Vascular PRN

Pneumatic Compression: A Better Option to Battle the High Cost of Wound Therapy


Tampa, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/27/2013 -- A recent report shows that compression therapy can significantly reduce the cost of treating venous leg ulcers.

Market research firm KPMG analyzed the potential cost savings in Australia for the country's recent Wound Awareness Week, but the message applies to health care all over the world: compression therapy results in faster healing and, therefore, reduced costs.

“Patients tend to heal faster with fewer complications when this technology is implemented,” said Greg Grambor, president of Vascular PRN, a leading distributor of compression therapy equipment. “I think that if awareness of the benefits of this technique were just a bit higher, we would see it quickly become a universal standard practice in the treatment of venous leg ulcers and similar conditions.”

The KPMG report estimates that nationwide in Australia, $166 million per year could be saved if all eligible venous leg ulcer patients were treated with compression therapy. The savings per patient would be an average of $6,328.

The savings would come from faster healing times. The Australian Wound Management Association said that under compression therapy, wounds heal nearly twice as fast as otherwise. Average healing time for venous leg ulcers was 20 weeks with compression therapy, compared with 36 weeks without it, according to KPMG.

The greatest barrier to the widespread adoption of compression therapy in Australia is the cost. Although the therapy leads to faster healing and therefore systemic cost savings, patients in Australia tend to have to pay their own way for the therapy itself. Most venous leg ulcer patients are elderly and of limited means. However, KPMG estimates that the cost efficiencies that would come with wider use of compression therapy could bring down the cost of treatment by an average of $399 per patient per year.

In the U.S., on the other hand, Medicare and private insurance plans usually cover compression therapy when used as a treatment for venous leg ulcers, so patients are either totally covered or responsible for a very small co-pay.

According to the study, the cost of treating venous leg ulcers averages at least twice as much when compression therapy is not used compared with when it is used. In some localities, the average was over three times as high.

“Compression therapy has been around for quite a while, but is recently getting more attention due to the promising results of studies like this,” Grambor added.

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