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October 25, 2012
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News for and about nuclear cardiology and cardiovascular imaging professionals

ASNC SmartBrief Special Report:
Best practices in cardiology
Rising costs, health care reform and increasing emphasis on patient-centered care have put clinical decision-making in the spotlight. ASNC has been at the forefront of efforts to address these topics, working to deliver the best possible care while using resources wisely and maximizing patient safety and satisfaction. Through that lens, this special report explores best practices in cardiology as well as related policy, with a special focus on the nuclear lab. In addition to this content, you'll find a poll seeking your take on ASNC's involvement in the landmark Choosing Wisely initiative, which identified lists of "Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question." Look for poll results as well as a conversation with Dr. Robert Hendel, who was involved in developing the recommendations, in a follow-up report on Nov. 8.
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  Clinical Practice 
  • MPI does not aid exercise test CAD diagnosis in women
    Adding MPI to exercise stress testing for initial diagnosis of women showing symptoms of coronary artery disease did not result in significant changes in terms of major cardiac adverse events and hospital admission for chest pain, according to a study published in Circulation. Adding MPI also did not lead to significant changes in rates of angina-free status at two years, the study said. ClinicalAdvisor.com (9/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • SPECT MPI bests CZT imaging for obese patients
    Patients with high body mass index would benefit more from SPECT MPI than from a cadmium-zinc-telluride camera, according to a study published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine. With CZT cameras, "the heart has to be centered in a much smaller field of view than with conventional cameras, and image acquisition may often be challenging in obese patients even after repositioning of the patient," researchers said. To identify patients who should not undergo imaging with CZT cameras, BMI should be considered instead of absolute weight, according to researchers. MolecularImaging.net (10/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Astellas is proud to support the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology
Visit www.us.astellas.com

  Patient Focus 
  • Report: Unnecessary care costs up to $800 billion a year
    A group of physicians reported in the journal BMJ that 30,000 Medicare patients die each year because of overly aggressive treatment, while the costs of unneeded interventions may be up to $800 billion a year. The physicians said changing how doctors are paid can help reduce overtreatment but that efforts to reduce unnecessary care may be seen by the public as rationing. HealthDay News (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Care improves when patients track, share health data
    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Project HealthDesign showed that when patients used technology such as smartphone applications to track daily observations and then shared the information with physicians, it led to improvements in care. For example, one program in California found that data collected by Crohn's disease patients helped physicians identify disease triggers and reduce symptoms. InformationWeek/InformationWeek Healthcare (9/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Policy Pulse 
  • Public reporting appears to influence angioplasty levels
    Medical facilities in states that require public reporting of revascularization outcomes perform fewer angioplasty and stenting procedures than those in states that do not, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Although the policies were meant to improve outcomes while reducing unnecessary procedures, the research suggests they had unintended consequences, physicians said. "Some of [the] procedures that haven't been getting done probably were unnecessary, but perhaps some of them could have extended lives," said researcher Dr. Karen Joynt. The Boston Globe/Daily Dose blog (tiered subscription model) (10/10), Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (10/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Docs weigh in on cost and health care decision-making
    Doctors at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center will not be prescribing the new drug cancer Zaltrap because it has not been shown to work better than an older treatment despite costing twice as much, three hospital physicians write. "[B]ecause our medical culture equates 'new' with 'better' so unequivocally, a decision like this one can seem out of place at a leading cancer hospital," the authors write. But they say there is no survival benefit to the new therapy, and thus no justification for prescribing a more costly treatment. "The future of our health care system, and of cancer care, depends on our using our limited resources wisely," they say. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
 
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  Spotlight on ASNC 
  • ASNC and Choosing Wisely: Advancing the conversation around safety, quality and health
    As part of its involvement in the Choosing Wisely campaign, ASNC, along with the original eight specialty societies, identified "Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question." ASNC SmartBrief is conducting a quick poll to identify areas of physician involvement in this important effort.
  • Has Choosing Wisely helped your practice decrease or eliminate tests that may not provide meaningful change in a patient's clinical management?
Yes
No
N/A

  • Has the guidance helped your practice customize a specific care plan for a specific patient?
Yes
No
N/A

  • Have Choosing Wisely recommendations helped your practice identify areas within your practice that will improve outcomes and reduce health care waste?
Yes
No
N/A

  • Has the initiative helped your practice encourage conversations about testing and procedures with your patients?
Yes
No
N/A

  
Product announcements appearing in SmartBrief are paid advertisements and do not reflect actual ASNC endorsements. The news reported in SmartBrief does not necessarily reflect the official position of ASNC.
 
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