Posted on January 19, 2023 in binx blog

How Test and Treat in One Visit Can Help Improve Health Outcomes

January 19, 2023

How Test and Treat in One Visit Can Help Improve Health Outcomes

Better health outcomes should be the ultimate goal of our healthcare systems and providers. Discover how the binx io point-of-care System can bring laboratory-quality diagnostics to your clinic.

It’s no secret there’s been an ongoing shift in the healthcare industry. With big names like Medicare leading the charge as we switch from fee-for-service to value-based care, the industry is renewing its focus on patient-centric healthcare aimed at achieving better health outcomes for populations nationwide. [1]

Traditional healthcare models have hindered the industry’s pursuit of better patient outcomes, specifically for those seeking testing and treatment for common sexually transmitted infections (STIs). New technologies can help healthcare professionals improve health outcomes by providing a higher quality of care for patients.

STIs are a public health concern

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Prevention recently called back to center stage the rising STI rates in the U.S., which have been steadily climbing since 2014. [2]

CDC reports revealed over 2.5 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in 2019. Still, the true infection rate is likely far greater, with the CDC estimating that 1 in 5 people in the U.S. has a sexually transmitted infection. [2][3]

With the rising rates of infection coupled with decreased access to screening due to COVID-19 and the more recent outbreak of Mpox, STIs continue to pose an ongoing threat to the general health and well-being of the public. [4][5]

Traditional healthcare’s obstacles to improving patient outcomes

Screening and treatment methods employed by our current healthcare system are failing to curb ever-rising rates of STI transmission in the U.S.

A cumbersome patient journey through the current healthcare system

Traditional STI testing typically requires patients to schedule an appointment with their primary care doctor or local health department, travel to the clinic, wait up to 10 days for central lab results, and travel back to the clinic for follow-up treatment if they receive a positive diagnosis. [6]

Along the way, patients do not follow up due to various healthcare barriers.

Barriers to high-quality STI testing and patient care

Achieving positive patient outcomes at the population level assumes your communities have access to clinics that offer STI testing, health plans that cover screenings from primary care clinicians, the ability to take time off from work for both testing and follow-up appointments, and the funds to cover health care costs associated with STI testing and follow-up.

If your populations don’t have access to privileges like these, you risk losing them somewhere along the way.

Loss to follow-up leads to adverse patient outcomes

The staggering rates of patients failing to return for treatment cause concern for many healthcare providers offering STI health services. Studies show that emergency departments experience a loss of follow-up in 60% of positive cases, and sexually transmitted disease clinics see a loss of 20-30% of positive cases. [7]

Without interventions, STIs can lead to lifelong negative health outcomes like pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and a greater risk of contracting HIV. [8]

Empirical STI treatment heightens the risk of antibiotic resistance

Practical solutions to minimize loss to follow-up have traditionally been challenging to find. While booking treatment appointments during the initial visit, offering appointments over the phone, and using incentive programs can help [12], loss to follow-up remains a problem.

It has become commonplace for clinicians concerned about these rates to offer preemptive treatment based on symptoms, known as empirical treatment, at the first appointment. [7] Advocates of empirical treatment argue that treating STIs before confirming the diagnosis could help slow the community spread of transmission in the time between testing and receiving results and could help increase the rate of treatment compliance by eliminating the need for a follow-up appointment; however, while well-intentioned, the practice of empirical treatment is likely a significant contributing factor in some bacteria developing antibiotic resistance. [9]

Bacteria naturally adapt to the antibiotics designed to destroy them by developing resistance mechanisms like producing new enzymes that kill the drug, using pumps to remove the drug, or changing the drug’s target so it can no longer single out the specific part of the germ it’s trying to destroy. [13] The CDC reports that the germs that develop resistance mechanisms after exposure to antibiotics can share their mechanisms with other germs that have not been exposed, leading to systemic resistance to commonly used antibiotics. [13]

A new approach to STI testing aimed at improving patient outcomes

The binx io is the first ever FDA-cleared, CLIA-waived, point-of-care (POC) platform for chlamydia (CT) and gonorrhea (NG) detection for both males and females, enabling same-day test and treatment. The ability to test and treat in a single patient visit offers improved patient outcomes like reduced patient anxiety, lower transmission rates, fewer patients lost to follow-up, reduced empirical treatment, and less likelihood of complications or adverse events. [11]

Reducing community transmission

The binx io CT/NG Assay running on the io instrument is intended for asymptomatic and symptomatic testing using male urine and vaginal swab specimens. Receiving test results the same day decreases the risk of undetected infections and continued community transmission. [11] In addition, the rapid turnaround time ensures patients with positive results are made aware and receive prompt treatment to reduce the risk of spread.

A 30-minute CT/NG test result allows healthcare providers to offer evidence-based treatment options on the same day patients receive testing, eliminating the negative consequences of loss to follow-up and combating bacterial resistance by ensuring antibiotics are prescribed only when medically necessary.

Enhanced quality of care

As the industry shifts to value-based care, it’s important to continually find ways to improve your patients’ experience without sacrificing the quality of care you provide. The performance of the binx io is equivalent to highly accurate molecular tests for the detection of chlamydia and gonorrhea, so your patients can trust the accuracy of the results. [14]

Expanding access to STI healthcare services

Rural and other hard-to-reach populations often have limited access to medical care, including routine STI screening and testing services. [10] The binx io is a compact system designed to bring the power of a central lab directly to local clinics, urgent care centers, and emergency departments, increasing access to laboratory-quality diagnostics in previously underserved populations and addressing disparities in our current healthcare system.

Improving the patient experience

Waiting for STI test results can be scary. With single-visit test and treatment, the binx io aims to improve the overall patient experience by significantly reducing the time between testing and results, which is often riddled with anxiety. Studies show that patients overwhelmingly found the same-day “test and treat” model to be a valuable part of their overall patient experience when this service was tested at Planned Parenthood Keystone locations across the state of Pennsylvania. [11]

Improved care team experience

The binx io is CLIA-Waived, only requires ~1 minute of hands-on time from your staff, has clear “detected” or “not detected” results and can integrate with your Electronic Medical Record (EMR). With less time spent on administration, busy care teams can spend more time decision-making, reviewing treatment plans and discussing important STI health information with patients experiencing a positive diagnosis.

Better health outcomes should be the ultimate goal of our healthcare systems. binx can help with that.

binx health developed the binx io platform to support clinics in their pursuit of better clinical outcomes for patients who test positive for chlamydia and gonorrhea by providing quick treatment options the same day they receive their test results.

Learn more about the binx io’s ability to help you improve health outcomes and patient safety measures in your population, increase your clinic’s revenue through established Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) reimbursement codes, and integrate the technology seamlessly with existing Electronic Medical Records (EHR) systems.

[1] The Medicare Value-Based Care Strategy: Alignment, Growth, And Equity https://www.cms.gov/blog/medicare-value-based-care-strategy-alignment-growth-and-equity. Accessed November 21, 2022.

[2] Reported STIs reach an all-time high for 6th consecutive year, CDC NCHHSTP Newsroom https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2021/2019-STD-surveillance-report.html. Accessed November 21, 2022.

[3] CDC estimates 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have a sexually transmitted infection https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/p0125-sexualy-transmitted-infection.html. Accessed November 21, 2022.

[4] COVID-19 and the state of the STD Field https://www.ncsddc.org/resource/covid-19-and-the-state-of-the-std-field/. Accessed November 21, 2022.

[5] NCSD releases second survey of clinic capacity in Monkeypox response https://www.ncsddc.org/ncsd-releases-second-survey-of-clinic-capacity-in-monkeypox-response/. Accessed November 21, 2022.

[6] Wingrove et al. SexTransm Inf. 2014; 90(6):474

[7] Huppert JS, Reed JL, Munafo JK, Ekstrand R, Gillespie G, Holland C, Britto MT. Improving notification of sexually transmitted infections: a quality improvement project and planned experiment. Pediatrics. 2012 Aug;130(2):e415-22. doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-3326. Epub 2012 Jul 2. PMID: 22753557; PMCID: PMC4074614.

[8] Sexually Transmitted Diseases https://www.niaid.nih.gov/diseases-conditions/sexually-transmitted-diseases. Accessed November 21, 2022.

[9] Hahn A, Frickmann H, Loderstädt U. Testing as Prevention of Resistance in Bacteria Causing Sexually Transmitted Infections-A Population-Based Model for Germany. Antibiotics (Basel). 2021 Jul 30;10(8):929. doi: 10.3390/antibiotics10080929. PMID: 34438979; PMCID: PMC8388946.

[10] Jenkins WD, Williams LD, Pearson WS. Sexually Transmitted Infection Epidemiology and Care in Rural Areas: A Narrative Review. Sex Transm Dis. 2021 Dec 1;48(12):e236-e240. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000001512. PMID: 34264905; PMCID: PMC8595853.

[11] Kemp, L. (2022, Sep 20). Implementation of a “Test and Treat” model for Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae infection at Planned Parenthood Keystone [Conference Presentation]. CDC STD Prevention Conference, Online.

[12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4074614/

European Respiratory Journal 2019 53: 1802268; DOI: 10.1183/13993003.02268-2018

[13] How Antimicrobial Resistance Happens https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/about/how-resistance-happens.html. Accessed November 30, 2022.

[14] Van Der Pol, B. et al. Evaluation of the Performance of a Point-of-Care Test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. JAMA Network Open 3(5) (2020): e204819