May 11, 2021
CV Quality SmartBrief
Transforming Cardiovascular Care and Improving Heart HealthSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
First Focus
Transforming the US health care system from volume to value-based care requires an incentive structure that rewards innovation and superior performance, experts wrote. To accelerate the shift to a value-based system, the government should sponsor programs that promote better organizational stability as well as excellent, predictable clinical and financial results, while encouraging providers to embrace risk, treat their patients as consumers and integrate behavioral health, virtual care, and patient engagement into their platforms.
Full Story: MedPage Today (free registration) (5/8) 
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Telehealth can be used to overcome barriers in care management strategies and improve outcomes within alternative payments models such as accountable care organizations, according to a Health Affairs blog. APM participants can leverage telehealth to extend population health management programs to a wider range of patient populations, or they can combine the technology to other platforms such as text- or phone-based outreach to allow more automated, less intrusive patient monitoring.
Full Story: Health Affairs Blog (5/10) 
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The number of new COVID-19 cases across the US dropped 17% to less than 290,000 for the week that ended Sunday, marking the fourth consecutive week of decline and the fewest weekly cases since September, while COVID-19 deaths were down 1.3% to 4,756, the lowest weekly toll since July. Only seven states recorded increases in new cases, and the average number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 fell for the second week in a row.
Full Story: Reuters (5/10) 
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Practice & Hospital Management
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a rising backlog of patients waiting to receive interventional procedures for conditions like severe aortic stenosis, so clinicians may need to restructure services to handle it, according to remarks by Mamas Mamas of Keele University at the virtual Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions Scientific Sessions. He estimated that nearly 5,000 severe aortic stenosis patients in England did not receive treatment between March and November last year and up to 698 may have died during that time.
Full Story: Healio (free registration) (5/10) 
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Data published in Circulation show that US spending on cardiovascular disease care rose to $320 billion in 2016, an increase of more than $100 billion from 1996 levels. Dr. Maxwell Birger and fellow researchers wrote that "increases in service price and intensity" were mainly behind the rise in costs and that further efforts to control these factors are needed.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/Cardiology Today (5/9) 
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Innovation & Technology Trends
The demand for digital health care will increase this year, and personalization of services will become more of a factor in patient engagement, writes Frank McGillin, CEO of The Clinic by Cleveland Clinic. The emphasis on virtual care will make specialists and experts more accessible, and chronic care management will become more widespread.
Full Story: MedCity News (5/10) 
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Personal factors affect willingness to use mHealth tools
Health literacy, self-perception and experience with technology are key factors in whether patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will use digital self-management tools, researchers reported in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. Patients who felt ashamed of their condition, did not believe it was bad enough to warrant intervention, had been diagnosed long ago or found computer issues frustrating were the least likely to use the tool, which included a pedometer, self-management skills and education about COPD.
Full Story: The American Journal of Managed Care online (5/7) 
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Prevention & Research News
Research published in JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging showed that patients with mild COVID-19 tended to recover with no lingering damage to the heart muscle or its function. The study examined cardiac MRIs in 149 health care workers who had been diagnosed with either a mild coronavirus infection or no infection.
Full Story: Cardiovascular Business online (5/10) 
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A study presented at the virtual European Congress on Obesity found adults who follow a vegetarian diet had decreased levels of 13 biomarkers -- such as total cholesterol, apolipoprotein A and B, insulin-like growth factor, urate and creatinine -- that are associated with various diseases, compared with those who eat meat. However, the findings also revealed that vegetarians had decreased levels of helpful biomarkers like vitamin D and calcium but had significantly elevated levels of fats in the blood and cystatin-C, which indicated poorer kidney health, compared with those who eat meat.
Full Story: HealthDay News (5/10) 
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Other News Highlights
ACC News
A new in-hospital mortality risk model incorporating variables that reflect clinical severity for higher-risk patients may accurately predict mortality risk following PCI, according to research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that will be presented at ACC.21. The researchers incorporated new CathPCI Registry variables - frailty, cardiovascular instability type, level of consciousness after cardiac arrest, and decision for PCI with surgical consult - and accounted for case mix and hospital volume. They also evaluated the model's performance across different risk groups. Use of the new model "both in public reporting and in quality improvement efforts, will help standardize the assessment of risk associated with PCI both for hospitals and patients," they concluded. Read more and register for ACC.21.
The ACC and the Consumer Technology Association are collaborating on best practices for device and app makers to provide deeper understanding of products that manage cardiovascular health. The working group - which includes members from ACC, Philips, Samsung, Abbott and Omron - will develop evaluation criteria that companies can use to better educate clinicians as they recommend devices to their patients. "Through this collaborative effort we're spanning health care and tech to give both clinicians and patients confidence when using health care devices to monitor and treat cardiovascular disease," said John S. Rumsfeld, MD, PhD, FACC, chief innovation officer and chief science officer of the ACC. Read more.
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This news roundup is provided as a timely update to ACC members and partners interested in quality health care topics in the news media. Links to articles are provided for the convenience of the health care professionals who may find them of use in discussions with patients or colleagues. Opinions expressed in CV Quality SmartBrief are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the American College of Cardiology. On occasion, media articles may include or imply incorrect information about the ACC and its policies, positions, or relationships. For clarification on ACC positions and policies, we refer you to
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