Study examines gender disparity in silent heart attacks | Valeant offers hospitals deeper discounts on 2 heart drugs | Report: Most solo physicians do not want to sell practice
May 18, 2016
ASNC SmartBrief
News for nuclear cardiology and cardiovascular imaging professionals
Top Stories
Study examines gender disparity in silent heart attacks
Researchers reviewed data on almost 9,500 middle-aged adults and found that although the incidence rates of silent heart attacks were higher in men than in women, the associated increased risk of dying when compared to adults without heart attack was greater in women. In general, silent heart attacks, which accounted for 45% of all heart attacks, were linked to a 34% higher all-cause mortality risk and about threefold greater risk of dying from heart disease, according to the study published in Circulation.
Reuters (5/16),  United Press International/HealthDay News (5/16) 
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Valeant offers hospitals deeper discounts on 2 heart drugs
Valeant is offering hospitals a simpler, more accessible discount program for heart drugs Isuprel and Nitropress, new CEO Joseph Papa said. Valeant raised the drugs' prices by 525% and 212% after acquiring them in February 2015.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (5/16) 
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Other News
Medical Focus
Study shows positive results for Boston Scientific's heart device
A 150-patient, four-site study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed positive results for Boston Scientific's Watchman left atrial appendage occlusion device. Use of the device in patients with atrial fibrillation who were warfarin-ineligible led to a 75% lower annual rate of ischemic stroke or systemic embolism, compared with aspirin use alone. (5/12) 
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Research: Hypertension, alcohol interact to increase risk of heart problems
Adults with high blood pressure but no other cardiac trouble may be more likely to develop heart problems if they consume alcohol, according to a study scheduled for discussion at a meeting of the American Society of Hypertension. Researchers found that even moderate drinking can disrupt the function of the lower left chamber of the heart, with adults who drank the most alcohol showing signs of thicker left ventricular walls, which results in a less flexible chamber and less efficient movement of blood.
United Press International/HealthDay News (5/13) 
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Regulatory & Policy
CMS looks set to launch Part B drug demo despite criticism
The CMS appears likely to launch a proposed project to overhaul how some drugs are reimbursed under Medicare Part B, despite considerable resistance to the proposal in Congress and the medical community.
STAT/Pharmalot (5/17),  MedPage Today (free registration) (5/17) 
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HHS issues final anti-discrimination rules
Medicaid, Medicare, insurers that offer plans through, and any other program or health care provider that accepts federal funds must comply with recently finalized anti-discrimination rules that clarify the agency's policy on gender identity, among other provisions. Coverage of gender transition surgery is not explicitly required, but regulators might question denial of coverage for medically necessary services related to gender transition.
Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (5/13),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (5/13) 
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Invitation from ASNC2016 Program Chair
Invitation to ASNC2016.
"As a specialist in cardiac imaging, I hope you will join me at our ASNC2016 Scientific Session," said Randall C. Thompson, MD, FASNC. This year, we'll offer a special focus on PET imaging, expanded coverage of multimodality imaging, and important updates in health policy that are driving payment changes. Hope you can come Sept. 22-25 to our Annual Meeting in Boca Raton, Fla. Learn more and register.
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Enroll in the nation's first registry for noninvasive cardiac imaging
Participate in our ImageGuide Registry and successfully report on PQRS for 2016, plus gain access to valuable national benchmarking data that can be used for quality improvement initiatives as well as to advocate for regulatory and payment policy. Data can be submitted either through an online data collection tool, through an ASNC certified reporting vendor, or via a systems integrator. More information about the registry and enrollment.
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