Pentec Health Initiates Study to Analyze Healthcare Costs Associated with Patients Implanted with Intrathecal Drug Delivery Systems

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Highlights complex nature of patient group and associated costs to a health plan

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Now that the main cost-drivers are understood, new care models can be conceived that hold down overall costs while improving outcomes.

Pentec Health presented a poster detailing first-of-its-kind research, to define the costs of usual care for patients with intrathecal drug delivery systems, at the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS) 15th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The study collected and analyzed data regarding the healthcare burden in patients with pain and/or spasticity who were implanted with an Intrathecal Pump (IP), and identified the main drivers that contribute to the long-term cost of treatment. An IP is a medical device commonly used to deliver exact quantities of drugs directly into the spinal fluid of a patient.

The analysis was conducted using claims data from the HealthCore Integrated Research Database. More than 38,950 patients, 18 years and older with more than one claim between January 1, 2005 and March 31, 2011, were identified. While there were large variations in the annual dollars spent by health plans to manage these patients, 17.3% of patient expenditures were between $100,000 and $600,000.

“This study is the first of its kind that helps define what the current method of care yields in terms of health plan costs. It is clear from the data that this group represents a high-risk, high-cost population to a health plan,” stated Michael Abens, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Specialty Infusion Services, of Pentec Health. “Now that the main cost-drivers are understood, new care models can be conceived that hold down overall costs while improving outcomes.”

Stanley Fisher, M.D., Co-Director of the Movement Disorders and Neurorehabilitation Center at the Methodist Neurological Institute, and Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Weill Cornell Medical College who is assisting Pentec Health with the study, explained that patients receiving an IP have presumably failed less invasive treatment approaches. “These findings show that the majority of the expense associated with these patients is spent on hospitalizations. If we can influence this by employing a different care model, the cost of treatment associated with intrathecal drug delivery systems would be reduced over time. ”

About the North American Neuromodulation Society
The North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS) is the largest chapter of the
International Neuromodulation Society (INS). These non-profit organizations connect researchers, clinicians, companies and institutions worldwide that are focused on research, development and implementation of neuromodulation therapies. INS and NANS provide a forum for communication and interaction among clinicians, basic scientists and bioengineers engaged in neuromodulation research and therapeutic development through a combination of scientific meetings, scientific publications and an interactive website.

About Pentec Health, Inc.
Pentec Health Inc. is a privately held specialty infusion services and healthcare technology company headquartered in suburban Philadelphia. Cutting edge innovations in patient care allow Pentec Health to provide products and services to underserved patient populations. The Joint Commission has consistently awarded Pentec with a Gold Seal of Approval for their commitment to providing the highest level of patient safety and patient care for renal nutritional and specialty infusion home care services. Pentec’s renal nutrition business specializes in providing patient-specific, proprietary nutritional therapies for patients suffering from chronic kidney disease. Pentec’s specialty infusion business provides in-home care for patients with implanted drug delivery pumps treating severe pain and/or spasticity. Pentec’s award-winning executives are noted for top leadership and giving back to the communities in which they serve. For more information, visit

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Yvonne Wright
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