The product has been FDA approved and yet no insurers have found value in the product. Investors have contributed with millions for producing the product and there’s a ton of scientific backing for the new device to treat hard to heal wounds. You might also think the military would maybe have an interest here, but the company is not alone. We are at a crossroad to where we have some of the most dynamic and intelligent products and software being created in healthcare, but it’s getting slim on who will be able to take advantage.
Insurance companies say they can’t afford to pay for the use of such products, so some of the new technology may never see the light of day when it comes to patients being able to afford the opportunity. Somewhere along the line there’s a lack of balance with cost/payment and it’s not only in devices, it also happens with pharmaceuticals. BD
Kevin Nickels' company has developed a new way to treat hard-to-heal wounds and, like many medical entrepreneurs, he believes the discovery can reduce suffering and save lives.
Influential people agree. The company, Celleration Inc., of Eden Prairie, has raised millions of dollars from top venture capital firms. His technology, a combination of ultrasound and saline mist, has been approved by regulators in the United States and Europe and is backed by a dozen scientific studies.
What's missing? Paying customers. Celleration has been turned down for coverage by Medica, HealthPartners, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and the giant federal Medicare program. "There is not enough money to go around,'' Nickels said. "Payers are saying 'Stop: We just can't afford what you're selling.'"
But whether it's reluctant insurers or tapped-out investors, med-tech startups are finding it increasingly difficult to get their treatments to patients. The extra cost and time required to launch a new device unnerve venture capitalists, who wonder if they'll ever recoup their money, much less turn a profit. If a device doesn't treat a chronic disease affecting a large population, their interest wanes further.