Value-based medical technology gets a mouthpiece

By: 
July 22, 2015


There's a new kid on the medtech block: The Value-Based Medical Technology Association (VBMTA; Washington, DC) was officially launched on July 14, 2015. Its stated mission is to enable healthcare providers to provide better care with fewer resources through the use of value-based medical technologies.

Stuart Miles
Image courtesy Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net.

Value- or outcome-based technology has been a buzzword in the medical device sector for several years, but it represents a paradigm shift for industry, which is why conventional business models simply have refused to die. As Steve McPhilliamy, a partner at Insight Product Development, recently wrote in sister brand mddionline.com, "It used to be that healthcare delivery was procedure- and fee-for-service-based, with physicians reimbursed for the number of procedures or services they conducted in the medical environment. Today, reimbursement has shifted to an outcome-based model, making the number of procedures and services less important than the resulting outcome."

VBMTA wants to "help hospitals access technologies designed for healthcare value, not for the legacy manufacturer's bottom line," said Rick Ferreira, Chairman and CEO of Intralign Health LLC (Scottsdale, AZ) and VBMTA Board Chairman in a prepared statement. Intralign provides a suite of services to orthopedics providers.

Ferreira stated in the news release that most medical device firms use traditional technology models in which the cost to the end user is disproportionate to the value delivered. He noted that in many clinical areas, premium-priced devices fail to show benefits over standard devices.

"This model is unsustainable because providers cannot continue to cover these costs while providing appropriate care," Ferreira said. He cited patient satisfaction and outcome survey results that show value-based devices actually have the same efficacy, safety and patient satisfaction as premium devices.

Also on the VBMTA Board of Directors is Vice Chairman Anthony Viscogliosi, who is President of Paradigm Spine LLC, which is dedicated to the development of non-fusion spinal implant technology. The press release states that the association's members include U.S. technology companies committed to value-based care. None of them are mentioned on the VBMTA website, however, and the association did not respond to requests for additional information.

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