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Healthcare Economics

 - health_costs

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.

 - Savings Ahead?

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.

 - speaker

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.

 - ACO

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.

 - patient

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


More Stories

Uninsured rate in U.S. is lowest in 7 years

During the first quarter of 2015, the uninsured rate for adults in the U.S. was the lowest since Gallup and Healthways began tracking the data in 2008.

ACC, SCAI rejoice as Senate repeals SGR

The Senate passed legislation to permanently repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula just hours before a 21.1 percent cut in the Medicare physician fees was scheduled to occur. The move was cheered by leading cardiology societies, which for many years had advocated for change.

Taxing times

April 15 is a big day. If you haven’t finished your taxes, then you may have two deadlines to worry about.

Atrial fibrillation adds $4,905 to stroke costs in younger adults

Having atrial fibrillation increases the cost of stroke hospitalization in younger adults by $4,905, with patients between 18 and 54 years old incurring the highest cost, according to a study published online April 7 in Stroke.

Medicare Advantage payments to increase 1.25% in 2016

Medicare Advantage payments to health plans will increase an estimated 1.25 percent next year, according to a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rate announcement and call letter published on April 6.

CMS delays 'two-midnight' policy until April 30

With the Senate waiting to vote on the Medicare sustainable growth rate bill until it reconvenes on April 13, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has decided to delay enforcement of the “two-midnight” policy until April 30.

Another opportunity with the SGR

The term in economics is hyperbolic discounting, the inability to act today on what affects the seemingly distant future. You can apply it to some patients and lawmakers.

House votes to repeal SGR; Senate’s next

The House voted to eliminate the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula that for years has threatened to cut physician payment from Medicare. Cardiovascular societies praised the move and encouraged the Senate to follow suit.

TAVR market may top $3B by 2020

The market for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) devices is expected to burgeon through 2020, far outpacing surgical valves, one market report projected.

ACC.15: Turning TAVR’s growth into hospital profits

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.

Bipartisan coalition introduces SGR repeal bill

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

Heart, imaging groups join 700 societies in SGR plea

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.

During device surgery, warfarin wins over heparin for cost-effectiveness

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

Pay change favors outpatient atherectomies, but not Medicare

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.

Hospitals take selective approach with CMS bundled payments

Hospitals participating in phase two of a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) bundled payment model apparently focus only on those conditions that they treat most frequently. According to research published in the March issue of Health Affairs, this means that institutions are enrolled, at most, in two or three conditions out of the possible 48.

Merge buys DR Systems for $70M

Merge Healthcare has announced that it has acquired DR Systems, the San Diego-based PACS vendor, in a deal worth $70 million.

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.

ISC.15: Insertable monitor cost-effective in cryptogenic stroke patients

Using an insertable cardiac monitor to identify atrial fibrillation in patients with cryptogenic stroke is cost-effective, at least from a UK healthcare system’s perspective. The results are likely to catch the eye of the FDA, too, the lead researcher told Cardiovascular Business.

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.