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December 11, 2012
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News for Invasive/Interventional Cardiologists

  Top Stories 
  • High-quality diet reduces cardiovascular risks, study says
    Patients with cardiovascular disease or diabetes who ate the healthiest diets were less likely to die from CVD and had lower risks of stroke, heart attack and heart failure, compared with people who had the poorest-quality diet, Canadian researchers reported in the journal Circulation. The effects of diet were seen no matter what medications patients were taking. "From this we can infer that patients may derive an additive benefit when dietary modification is combined with proven drug therapies and other lifestyle changes," researchers wrote. MedPage Today (free registration) (12/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Excela moves forward after settlement
    Excela Health paid $2 million to the federal government in a settlement over Medicare payments for stenting procedures at its Greensburg, Pa., hospital. The health system had questioned the necessity of some procedures, prompting a federal investigation and the eventual settlement. "Since our disclosure, Excela's quality improvements have resulted in a national accreditation of our cardiac catheterization laboratory, which we were the first in the state to receive," said Excela CEO Robert Rogalski. "Our commitment to maintaining that quality is unwavering." Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Policy & Professional News 
  • Balancing fiscal problems on the backs of physicians hurts everyone
    Physicians face a serious threat to their businesses from unstable Medicare reimbursements -- scheduled to drop almost 27% if a fix isn't instituted before January -- mandates under the Affordable Care Act and annual cuts that would be part of sequestration, writes Dr. Alex Valadka. "For more and more physicians, these multiple and repeated cliffs give us no choice but to limit the number of Medicare patients we see," Valadka writes. "... Making it more difficult for Medicare patients to find care is the wrong direction to go in looking for solutions to the fiscal cliff." Roll Call (free content) (12/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Applying AUC to the gray area of medicine
    SCAI has worked to address the challenges involved with utilizing appropriate use criteria in clinical practice through its SCAI Quality Improvement Toolkit and the Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence, according to this article. SCAI Trustee Dr. Tony Farah, chief medical officer at West Penn Allegheny Health System, says there is a considerable gray area when determining a course of action, and multiple considerations including consultation with patients need to be part of the decision-making process. Farah suggests revised terminology could improve such discussions with patients. (12/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FDA considers pump classification
    In federal testimony on behalf of SCAI, Dr. George Vetrovec expressed support for use of the nonroller pump for left ventricular support and percutaneous coronary intervention. An FDA panel voted last week that nonroller type cardiopulmonary bypass blood pumps should remain Class III devices, meaning that if the FDA follows the recommendation, manufacturers will have to prepare premarket approval documents. Vetrovec said that could pose a hardship for small manufacturers and divert resources from innovation. (12/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Medical Developments 
  • Researchers challenge notion of aspirin resistance
    The commonly held notion that some individuals' genetic makeup leaves them resistant to the cardiovascular benefits of aspirin is being challenged by researchers in a new report. Aspirin is widely used among men to prevent heart attacks and in women to prevent strokes, and researchers say it is the coating often used to decrease risks of stomach problems that is behind any signs of resistance because it slows release of the active ingredient. The Wall Street Journal (12/4), (Montreal) (free registration) (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  SCAI News 
  • Early bird gets the worm: RSVP for SCAI 2013 by tomorrow and save $100
    If you can only attend one interventional cardiology education meeting this year, shouldn't it be the Best of the Best? Shouldn't it be SCAI 2013 Scientific Sessions? Wednesday is the final day to take advantage of early bird tuition rates. That's $400 off regular onsite tuition! You don't want to miss SCAI 2013. No other interventional education program matches SCAI's focus on bringing you emerging trends in research and helping you apply it to clinical practice, all in an intimate learning environment of fellow interventionalists. RSVP today! LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • SCAI Past President testifies at FDA panel on pVADs
    At an FDA panel hearing held last week, SCAI Past President George Vetrovec, MD, FSCAI, testified on nonroller-type cardiopulmonary bypass blood pump devices, which include all peripheral ventricular assist devices. He urged the FDA panel to recommend against requiring that all of these devices go through the pre-market approval process, especially since they have already been approved via the 510k process. In his testimony, Dr. Vetrovec focused on how important it is for patients to have access to these potentially life-saving devices. Read more about the issue and read Dr. Vetrovec's testimony. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Put a grain of boldness into everything you do."
--Baltasar Gracián,
Spanish writer

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