The business of obesity for the gastroenterologist: Making it work financially
Since the 1980s there has been an increase in the incidence of obesity among adults and being overweight among children and adolescents. Obesity is a major multifactorial worldwide public health issue that demands multisectoral coordination of care. While gastroenterologists see obese patients regularly and routinely, many have taken little interest in managing obesity as it relates to the various gastroenterological processes directly influenced by overweight states. The association of obesity with several gastrointestinal disorders provides gastroenterologists with a unique opportunity in the management of obesity. Gastroenterologists need to provide a comprehensive continuum of care to patients in order to properly manage weight, reduce or eliminate obesity-related comorbidities, and decrease future risk. Constructing a financially feasible business, requires a solid understanding of insurance coverage and self-pay scenarios, management plans for complications of uncovered services and social outreach programs. Understanding these components for success and embracing this opportunity will be the driving force behind a viable and successful endobariatric and obesity medicine practice.
Surgical and endoscopic management options for patients with GERD based on proton pump inhibitor symptom response: recommendations from an expert U.S. panel
BACKGROUND AND AIMS/OBJECTIVE:The objective of this study was to examine expert opinion and agreement on the treatment of distinct GERD profiles, from a surgical and therapeutic endoscopy perspective. METHODS:We used the RAND/University of California, Los Angeles Appropriateness Method over 6 months (July 2018 to January 2019) to assess the appropriateness of antireflux interventions among foregut surgeons and therapeutic gastroenterologists. Patients with primary atypical or extraesophageal symptoms were not considered. Patient scenarios were grouped according to their symptom response to PPI therapy. The primary outcome was appropriateness of an intervention. RESULTS:Antireflux surgery with laparoscopic fundoplication (LF) and magnetic sphincter augmentation (MSA) were ranked as appropriate for all complete and partial PPI responder scenarios. Transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) was ranked as appropriate in complete and partial PPI responders without a hiatal hernia. Radiofrequency energy was not ranked as appropriate for complete or partial responders. There was lack of agreement between surgery and interventional gastroenterology groups on the appropriateness of LF and MSA for PPI nonresponders. Rankings for PPI nonresponders were similar when results from impedance-pH testing on PPI therapy were available, except that LF and MSA were not ranked as appropriate for PPI nonresponders if the impedance-pH study was negative. CONCLUSIONS:This work highlights areas of agreement for invasive therapeutic approaches for GERD and provides impetus for further interdisciplinary collaboration and trials to compare and generate novel and effective treatment approaches and care pathways, including the role of impedance-pH testing in PPI nonresponders.
UPDATED RESULTS FROM AN INTERNATIONAL MULTI-CENTER REGISTRY STUDY FOR ENDOSCOPIC ANTERIOR FUNDOPLICATION [Meeting Abstract]
Interim Results From a Multi-Center Post-Marketing Surveillance Registry Study for Endoscopic Anterior Fundoplication [Meeting Abstract]
White Paper AGA: An Episode-of-Care Framework for the Management of Obesity-Moving Toward High Value, High Quality Care: A Report From the American Gastroenterological Association Institute Obesity Episode of Care and Bundle Initiative Work Group
The American Gastroenterological Association acknowledges the need for gastroenterologists to participate in and provide value-based care for both cognitive and procedural conditions. Episodes of care are designed to engage specialists in the movement toward fee for value, while facilitating improved outcomes and patient experience and a reduction in unnecessary services and overall costs. The episode of care model puts the patient at the center of all activity related to their particular diagnosis, procedure, or health care event, rather than on a physician's specific services. It encourages and incents communication, collaboration, and coordination across the full continuum of care and creates accountability for the patient's entireÂ experience and outcome. This paper outlines a collaborative approach involving multiple stakeholders for gastrointestinal practices to assess their ability to participate in and implement an episode of care for obesity and understand the essentials of coding and billing for these services.
Endoscopic suturing for transoral outlet reduction increases weight loss after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Weight regain or insufficient loss after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is common. This is partially attributable to dilatation of the gastrojejunostomy (GJ), which diminishes the restrictive capacity of RYGB. Endoluminal interventions for GJ reduction are being explored as alternatives to revision surgery. We performed a randomized, blinded, sham-controlled trial to evaluate weight loss after sutured transoral outlet reduction (TORe). METHODS: Patients with weight regain or inadequate loss after RYGB and GJ diameter greater than 2 cm were assigned randomly to groups that underwent TORe (n = 50) or a sham procedure (controls, n = 27). Intraoperative performance, safety, weight loss, and clinical outcomes were assessed. RESULTS: Subjects who received TORe had a significantly greater mean percentage weight loss from baseline (3.5%; 95% confidence interval, 1.8%-5.3%) than controls (0.4%; 95% confidence interval, 2.3% weight gain to 3.0% weight loss) (P = .021), using a last observation carried forward intent-to-treat analysis. As-treated analysis also showed greater mean percentage weight loss in the TORe group than controls (3.9% and 0.2%, respectively; P = .014). Weight loss or stabilization was achieved in 96% subjects receiving TORe and 78% of controls (P = .019). The TORe group had reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure (P < .001) and a trend toward improved metabolic indices. In addition, 85% of the TORe group reported compliance with the healthy lifestyle eating program, compared with 53.8% of controls; 83% of TORe subjects said they would undergo the procedure again, and 78% said they would recommend the procedure to a friend. The groups had similar frequencies of adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: A multicenter randomized trial provides Level I evidence that TORe reduces weight regain after RYGB. These results were achieved using a superficial suction-based device; greater levels of weight loss could be achieved with newer, full-thickness suturing devices. TORe is one approach to avoid weight regain; a longitudinal multidisciplinary approach with dietary counseling and behavioral changes are required for long-term results. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00394212.
Characteristics of Multichannel Intraluminal Impedance-pH Reflux (MII-pH) Testing Before and After Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication (TIF) [Meeting Abstract]
Multicenter, randomized, controlled trial of virtual-reality simulator training in acquisition of competency in colonoscopy
BACKGROUND: The GI Mentor is a virtual reality simulator that uses force feedback technology to create a realistic training experience. OBJECTIVE: To define the benefit of training on the GI Mentor on competency acquisition in colonoscopy. DESIGN: Randomized, controlled, blinded, multicenter trial. SETTING: Academic medical centers with accredited gastroenterology training programs. PATIENTS: First-year GI fellows. INTERVENTIONS: Subjects were randomized to receive 10 hours of unsupervised training on the GI Mentor or no simulator experience during the first 8 weeks of fellowship. After this period, both groups began performing real colonoscopies. The first 200 colonoscopies performed by each fellow were graded by proctors to measure technical and cognitive success, and patient comfort level during the procedure. MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: A mixed-effects model comparison between the 2 groups of objective and subjective competency scores and patient discomfort in the performance of real colonoscopies over time. RESULTS: Forty-five fellows were randomized from 16 hospitals over 2 years. Fellows in the simulator group had significantly higher objective competency rates during the first 100 cases. A mixed-effects model demonstrated a higher objective competence overall in the simulator group (P < .0001), with the difference between groups being significantly greater during the first 80 cases performed. The median number of cases needed to reach 90% competency was 160 in both groups. The patient comfort level was similar. CONCLUSIONS: Fellows who underwent GI Mentor training performed significantly better during the early phase of real colonoscopy training.
Long-term outcomes of endoluminal gastroplication: a U.S. multicenter trial
BACKGROUND: Endoluminal gastroplication has shown promise for the treatment of GERD in short-term studies. Until now, long-term outcome data have been lacking. METHODS: A prospective, multicenter trial enrolled 85 patients with GERD to be treated with endoluminal gastroplication. Inclusion criteria were 3 or more heartburn or regurgitation episodes per week, >4.2% time in 24 hours with esophageal pH < 4, and dependency on antisecretory medications. Exclusion criteria were the presence of varices, achalasia, aperistalsis, or previous gastric resection. Patients underwent manometry, 24-hour pH monitoring, and symptom severity scoring before and after the procedure. Patient diaries were used to assess medication use and to estimate annual medication cost. RESULTS: At 1- and 2-year follow-up, patients had significant reductions in median heartburn symptom scores (72 at baseline [interquartile range (IQR) 90-48] vs. 4 at 12 months [IQR 43-0] and 16 at 24 months [IQR 53-3.5]; p < 0.0001 vs. baseline) and median regurgitation symptoms (2 at baseline [IQR 3-1] vs. 0 at 12 months (IQR 1-0) and 1 at 24 months [IQR 1-0]; p < 0.0001 vs. baseline). Of all patients, 59% and 52% showed heartburn symptom resolution at 12 and 24 months, respectively ( p < 0.0001 vs. baseline). Also, 83% and 77% had regurgitation symptom resolution at 12 and 24 months, respectively (p < 0.0001 vs. baseline). Proton pump inhibitor use also was significantly reduced at 12 and 24 months after the procedure. At 2-year follow-up, median annualized medication costs were reduced by 88% (1381 US dollars) (p < 0.0001). Endoluminal gastroplication significantly reduced the duration and the number of episodes of esophageal acid exposure (p < 0.0001 vs. baseline). Only 7 patients experienced adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: Endoscopic gastroplication is safe and effective, and is associated with symptom reductions in patients with GERD for at least 24 months.
Lower Helicobacter pylori infection and peptic ulcer disease prevalence in patients with AIDS and suppressed CD4 counts
OBJECTIVE:The prevalence of Helicobacter pylori (HP) has previously been reported to be lower in AIDS patients. This study evaluated the prevalence of HP and peptic ulcer disease in relation to absolute CD4 counts in HIV-seropositive patients with GI symptoms. DESIGN/METHODS:Seventy-two patients (48 HIV-positive and 24 HIV-negative) with GI symptoms were evaluated with upper endoscopy and antral gastric biopsy. Samples were prepared with Giemsa stain and reviewed by a single pathologist to determine status of HP infection. The patients were stratified on the basis of HIV status and CD4 count: group A, HIV-positive patients with a CD4 count greater than 200, group B, HIV-positive patients with CD4 counts less than 200, and group C, an HIV-negative control group. RESULTS:The prevalence of HP infection in the three groups was as follows: group A 69% (11/16), group B 13% (4/32), and group C 63% (15/24). Peptic ulcer prevalence in group A was 19% (3/16), group B 3% (1/32), and group C 25% (6/24). CONCLUSIONS:The prevalence of HP in HIV-positive patients with a CD4 count less than 200 is significantly lower (p < 0.001) than that found in HIV-negative patients. The number of peptic ulcers in the HIV-positive group with CD4 < 200 was significantly less (p = 0.035) than that of the HIV-negative patients. These results suggest a role of CD4 cell and immune function in sustaining HP infection and HP-related peptic ulcer disease.