MORRISVILLE, N.C., March 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- nContact, Inc., the leading innovator in epicardial ablation devices, today announced that CEO John Funkhouser spoke at the American College of Cardiology's (ACC) Cardiovascular Innovations Educational Forum in Chicago, IL, on the future of cardiac ablation under managed care. The theme of the talk was anticipated managed care requirements for the industry, and though the exact form they will take is uncertain, the presentation contained fundamental elements that may force change in existing Electrophysiologist (EP) clinical practice.
Funkhouser commented, "Change is coming and it's important to embrace it and adopt new approaches that allow EPs to thrive in the new environment. If managed care is focused on cost benefits and assuring the broadest patient population is served with consistent high quality results, then EP clinical practice must change because existing catheter approaches produce inconsistent outcomes between sites and target only a limited patient population − estimated to be less than 2% of the arrhythmia market. The potential to expand patient referrals and improve outcome consistency may lie in utilizing an epicardial ablation tool to complement the existing EP technology platform, and thus provide a potentially more comprehensive and complete approach for a broader patient population."
Research shows that traditional catheter ablation has well defined weaknesses that limit procedure success. The catheter design was not intended to create complete, long linear ablation lines under direct visibility critical to outcome success. Visibility is limited under 3D navigation and fluoroscopy and with "spot catheter ablation," it is difficult to obtain the consistent linear transmural lesions needed to restore sinus rhythm.
"Besides potential technical benefits, a combined epicardial-endocardial approach to lesion creation and diagnostic confirmation may improve consistency of outcomes between sites as procedures are standardized. Managed care will potentially demand consistent, evidence-based results in a market to date that has awarded artistry. Results, consistency, and safety will produce cost benefits that will be embraced by managed care and hospital administrators who will be more influential in determining treatment decisions based on clinical outcomes and reimbursement requirements," Funkhouser said. "Adoption of epicardial ablation could be a win for all as it is totally additive and complementary to the EP technology platform. By opening new treatment alternatives to broader patient populations, EPs could thrive under managed care as cardiologists may expand referrals, surgeons will have a new market, hospitals could offer patients a competitive advantage through a comprehensive arrhythmia center with broader treatment options, and the device industry would be a beneficiary of not only expanded markets, but of protecting existing markets. No one is sure where managed care will progress or the future of hybrid approaches, but it is important to study potential practice changes that could align the interests of all stakeholders."
About nContact, Inc.
nContact, Inc. is the leading innovator in epicardial ablation devices and techniques, dedicated to transforming the underserved arrhythmia market through the advancement of less invasive, more efficacious ablation alternatives for cardiac arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation (AF).
Its lead technologies, the EPi-Sense™ and Numeris® Coagulation System with VisiTrax®, have CE Mark approval in Europe for the coagulation of cardiac tissue for the treatment of atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter.
The Numeris® Coagulation System with VisiTrax® is also indicated for endoscopic coagulation of cardiac tissue in the United States. nContact was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Morrisville, North Carolina, U.S.A.
SOURCE nContact, Inc.