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Healthcare Economics

 - Storm

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.

 - treadmill

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.

 - healthcare cost

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.

 - Doc with money

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

 - 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.

 

More Stories

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.

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?