In their quest to make care better for people with diabetes, medical device companies are doing lots of innovating â€” in prices.
Medtronic is rolling out an offer to pay up to $25,000 if patients using its most advanced insulin pump end up in the hospital. Abbott Laboratories debuted its latest continuous glucose monitor at prices designed to be low enough to foster quick worldwide adoption. Most radically, Bigfoot Biomedical plans to offer its upcoming insulin devices for a monthly subscription price instead of an upfront fee of thousands of dollars.
The changes are driven by the realization that the traditional med-tech pricing model â€” invent a better device, then charge more for it â€” could undermine the latest technical innovations. Diabetes may already be the most expensive chronic condition in America, but that doesnâ€™t mean insurers are going to attack it by paying for more-expensive devices.