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Healthcare Economics

 - Medical Money

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.

 - money, healthcare costs

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. 

 - elderly

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.

 - Doc with money

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.

 - unhappy doctor

When choosing a device-based treatment for patients with peripheral artery disease, physicians may find themselves in a quandary. A cost-effectiveness model found that the best deal from a payer’s perspective was the worst option for the provider, according to a presentation Sept. 13 at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics scientific session.

 

More Stories

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.

A peek at TCT headliner? Keynote takes on GME funding

Could this be a preview of a keynote speech at the upcoming Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) conference in Washington, D.C.? In an assay, economist Uwe E. Reinhardt, PhD, argued that graduate medical education (GME) did not meet the standards for receiving federal funding.

Leaping lipids! Common test costs $10 to $10,000 in California

Buyers beware. Hospitals in California charged as little as $10 and as much as $10,169 for a lipid panel test, according to an analysis published Aug. 15 in BMJ Open.

Cardiology pay slips 8% but who, what & where makes difference

Overall compensation for cardiologists dropped almost 8 percent between 2012 and 2013 but the pain was not spread evenly, according to MedAxiom’s annual survey. Pay and pay cuts varied greatly depending on subspecialty, employment model and region.

GAO: Few strategies to prevent heart disease provide cost savings

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) ruled that a number of treatments to prevent cardiovascular disease were either not cost effective or offered no cost savings in a report released Aug. 11.

Pay-for-performance model sputters over long term

A pay-for-performance model in England failed to show much sustained improvement in 30-day mortality for heart failure (HF) and acute MI (AMI), in spite of incentives and penalties, according to a study published online Aug. 7 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

CMS approves CardioMEMS, MitraClip for add-on payments

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) agreed to provide some reimbursement for the CardioMEMS heart failure and MitraClip valve devices beginning in fiscal year 2015.

Project lowers costs while improving statin, beta-blocker adherence

A Pennsylvania pharmacy-based intervention program could help patients and insurers alike save money and live healthier lives, according to a study published in the August issue of Health Affairs.

CABG beats PCI for patients with complex disease over long haul

Beyond five years, CABG was more cost effective than PCI using drug-eluting stents (DES-PCI) for treating patients with complex coronary artery disease (CAD), according to a study published online Aug. 1 in Circulation

Stripped-down TAVR approach shaves costs for hospitals

Centers may be able to trim thousands of dollars off the cost of a transfemoral transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure without compromising care using a minimalist approach, according to a recently published study. Only experienced facilities should adopt this strategy, though, the lead author told Cardiovascular Business.

As is, readmissions penalty may push some hospitals over brink

Failing to adjust measures such as Medicare’s readmissions reduction program for sociodemographic factors will put already financially stressed safety net hospitals at risk and worsen healthcare disparities, according to an editorial published online July 22 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

AHA to insurers: Home BP monitoring saves you money

Medicare and private insurers take note: Home blood pressure (BP) monitoring for hypertension is cost effective. So cover it, the American Heart Association (AHA) advocates. 

Follow-up costs outweigh benefits for nodule findings on CCTA

Follow-up of incidental findings of pulmonary nodules (PN) during coronary CT angiography (CCTA) reduces deaths from lung cancer but at the price of increased downstream testing, making the practice of dubious value, researchers reported online July 11 in Circulation.

Hospital saves $1.25M by nixing excess cardiac biomarker testing

An intervention designed to eliminate unneeded cardiac biomarker testing for acute coronary syndrome saved $1.25 million in one year at one hospital, according to a study published online June 28 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Trickle-up economics

One of the many harmful effects of the Great Recession was wage deflation in certain sectors. Is it possible that an economic drag has reached into highly skilled professions such as medicine?

Most physicians see income drop or stagnate in past year

In a survey on physician income and job satisfaction, 45 percent of respondents reported their compensation dropped between 2013 and 2014 and another 43 percent saw no change in income.

Cardiac demo’s cost savings may support wider rollout

Expanding a demonstration that bundled hospital and physician payments for several cardiac and orthopedic procedures would have a significant impact on Medicare, wrote authors of a viewpoint that appeared online July 7 in JAMA Internal Medicine. They offered several options going forward.

Costs averted with cardiac surgery CME could be substantial

It pays to invest in continuing medical education (CME), according to a predictive model applied to cardiac and thoracic surgeries. Costs averted from bleeding-related complications and reoperation for bleeding were substantial, even when a modest number of surgeons incorporated lessons into practice.

Bill adds socioeconomic factors to readmissions formula

Senators submitted bipartisan legislature on June 19 to change Medicare’s policy of withholding payments for high rates of readmission to provide better coverage to hospitals working with populations of underserved, disadvantaged and at-risk patients. If put into law, it would change policies outlined in the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program.

Costs rise despite drop in ED length of stay for heart failure

While heart failure length of stay is dropping, the cost of an emergency room visit is growing, a study published in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Heart Failure found. Heart failure is the top reason for Medicare hospital readmissions and 1 million hospital stays occur each year.