in Medicare patients. The 70 settlements reached were for a total of $250 million, according to the DOJ.

For the third quarter of 2015, Edwards Lifesciences had a 1.3 percent increase in worldwide sales compared with the same period last year, including an increase of 10.8 percent in its transcatheter heart valve therapy business.

Boston Scientific has reported a loss of 15 cents per share in the third quarter of 2015, for a total loss of $198 million. However, the company had a 9 percent increase in operational revenue on a constant currency basis.

Endologix and TriVascular Technologies announced on Oct. 26 that they had signed a definitive merger agreement in a stock and cash deal. The transaction is valued at approximately $211 million based on the closing prices on Oct. 23 of $9.10 per TriVascular share and $13.81 per Endologix share, according to a news release.

Since taking over as Medtronic’s CEO, Omar Ishrak has focused on three goals: improving innovation, expanding into emerging markets and becoming a leader in value-based health care, according to a Barron’s article. A Jefferies analyst called Medtronic’s acquisition of Covidien earlier this year a “bold move” and said “Ishrak changed the ethos of the company.”

Boston Scientific announced on Oct. 8 that it had provided additional financing for MValve Technologies, a company that is developing a percutaneous mitral valve replacement system. Boston Scientific said it has an exclusive option to acquire MValve Technologies, a privately held corporation founded in 2011 with operations in San Diego and Herezeliya, Israel.

St. Jude Medical completed its acquisition of Thoratec on Oct. 8, expanding its heart failure business and adding products such as the HeartMate II left ventricular assist device.

Express Scripts announced it would include the two recently FDA-approved proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors on its national preferred formulary, which covers approximately 25 million people in the U.S.

On Oct. 29 in Oakland, members of the California Technology Assessment Forum (CTAF) are expected to discuss and debate a report on the cost effectiveness of two recently FDA-approved heart failure treatments.

Hundreds of hospitals and health systems may have settled with the U.S. Justice Department in a probe into the overuse of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), according to a Modern Healthcare report.