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Healthcare Economics

 - Money Climb

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) programs are picking up steam in the U.S. And they can be fiscal as well as clinical successes, but it requires physicians and administrators working together to maximize efficiencies.

 - Doc with money

Senate and House leaders officially introduced legislation aimed at permanently repealing and replacing the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula.

 - Capitol Hill, Congress

The letter is short and the list is long. Almost all of the major cardiovascular and imaging societies banded together with approximately 700 medical associations to implore Congress to repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula.

 - Bullseye Finance

Continuing with warfarin may be significantly more cost-effective than switching to heparin during pacemaker or defibrillator surgery.

 - money, healthcare costs

A change in federal reimbursement for peripheral vascular interventions shifted the proportion of treatments away from inpatient to generally less expensive outpatient settings. But it may not have saved Medicare money, according to a study.


More Stories

Laggards no more: Productivity analysis puts hospitals on plus side

Hospitals may have a reputation for being less than efficient, but an analysis of Medicare patients treated for MI, heart failure and pneumonia challenges that notion. Productivity in hospitals actually has grown in recent years, researchers report in Health Affairs.

New year, new chance to improve ‘pay for value’ approach

The Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at Brookings has some suggestions if Congress again proposes a “pay for value” approach to Medicare payment.

Ticagrelor found cost-effective despite U.S. risk profile

A second look at data from a study comparing ticagrelor to clopidogrel in patients with acute coronary syndrome explored the comparative cost-effectiveness of the two treatments. Ticagrelor scored on value but editorial writers raised concerns.  

Medicare raises bar for covering medical technologies

If it seems like it has become harder to get devices such as valves, stents, diagnostic imaging technologies and drugs covered under Medicare’s national coverage determination process—well, it has. So concludes an analysis published in the February issue of Health Affairs.

Penny-pinching and pills: 10 key statistics

About one-fifth of the cost for retail prescriptions comes from patients’ pockets. To offset the expense, some patients cut corners.

Treating uncontrolled hypertension makes dollars and sense

Implementing 2014 hypertension guidelines could save lives and money. A cost analysis study found that full implementation of hypertension guidelines could save 13,000 people from cardiovascular-related deaths and prevent 56,000 cardiovascular events annually.

Offering early treatment via weekend cath lab hours lowers costs

It may sound counterintuitive, but healthcare costs could be reduced by including weekend hours in the cardiac catheterization lab, according to a study published in the March issue of the Canadian Journal of Cardiology.

Tool reveals wide gap in costs for PCI, imaging

BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina unveiled a database that allows consumers to compare treatment costs at hospitals. The tool shows wide variation in payments for cardiac procedures and imaging.

Infections after heart surgery can raise costs by $38,000

Major healthcare-associated infections up to two months after cardiac surgery may tag an additional $38,000 to the cost of the index hospitalization, a finding that researchers propose may spur hospitals to invest in preventive measures.

Saving here & there: How health costs get tamed

Healthcare spending increased 3.6 percent in 2013, down from 2012’s 4.1 percent growth rate. Here’s a look at what contributed to the slowdown.

CABG continues to be more costly than PCI but with better outcomes

A U.S. study supports earlier findings that suggest that although CABG is more costly than PCI, patients can expect to live longer with the procedure. This was published in the Jan. 6 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Hospital Compare slows rise in CABG, PCI prices

Quality reporting in Hospital Compare put a brake on rising prices for CABG and PCI in states that previously had no reporting systems of their own, a study published in the January issue of Health Affairs found.

Interventional market estimated at $22B by ‘16

The global market for devices and technologies for the interventional cardiology community will top $22 billion by 2016, according to one industry analysis.

Private ACO contracts: More downside risk & upfront payments

Half of  accountable care organization (ACO) providers hold contracts with private insurers, according to a study published in the December edition of the American Journal of Managed Care. The analysis is one of the first to shed light on the nature of ACO contracts with commercial payers.

Fee-for-service reimbursement cuts may put damper on stroke gains

Taiwan's reimbursement cuts may have slowed progress in reducing 30-day mortality rates for ischemic stroke, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Extubating heart surgery patients in OR safe with lower costs

Extubating low- and moderate-risk patients in the operating room (OR) after cardiac surgeries can lower costs and shorten lengths of stay at no added risk, according to a study published in the December issue of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

For physicians, training area impacts early spending in practice

Physician spending habits can be learned, but they also can change, a study found. In the first years of practice, residency spending patterns had the greatest impact on expenditures per patient, according to a study published in the Dec. 10 issue of JAMA.

Cost analysis may support ICU transfers for intracranial bleeding

When it comes to long-term cost in transferring patients to specialized neurological intensive care units following an intracerebral hemorrhage, patient outcomes play a significant role.

Medicare maintains Kcentra’s add-on pay status

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will continue to pay an additional amount for a reversal agent to warfarin for in-hospital treatments through Sept. 15, 2015.

Exercise beats stenting, medical care for PAD costs

Proponents of supervised exercise as a treatment for peripheral artery disease (PAD) can flex their muscles a bit more with policy makers and payers after a cost-effectiveness analysis showed the approach to be a good value.