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Healthcare Economics

 - rising compensation

In 2014, the median compensation increased approximately 7.5 percent for a general cardiologist and 8.0 percent for a cardiologist working in the cath lab, according to an American Medical Group Association (AMGA) survey released on July 14. Meanwhile, compensation for cardiac or thoracic surgeons increased 4.8 percent from the previous year.

 - health_costs

When the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) released guidelines in November 2013 for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, healthcare professionals questioned the threshold for prescribing statins. However, researchers found the threshold used in the ACC/AHA guidelines fit an acceptable cost-effectiveness profile.

 - Medical Money

Next year, hospitals will receive slight reductions in outpatient hospital stay payments when treating Medicare patients, according to a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released on July 1.

 - middle age doctor

Cardiologists and others treating Medicare patients will receive around the same amount of payments in 2016, according to the proposed Medicare Physician fee schedule released on July 8. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will release the final rule by Nov. 1.

 - Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the subsidies offered as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be available nationwide, regardless of whether they are used to buy health insurance on an exchange established by the federal government or an individual state.

 

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Supreme Court upholds ACA subsidies nationwide

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the subsidies offered as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be available nationwide, regardless of whether they are used to buy health insurance on an exchange established by the federal government or an individual state.

In ruling's wake

The Supreme Court finally made its ruling on King v. Burwell, a decision that affects the health insurance exchange concept in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Was this a disruption or a distraction?

A look at cath lab pay and how you might do better

If you work in a cath lab and you would like to make more money, take some pointers from SpringBoard Healthcare’s 2015 survey. The survey results shed light on wage information from directors and managers to nurses and techs.

Poll finds U.S. residents believe prescription drug prices are too high

Nearly three-quarters of people in the U.S. believe prescription drug prices are unreasonable, according to the monthly Kaiser Health Tracking poll released on June 16.

Hospital saves $535K though cardiac initiatives

A half billion here, almost another billion more there. Cardiologists can contribute to cost savings and revenues, but it may take compelling data and frequent reminders, judging by the example of Providence Spokane Heart Institute in Washington.

No-frills TAVR may offset cost pressures in mid-risk patients

CHICAGO—In order to be cost-effective in intermediate-risk patients, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures will need to be stripped down to the necessities in uncomplicated cases, according to one of TAVR’s leading health economists. 

More than 10 million people remain covered under plans on the health insurance exchanges

More than 10 million people had paid their premiums after enrolling in plans on the health insurance exchanges and remained covered as of March 31, according a report released on June 2 from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Medicare places cardiology in top 10 for high payments

Cardiology was among the top 10 provider specialties with high average amounts allowed by Medicare, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Most of the costs came from medical services rather than drugs administered.

Federal payment model focuses on reducing cardiovascular risk

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced on May 28 a new payment model to decrease cardiovascular risk for Medicare beneficiaries.

HHS provides $112 million in funding for cardiovascular disease

Seven regional cooperatives representing nearly 5,000 primary care clinicians in 12 states received a total of $112 million from the federal government to help prevent cardiovascular disease in their patients.

How to avoid being approved by the FDA but shunned by Medicare

The FDA and Medicare have different priorities. Getting the twain to meet sometimes takes a third party to show what is safe and effective can also be a value, too.  

Most costs tied to index PCI, not 30-day hospitalizations

Efforts to reduce healthcare costs by targeting 30-day readmissions after PCI may be misguided. An analysis of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals attributed the majority of costs to the index procedure.

MI FREEE puts post-MI savings from full drug coverage at $2B

Giving full prescription drug coverage to patients in the U.S. who experienced a first MI could save almost $2 billion annually over their lifetime, an analysis of MI FREEE found. Although only one carrier served patients in the trial, the results could apply to other payers as well, the lead researcher said.

More than 76% of cardiac arrest survivors return to work

More than 76 percent of people who survived an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest returned to work in a median of four months, according to an analysis of a Danish registry. Among that population, the salaries remained similar one year before and one year after the cardiac arrest.

Pioneer ACO model saves $385M in first two years

An accountable care organization (ACO) model saved Medicare approximately $385 million in its first two years, according to an independent report released on May 4.

Statins are cost-effective for CVD prevention in older adults

Statins are cost-effective for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in adults who are at least 75 years old, according to a simulation model.

Few consumers use healthcare price and quality data

Fewer than 10 percent of people used price and quality comparison data when choosing doctors, hospitals or health insurance plans in the past 12 months, according to the Kaiser Health Tracking poll released on April 21.

Health spending growth much lower than expected

Since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March 2010, projected federal healthcare spending has decreased each year as factors such as a weak economy, high deductible health plans and reduced provider payment rates have led to historically low rates of spending growth. Researchers from the Urban Institute released a report online on April 8 that examined the changing forecasts.

From paralysis to progress

The sustainable growth rate (SGR) is toast. Now the real work begins.

Physician advocates in D.C. eager to shift focus to quality

With the “doc fix” behind them, cardiology's advocates are ready to move onto other important issues. “Now we can really start talking about how we implement rewarding quality of care and switching from volume to quality,” said Peter Duffy, MD.