Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the typical GERD patient profile?
30% of the American population suffers from GERD symptoms at least twice per week. GERD affects patients from infants to the elderly. This is a disease that affects all ages and has its greatest impact on young, employed and otherwise healthy individuals. It is stereotypically a disease of affluent white males. GERD is a “wellness” issue and those who seek “advanced therapies” are typically in the 25-60 age groups, otherwise healthy who will be healthcare consumers for years to come.
2. Is the Legato Heartburn Treatment Center initiative a “surgical program?”
GERD diagnostics and therapies span many sub-specialties. Legato successfully transforms the fragmented, poorly synchronized awareness and treatment of GERD into a seamless, patient-friendly disease management process. The focus is comprehensive GERD care involving many medical sub-specialties including GI, ENT, ER, Pulmonary, Cardiology and other physicians. Minimally invasive antireflux surgery is only one of the treatment options. Patients are educated on all aspects of their disease and participate in treatment decisions.
3. Is the Legato process solely a marketing program?
Legato has a basic philosophy that a marketing initiative will only succeed long-term if there is something unique, special, and excellent to market. Legato’s proven disease management program provides access to care, a patient friendly process, and clinical excellence. Once this process is implemented and there is something unique to market, Legato’s marketing program is then implemented as a part of the process.
4. What is the role of the Heartburn Treatment Center Nurse Coordinator?
The Heartburn Treatment Center is a disease management process whose central “anchor” is a full-time Nurse Coordinator. He/she functions as the patient advocate as well as the advocate of the referring physician to assure the patient is offered all appropriate diagnostic and treatment options. His/her “customers” are patients, referring physicians as well as specialty physicians who are part of the Center. The Nurse Coordinator assures continuity of care in an otherwise fragmented medical system as well as allowing this hospital-based initiative to augment the practices of the specialty participating physicians.
5. Where do Heartburn Treatment Center patients come from?
Since GERD is so common, Heartburn Treatment Center patients come from hospital staff, primary care physicians, word of mouth from satisfied patients, as well as various "direct to consumer" marketing initiatives. The Legato process has documented a dramatic increase in patients from outside the traditional hospital primary service area.
6. What educational information is provided to patients?
The hallmarks of Legato Heartburn Treatment Centers are access, information, convenience and support. Each of these are lacking in today’s healthcare delivery system. Each patient is provided from the outset comprehensive GERD information including the natural history of the disease, available diagnostics and therapies, esophageal cancer risk factors, and other supportive material. It is a primary Legato philosophy that a well educated patient should actively participate in treatment decisions along with his/her physicians. The Center Nurse Coordinator assures that this collaboration is successful and results in dramatically high patient satisfaction.
7. Why invest in GERD?
The diagnostics, therapies, and knowledge related to GERD have exploded over the past 10 years. GERD represents a significant disease that affects the productivity and lifestyles of millions. This chronic, progressive disease can now be treated with excellent results for all, so long as access and expertise are available. This wellness issue involving daily symptoms, significant financial cost, and risk of cancer can be well treated in each and every medical community. The Legato Heartburn Treatment Center initiative facilitates the development of a financially rewarding, marketable Center of Excellence integrating medical specialties and resources that would not otherwise come together for the benefit of patients of all ages.
8. How is Legato compensated?
Legato is paid a monthly management fee by client hospitals for implementation and management of our Heartburn Treatment Centers.