A Medical Device Daily

Implant Sciences (Wakefield, Massachusetts), a manufacturer of products for national security, medicine and industry, reported entering into an agreement with International Brachytherapy (IBt; Seneffe, Belgium) for Implant to expand its prostate seed offering to include IBt's polymer encapsulated palladium 103 seed.

IBt is one of only two radioactive prostate seed manufacturers in the world who own cyclotrons and are able to synthesize their own Palladium-103 isotope, said Implant Sciences. In addition, IBt's polymer encapsulation is believed to have numerous advantages, including a less-expensive method of stringing seeds together to form strands, a popular value-added packaging configuration, the company said.

The agreement provides for Implant to be a distributor of IBt's Palladium-103 seeds in the U.S. As a result, Implant said its ability to sell into the radioactive prostate seed market should be enhanced by making available the IBt Palladium-103 radioactive prostate seed in addition to the company's currently available Iodine-125 radioactive prostate seed.

In other agreements:

A program of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM; Philadelphia), with support from Bridges to Excellence (BTE), is designed to result in a decreased burden of quality data reporting for physicians while delivering to employers and health plans the broadest set of physician-developed quality measurements to date to help them recognize and pay bonuses to eligible internists.

The new ABIM program, the Comprehensive Care Practice Improvement Module, would allow as many as 180,000 internists who seek to maintain ABIM board certification to send their performance data collected through that process to BTE and eventually to other payers.

ABIM will provide BTE with a summary assessment of overall internist performance that will include information on a variety of measures, including clinical performance related to treatment of asthma, diabetes and other chronic conditions; practice infrastructure, examining such things as care management systems and information management/technology capacity; and patient survey data.

BTE is described as “a multi-stakeholder organization whose programs recognize and reward physicians who effectively manage patients.”

Under this partnership with ABIM, to take effect in late 2006, participating internists would qualify for maintenance of board certification, continuing medical education credits and bonus payments under BTE's new Internal Medicine Care Link.

“With 60 measures of clinical process and outcomes, robust measurement of practice systems, and patient feedback on personal experience, this program will give physicians the opportunity to see on a broad scale how they are doing in practice and where quality improvement needs to occur,” said BTE President Dale Whitney, corporate health manager for UPS (Atlanta).