Overactive bladder affects at least 1 out of 3 men or women, yet despite this prevalence, less than 50% seek treatment. Most who receive care from their family doctor are usually offered basic behavioral interventions (dietary changes, bladder training) and drug therapy alone or in combination. There is no question that many individuals with OAB see benefit from these treatments, as they are effective.
But there are some who do not benefit, and they continue to suffer from urinary frequency and strong bladder urgency. If you are reading this, you are probably one of the urology practices that see these referrals in fairly large numbers, on a weekly if not daily basis. But that’s okay, as these patients add volume to your practice. We can provide effective and low-risk treatment, specifically, percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) with Urgent® PC. The efficacy is there and the reimbursement challenge has been eliminated.
I do not know why any urology practice would not offer this treatment.
Using PTNS for patient happiness and practice efficiency
In the three years that I have been providing PTNS with Urgent PC, I have seen improvement in patients’ symptoms resulting in pretty happy patients. In my practice, we have found that PTNS added significant value to the practice as it is a simple procedure, is usually effective when other treatments have failed, can be administered by our nurses and/or nurse practitioners, and is one of the top patient-accepted treatments we offer.
So in a busy urology practice, PTNS is an additional service we can provide more efficiently than many others. PTNS patients are fit into the staff’s schedule on a daily basis depending on the number to be treatment. Learning how to do the procedure is fairly easy.
Moving a patient to PTNS after failing OAB drugs and behavioral therapy
Once we have identified a patient who could benefit from PTNS, we usually document medical necessity, which means that the patient has refractory urgency and frequency – meaning they failed other first-line interventions. Concerning PTNS coverage by insurance, that was not the hurdle we anticipated. Medicare covers the treatment including boosters following the 12-week treatment course. Most other insurance covers the initial 12 treatments, and we do check with these insurers prior to starting the patient on PTNS.
So, patients with OAB, who have failed drug and behavioral therapy, are out there in large numbers, continuing to suffer because their bladder is controlling their daily life. Healthcare Professionals in Urology needs to add even more value to their practice and “step up to the plate,” embrace PTNS, and offer it to patients.
This blog post reflects the opinions and experience of Diane Newman, a long-standing user of the Urgent PC Neuromodulation System, and was produced under a paid consulting agreement with Cogentix Medical.
Urgent PC is indicated for the treatment of Overactive Bladder and associated symptoms of urinary urgency, urinary frequency and urge incontinence. Treatment with Urgent PC is contraindicated for patients with pacemakers or implantable defibrillators, patients prone to excessive bleeding, patients with nerve damage that could impact either percutaneous tibial nerve or pelvic floor function or patients who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant during the duration of the treatment. Most patients don't experience side-effects. If side-effects occur, they are typically temporary and include mild pain and skin inflammation at or near the stimulation site. Caution: Federal law (USA) restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a physician. For complete instructions for use, storage, warnings, indications, contraindications, precautions, adverse reactions and disclaimer of warranties, please refer to the insert accompanying each product or online at www.cogentixmedical.com. Models are for illustrative purposes only. Urgent is a registered trademark of Cogentix Medical © 2015 Cogentix Medical. All rights reserved.