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Healthcare Economics

 - Contract

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.

 - health_costs

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.

 - surgery

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.

 - healthcare costs

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.

 - health_costs

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.


More Stories

An extra hospital day lowers readmissions, costs

It sounds counterintuitive, but hospitals may save money by waiting a day before discharging heart failure patients. One more day in the hospital also reduces death from MI and pneumonia, according to a report published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

In-hospital cardiac arrest survival carries high readmission rates, price

Patients who survive in-hospital cardiac arrests are not completely out of the woods, and mortality, readmission rates and inpatient costs prove it. Researchers found that 30-day and one-year readmission rates were exceptionally high among in-hospital cardiac arrest survivors, as were inpatient costs.

CMS final fee schedule offers only crumbs for cardiology

Cardiovascular specialists will find little joy in final regulations released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Changes for 2015 leave payments generally flat—at least until April 1, when the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula patch is scheduled to expire.

Dalteparin outweighs unfractionated heparin in cost savings

Heparin choice can impact costs, according to a study published online Nov. 1 in JAMA. The economic analysis found median hospital costs were $1,297 less per patient with low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) dalteparin as opposed to unfractionated heparin.

5 disruptive forces to buffet cardiovascular device makers

Cardiovascular device makers may need to brace and embrace to stay afloat, according one market projection. Analysts predicted a 6 percent decline in margins for medical device companies by 2020, which could be offset by $34 billion in profits and cost reductions.

CCTA races past treadmill ECG for cost, performance

Coronary CT angiography (CCTA) saves time and money compared with exercise treadmill tests for assessing low- to intermediate-risk patients who present with chest pain. In a randomized trial, CCTA also performed better diagnostically.

10-year stroke costs higher than estimates project

It may be time to readjust lifetime financial costs for stroke patients. According to a 10-year follow-up in an Australian study, the annual price tag for treatment following stroke was higher than they’d previously estimated at year five.

The consequences of policy changes

You can call any change in public policy a natural experiment. This week we had a glimpse of some results.

Starting pay for cardiology subspecialists: $189K-$360K

Not bad for starters. Depending on the subspecialty, newly minted cardiologists made between $189,000 and $360,000 in 2013.

Transparent savings: Imaging claims payments drop with use of price transparency platform

Research suggests patients might be thriftier shoppers if given the right tools. When a group of patients used a price transparency platform, it resulted in lowering claims payments for advanced imaging services by more than 13 percent, according to a study published in the Oct. 22/29 issue of JAMA.

Competition among docs may keep prices in check

Market concentration may offer some efficiencies but that doesn’t guarantee savings. An analysis published in the Oct. 22/29 issue of JAMA found that insurers paid higher prices when physicians faced less competition.

Costs per patient $704 higher at multihospital vs. physician-owned practices

Patient costs can be as much as 20 percent higher in multihospital systems as opposed to physician-owned, physician-run organizations, a study published in the Oct. 22/29 issue of JAMA found. These findings contradict assumptions that larger organizations would be able to leverage size and integrated services for better pricing. 

Informal caregiving for elderly stroke patients costs $26.8B

Stroke ranks high for costs to healthcare systems. A study published online Oct. 10 in Neurology added the price of informal caregiving for elderly stroke survivors in the U.S. to the equation: almost $27 billion annually.

Reassessing readmissions

October is here. Let the pain begin. That is, the 30-day readmission penalties.

Blood, sweat & time: Why heart surgeons make more than family doctors

Differences in the time estimates for physician work accounted for almost 90 percent of the variance in a measure used to determine pay for doctors, a finding that helps explain the income gap between proceduralists and primary care physicians. The results were published online Sept. 18 in the Annals of Surgery.

As TAVR marches forward

The Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics conference in Washington, D.C., offered some reassuring findings on transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) this week, but that doesn’t mean it is a green light for expanded indications.

Treating stroke with r-tPA saves payers $25,000 per patient

The cost-effectiveness of a thrombolytic agent used to treat stroke is all but a slam dunk from a payer’s perspective, according to a study published online Sept. 4 in Stroke. The authors recommended using their updated cost analysis to inform future reimbursement policies.

It’s lights out again (and again) for Sunshine

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will shut down the Open Payments website twice again “for maintenance.” The latest setback prompted the American Medical Association (AMA) to call for a six-month delay in the program launch.

Not-for-profit hospitals see revenue growth tumble

U.S. not-for-profit hospitals’ revenue growth hit an all-time low of 3.9 percent in 2013, Moody’s Investor Services calculated, with little relief in sight for 2014.

Novel anticoagulants vs. warfarin: Popular but pricey

Novel oral anticoagulants have outstripped warfarin for usage in the U.S., but at a price. A study found that the three new options for treating patients with atrial fibrillation made up 62 percent of new prescriptions but cost $900 higher than warfarin after six months.