Hospitals that had a high annual volume of transcatheter aortic valve replacements had a lower risk of patient readmissions, compared with medium-volume and lower-volume hospitals, according to a study presented at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions annual meeting and published online in JAMA Cardiology. Researchers said rates for length of stay and cost per readmission were stable among the hospitals in the study.
The mortality rate for angioplasty patients admitted on a weekend day was about 2%, compared with 1% for patients admitted on a weekday, according to a study prepared for a Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions meeting. Data also linked weekend percutaneous coronary interventions to longer lengths of stay and higher costs.
A study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine reported that incidental findings were noted in more than half of patients who underwent imaging for chest pain, yet only 7% of the incidental findings were clinically significant. Follow-up in such cases contributed to longer hospitalization, which the authors note raises costs and exposes patients to hospital-acquired health problems.
Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute at Carolinas HealthCare System was the first in its region to use electronic ICU technology to help develop a specialized cardiac critical care team, largely driven by advanced clinical practitioners, according to Dr. Kevin Lobdell, director of quality. He said the majority of team members say the initiative has allowed them to improve how they deliver care and also has helped with onboarding new colleagues.
In-depth interviews with 19 adult patients show satisfaction with telehealth primary care visits and interest in continued use of the technology, researchers reported in the Annals of Family Medicine. Patients cited convenience and lower costs as the main benefits of telehealth visits.
The health care industry should be wary in their online activities after the WannaCry ransomware cyberattack against hospitals and health information systems across the world last week, according to HHS and other US agencies. HHS suggested several steps on how organizations could prevent ransomware attacks, and the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team said organizations should not pay a requested ransom.
Attaching decision aids to patient portals can improve engagement and decision-making, but only if patients and their health care providers embrace the tools, according to a study in the Annals of Family Medicine. Many of the patients who used digital decision aids in a study found them useful, but few patients in the study utilized the aids, potentially because of technological barriers and skepticism on the part of patients and clinicians, researchers said.
Emergency department physicians who got lab results for troponin tests on their smartphones decided to discharge chest pain patients a median of 26 minutes faster than those who got results from an electronic patient record, according to a study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. Researcher Aikta Verma said other key lab results also could be delivered to physicians using smartphone push-alert notifications.
The CMS on Oct. 1 plans to launch new Medicare billing codes for physicians who specialize in treating heart failure patients. The American College of Cardiology and the Heart Failure Society of America support the new codes because Medicare has denied payments to heart failure specialists when a general cardiologist in the practice also filed a claim for the same patient.
The CMS has informed 806,879 clinicians they will not undergo evaluation under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System this year, up from October's estimate of as many as 780,000. Physicians who are new to Medicare this year and those who see fewer than 100 unique Medicare patients and have less than $30,000 in Medicare charges per year will not be required to comply with MIPS.
New research exploring type 1 and type 2 diabetes diagnosis trends in youth and long-term incidence rates of cardiovascular disease and mortality in adults was published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Results from a study by Elizabeth J. Mayer-Davis, PhD, et al., found a significant increase in the number of youths diagnosed with type 1 and type 2 diabetes from 2002 to 2012. Meanwhile, a separate study by Aidin Rawshani, MD, et al., found that a combination of improvements in patient education, management of risk factors and advances in clinical decision-making support may have contributed to marked reductions in cardiovascular disease and mortality among Swedish adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Read more on ACC.org. Take the new poll on reducing cardiovascular events in diabetic patients with cardiovascular disease from the Diabetes and Cardiometabolic Disease Clinical Topic Collection on ACC.org.
In a recent Fellows in Training/Early Career article published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Joseph Ebinger, MD, discusses the unique set of skills and tools used to perform health services research, including the electronic medical record, clinical databases and patient registries. "To provide the highest value care for our patients, cardiologists, especially FITs and early career physicians, must embrace [health services research] as a unifying methodology, weaving through all aspects of cardiology," he writes. "ACC's leadership with such registries provides FITs with an incredible opportunity to gain experience, develop necessary skills, and improve population-based care through mentored research using these resources." In response, John A. Spertus, MD, MPH, FACC, explains, "It is incumbent upon our fellowship training programs and certification organizations to begin providing training in these skills and to ensure competency among practitioners. In so doing, we can meet the call for medicine to become more evidence-based, patient-centered, and value-focused, thereby improving the care and outcomes of our patients." Read more.
There is a debt of service due from every man to his country, proportioned to the bounties which nature and fortune have measured to him.
Thomas Jefferson, third US president
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