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Hospitals Face New Superbug Liabilities

Stocks in this article: VSCI

ORANGEBURG, N.Y., Feb. 10, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Superbugs. Nightmare Bacteria. Antibiotic Resistant Strains. No matter what you call it, it's bad news for hospitals, which face increasingly stringent financial penalties under the Affordable Care Act. Specifically, patient readmissions and follow-up diagnostics due to hospital-acquired infections are increasingly not covered for reimbursement depending on the hospital's track record and other associated factors.

"When a breach in the sterile technique for conventional endoscopes is discovered, all routine endoscopies are cancelled and patients that received endoscopic procedures are notified, tested, and treated if need be," says Dr. Daniel R. Cottam, M.D., of the Bariatric Medicine Institute.

It's a perfect storm for hospitals, such as the one reported last month in Illinois that had 44 newly reported cases of "Nightmare Bacteria" acquired from endoscopic procedures despite correct cleaning of the endoscopes.

Dr. Cottam goes on to explain, "It's a process that can close an endoscopic unit for several weeks. Not only must hospitals assume the additional cost for non-reimbursed patient care, but the shutdown interferes with providing everyday healthcare and can result in patients losing confidence in the hospital."

Vision-Sciences, Inc.'s (Nasdaq:VSCI) EndoSheath® Technology is a cost-effective and patented solution for patients, doctors, hospitals, and other medical facilities. It is the only endoscopic technology with a sterile barrier and 3-step, 10-minute cleaning process. It eliminates the need for what the industry calls "High Level Disinfection" following each use – a complicated 27-step, 45-minute disinfection process that relies on zero human error to ensure a patient-ready device.

"There has never been a better time for the healthcare industry to make EndoSheath Technology standard use in endoscopies. We feel patients should always get a sterile device and we are so confident in this technology that we are making it available to all endoscopic manufacturers that want it," said Lewis C. Pell, Chairman and Co-founder of Vision-Sciences.

With the FDA cleared EndoSheath Technology, an endoscope is placed inside a new, sterile sheath for each endoscopy. The sheath is discarded after each procedure, guarding against the use of a dirty endoscope with the risk of bacterial or viral cross-contamination to the next patient.

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