BG Medicine this week announced results from an analysis of three multicenter clinical research trials that indicate its BGM Galectin-3 test is predictive of rehospitalization for heart failure within the first 30 days following discharge from an initial hospital stay.
Detailed in a paper published this week in the American Heart Journal, the analysis examined 902 heart failure patients and found that patients with elevated galectin-3 levels at the time of their hospitalization were re-admitted within 30 days at roughly three times the rate of those without elevated levels of the protein.
Hospital readmissions have become a key focus for BG Medicine's commercialization plans for the BGM Galectin-3 test. The company shifted toward this application in 2012 in response to new guidelines implemented by the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that penalize hospitals with high patient readmission rates.
According to the company, the annual cost to Medicare of hospital readmissions within 30 days of discharge has been estimated to exceed $17 billion, with the leading cause of hospital readmissions among Medicare beneficiaries being heart failure-related complications.
"We believe that this analysis of data from three significant clinical research trials further affirms the previously reported utility of galectin-3 testing as an aid in assessing the prognosis of patients with heart failure when used in conjunction with clinical evaluation," Paul Sohmer, BG president and CEO, said in a statement. "The identification of heart failure patients who are at significantly elevated risk for unforeseen events may facilitate the care of heart failure patients and help control the cost burden of this disease on healthcare systems worldwide."