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Stretta cost savings

Stretta GERD treatment can yield substantial cost savings

Study found a combined estimated savings of more than US$15 million per year for a five million member plan

Researchers from Baker Tilly LLP, Fairleigh Dickinson University and Stanford University, has suggested the potential for substantial payer cost savings associated with radiofrequency energy (RFE, Stretta Therapy, Mederi Therapeutics) treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) patients, compared to treatment with medical management or fundoplication.  The study, ‘Budget Impact Analysis to Estimate the Cost Dynamics of Treating Refractory Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease With Radiofrequency Energy: a Payer Perspective’, is published in Managed Care.

Using claims data from Medicare and a national health plan comprising approximately 24 million covered lives, the study concluded that “increasing the total number of RFE procedures to 2% of total cases performed generated per-member, per-month (PMPM) savings of US$0.28 in the Medicare population and US$0.37 in the commercially insured population,” with “further increases yielding higher PMPM savings.” This translates into a combined estimated savings of more than US$15 million per year for a five million member plan. 

Stretta is a transoral, non-surgical intervention that uses low power radiofrequency (RF) energy to remodel the muscle between the stomach and oesophagus. Studies demonstrate that Stretta resolves reflux symptoms, improves quality of life, reduces or eliminates medications, and decreases acid exposure in patients with chronic GERD.

Stretta therapy delivers low power, low temperature radiofrequency energy to remodel the valve known as the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) at the junction of the oesophagus and the stomach. Stretta reduces or eliminates regurgitation of stomach contents by improving muscle tone and reducing random openings of the LES that are known to cause GERD. Stretta treatment results in elimination or significant reductions of GERD symptoms and medication use, and significant improvement in a patient's quality of life. (Credit: PRNewsFoto/Mederi Therapeutics Inc.)

“Considering the high cost burden of GERD, the savings noted by using Stretta (RFE) on a conservative number of patients is significant,” said David Gregory of Baker Tilly. “The methodology included a retrospective claims analysis designed to assess the costs and impact on payer expenditures associated with managing and treating GERD surgically, endoscopically (RFE/Stretta), or medically,” added Gregory.

“In today’s healthcare environment, truly effective treatment should provide high quality patient care, while positively impacting health economics,” said Dr George Triadafilopoulos of Stanford University and co-author of the study. “We’ve known for some time that RFE treatment of GERD is safe and effective. Now, we know that it lowers overall patient treatment costs in a meaningful way, making it a sensible choice for payers looking to cover GERD treatment cost-effectively.”

About 30% of adults in the US suffer from chronic GERD. Many patients don’t completely respond to proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), the most common type of GERD medication, and many more are concerned about risks associated with long-term PPI use, or surgical intervention. Stretta provides a non-surgical, middle treatment option for these patients.

“As our results demonstrate, RFE is an economically favourable choice for payers based on index and post-procedure resource consumption analyses. When considering the index and post-procedure time period, RFE demonstrated a net savings over its comparators in both the Medicare and commercial populations,” the authors concluded. “…Payers and providers should carefully consider the results of this study when reviewing options for their GERD patients: RFE offers both stakeholders another tool for more effectively managing patients with GERD under value-based care arrangements and population health strategies.”

To access this paper, please click here

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