Straight Talk Tuesday

Good morning and welcome to my new blog! There is so much going on in the world of wound care that many people outside of the industry don’t know about. I will be using this blog to share news, events, and information that I feel is relevant to the rapidly growing wound care industry.

On Tuesdays I will feature a segment called, “Straight Talk Tuesday.” This segment will discuss important topics currently happening in wound care that I am passionate about.

It’s time for straight talk on package pricing of “skin substitutes” (better known as cellular and tissue based products—CTPs).  I participated in the Apligraf clinical trial in 1998 and when I began to use that product in my clinic, rather than “waste” product, I used the (still sterile) remaining piece on other patients. However, the hospital decided that was “risky” and I needed to waste the remaining product.  Manufacturers had no incentive to make smaller products when they got reimbursed even for the product thrown in the trash. We’ve been throwing away our own tax dollars.

Since the advent of “package pricing” I’ve started using different products which are less expensive and so far, it appears to me that they work even better. I DO think that Medicare carriers should allow us to use any FDA cleared product if we must pay for it out of our APC rate. However, it’s time for the manufacturers to clearly understand that we have a lot of choices that are less expensive and that work very well. We need even more low cost products of all sizes.