Wednesday, October 1, 2008

MarketWatch: New Study Says rEEG(R) Can Slash Cost of Mental Health Treatments

Builds on Mounting Evidence of rEEG's Benefits to Treatment-Resistant Patients
Last update: 9:45 a.m. EDT Oct. 1, 2008

CNS Response, Inc. today released a report from Analysis Group, a national economics consulting firm, which shows the dramatic savings CNS's technology can bring to payers. The technology, called referenced-EEG(R), is a personalized reference lab test that guides physicians to psychiatric medications that work based on a biomarker database. Physicians using rEEG(R) can cut payer costs by avoiding drug treatments that fail. The Analysis Group study is the first that models the cost impact of rEEG(R) to payers.

The Analysis Group study focused on treatment-resistant (TR) patients, who add significantly to treatment costs -- more than $8,000 annually, according to a 2004 study by investigators Howard Birnbaum and Paul Greenberg of Analysis Group. "This patient group is so costly because they have almost double the office visits, more than three times the outpatient claims and nearly four times the inpatient claims of patients who are not treatment-resistant," noted Dr. Birnbaum. Without the evidence-based guidance provided by rEEG(R), physicians typically resort to "trial and error" in choosing among the over 100 FDA-approved drugs for treating psychiatric disorders.

The study authors found that a sample health plan with 20 million members utilizing rEEG(R) for its 80,000 patients with treatment-resistant mental disorders would save up to 40 percent in behavioral care costs, and approximately $212 million annually in direct health care costs. An even greater savings in reduced absence and productivity losses brings the total to over $550 million, illustrating that the impacts of treatment failure are not limited to behavioral health costs, but are in fact even greater for health plans, disability plans, and employers.

"We spend over $30 billion on retail prescription drugs each year for behavioral disorders, but for many these medications don't work, or lose their effect over time. The myth is that these costs are limited to behavioral care," said George Carpenter, President of CNS Response. "The reality is that these patients drive four times higher spending for regular medical care, almost seven times more in prescription costs, and represent the majority of lost work days for employers. Patients have ordered over 5,000 rEEG(R) tests to date, in many cases paying on their own, and their insurers gained the benefit. This report and budget impact model present clear evidence of the direct savings for payers reimbursing rEEG(R) testing for their most costly plan members."

These latest economic results come on top of clear evidence from a series of clinical studies on rEEG(R) in treatment-resistant patients. The patients studied suffered from a range of disorders including depression, bipolar, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and anxiety and did not show significant improvement from initial or subsequent treatment regimens. By helping physicians prescribe more effective, individualized medications, rEEG(R) consistently -- and often dramatically -- improved the patients' quality of life.

"rEEG(R) is a win for everyone," said Carpenter, "the patient, the physician and the payer."

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