Hospitals Face New Superbug Liabilities

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.

Hospitals get a cost effective solution that reduces their liability with EndoSheath Technology. More importantly, the device introduced into the patient is always sterile. With over 5 million procedures performed, Vision-Sciences has a perfect record regarding cross-contamination with no reported complaints, and has many scientific studies to support its effectiveness. 

Mr. Pell and Howard Zauberman, President and Chief Executive Officer, are available for in-person meetings or phone interviews. Please contact Mitch Kayden at (845) 709-5607 or mkayden@onitdigital.com for more information and to set up an interview.

Important Summary Points

-- Hospital-acquired infections require serious attention by hospitals because of the morbidity and healthcare costs associated with them. These are highlighted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Vision Sciences® technology offers an option for hospitals and outpatient facilities to reduce the risk of patients acquiring these infections, impacting costs and the quality of patient care.

-- FDA cleared EndoSheath Technology is a cost-effective and equal alternative to the lengthy and costly disinfecting and sterilization procedures required for conventional endoscopes.

-- CDC endorsed FDA clearance of EndoSheath Technology as recently as July 2013.

-- Important notes about a Vision-Sciences procedure:
  • An endoscope is placed inside a new, sterile sheath.
  • The endoscope itself never comes in contact with the patient at any point.
  • Following the patient procedure, the endoscope is removed from the sheath, and the sheath is discarded.

-- The sheath plus our rapid cleaning procedure eliminates the need for  time-consuming, toxic high-level disinfection/sterilization between each use.

About Vision-Sciences, Inc.

Vision-Sciences, Inc. designs, develops, manufactures and markets products for flexible endoscopy. The Company's unique product lines feature a streamlined visualization system and proprietary sterile disposable microbial barrier, known as EndoSheath ® technology, providing users with efficient and cost effective endoscope turnover while enhancing patient safety. Information about Vision-Sciences' products is available at www.visionsciences.com.

Vision-Sciences owns the trademarks Vision Sciences™ and Slide-On™ and the registered trademarks EndoSheath ®, EndoWipe ® and The Vision System ®.
CONTACT: Keith J. C. Darragh         VP, Finance         Vision-Sciences, Inc.         (845) 365-0600         invest@visionsciences.com                  Mitch Kayden         Sr. Media Strategist         Onit Digital Marketing         (845) 709-5607         mkayden@onitdigital.com

company logo