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February 19, 2013
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News for Invasive/Interventional Cardiologists

  Top Stories 
  • Study ties gestational hypertension to long-term health risks
    Hypertension during pregnancy may contribute to heart, kidney and other health problems later in life, according to a study published in Circulation. Gestational hypertension carries a 300% higher risk of heart attack death, as well as elevated risk of ischemic heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, heart failure and diabetes, researchers said. The findings mirror those of an SCAI study that involved OB/GYN cardiovascular screenings, and interventional cardiologist Dr. Roxana Mehran, who led the SCAI initiative behind the study, expects the line of study will support a change in clinical practice. "Post pregnancy, these women are somewhat lost in the shuffle," Mehran said. "We're not following them as closely as we should." MedPage Today (free registration) (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy & Professional News 
  • Docs should share concerns, experts say, but it's never easy
    The case of lawsuits over a faulty hip replacement device has called attention to what experts say is an ethical obligation on the part of physicians to sound the alarm when they learn about bad devices or questionable medical therapies. "Questioning the status quo in medicine is not easy," said Dr. Harlan Krumholz of Yale School of Medicine, and he says there are many forces such as fear of lawsuits that compel physicians to keep concerns to themselves. Published research is the traditional outlet for airing such issues, but the process can take time, so physicians suggest other outlets such as through medical societies. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Legislative committee hears ideas on replacing SGR
    A House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing Thursday discussed issues surrounding a potential repeal of the sustainable growth rate formula, including concerns about how to pay for eliminating the SGR and how to measure and reward quality. Committee members and other health experts questioned whether models such as accountable care organizations, which tie pay to quality and outcomes, will work for all physicians, and some observers noted fee-for-service models are unlikely to disappear completely. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., says he hopes to see an SGR replacement bill passed before the August recess. MedPage Today (free registration) (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Medical Developments 
  • Study: No link between readmissions, hospital mortality rates
    A hospital's readmission rates are not linked to mortality rates, according to a Yale University study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Data found no relationship between the number of Medicare patients with heart attack and pneumonia who were readmitted within 30 days and those who died, and showed from 5% to 9% of hospitals had both low readmission and low mortality rates. CMS uses readmission rates to judge hospital quality and punishes high rates with reduced payments. Kaiser Health News (2/12), Reuters (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Societies aim to open TAVR to more patients
    The Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the American College of Cardiology have received investigational device exemption approval to conduct a clinical study evaluating broader use of transcatheter aortic valve replacement. This marks the first time medical societies have pursued an IDE, according to SCAI trustee Dr. Ralph Brindis. "The goal of the effort is to gain reimbursement for an expanded set of procedures with Sapien to make the device accessible to more patients," he said. The groups are now pursuing FDA approval for two more studies in hopes of expanding the uses of transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Forbes (2/12), (2/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  SCAI News 
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Everything that lives, lives not alone, nor for itself."
--William Blake,
British poet and painter

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