EECP or also known as Enhanced External Counterpulsation Therapy is a non-invasive therapy to treat patients with disabling symptoms of Angina Coronary Artery Disease. EECP is a brand from one of several worldwide companies that provide External Counterpulsation Therapy devices.
So what is the future of EECP? This term must first be placed in a geographic context. EECP or ECP Therapy is known in the U.S only for treating only a specific segment of patients with blockages of the heart. External Counterpulsation Therapy is indicated primarily for end stage Angina or in-operable patients as a last resort. Since there is such a narrow group of eligible patients that qualify for payment for ECP, what can we possibly expect in the future?
The answer to us lies directly in relation to the future trends of healthcare costs in the United States. Many of Americans (whether agree or disagree) are forced to live with the reality of the new healthcare bill called the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare. This new healthcare legislation places an utmost emphasis on lowering healthcare costs. Lowering healthcare costs within the current infrastructure means lowering reimbursements to vital segments of healthcare including #1 expense of Cardiology and Oncology and radiology respectively.
As most Americans will agree, heart disease and cancer are the most significant burdens to the U.S healthcare system. The current ‘fee for service’ model in place rewards (financially) for diagnostic tests and procedures to manage patient health. The trouble with this model is it is not ‘congruent’ with the direction of lowering costs while simultaneously spreading current expenditures to 10’s of millions of more people. This shift creates a focus on monetary expenditures in place of more cautious, cost cutting healthcare measures for the sake of saving money. Sure there are always cases of abuse, but the heavy emphasis on (rare) abuse can now potentially impede patient access to appropriate care that has a higher price tag.
How does ECP Therapy fit the picture in the U.S? Our theory seems to be a perfect fit. To us in the ECP industry, our wonderful treatment has been far underutilized for more than a decade. EECP or ECP is a useful treatment that costs very little compared to the abundance comprehensive benefit to patients with a variety of circulatory disorders that arise from narrow & blocked areas of the vascular system.
EECP Therapy (from Vasomedical) continues to make a huge effort to expand effective healthcare solutions around the world. Vasomedical participates in various global activities including creating awareness of the benefits of EECP to countries with limited access to more costly cardiac procedures such as bypass and PCI. We recognize that EECP (and ECP therapy) is expanding at a rapid rate as many countries embrace External Counterpulsation Therapy without much of the politics that exist in the U.S market.