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Healthcare Economics & Policy


Edwards Lifesciences has purchased Baltimore-based Harpoon Medical for an initial $100 million, with the potential for up to $150 million more to be disbursed in milestone-driven payments over the next 10 years. Edwards announced the acquisition Dec. 6, hailing the addition of Harpoon’s mitral valve repair device to its product line.

Low- to middle-income countries (LMICs) spend billions of collective dollars each year on healthcare, Journal of the American College of Cardiology editor-in-chief Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, and colleagues wrote in a recent JACC article—but they aren’t necessarily spending those funds effectively.

At a time when chronic disease is eclipsing infectious outbreaks, the United States is working to find its role in the worldwide healthcare conversation.

CMS announced Nov. 30 it has finalized the cancellation of mandatory cardiac bundled payment programs and plans to introduce voluntary bundles soon.

An interim final rule issued Nov. 29 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will allow schools to serve low-fat, flavored milk and ease requirements for sodium reduction and whole-grain offerings beginning with the 2018-19 school year.


Recent Headlines

New research highlights consequences of ACA—both positive and negative

Two presentations at the American Heart Association’s scientific sessions in Anaheim, California, highlighted ways in which the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has changed the healthcare experience for patients—one good, one not so good.

AHA, LLNL announce partnership to speed up drug discovery

The American Heart Association (AHA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) are joining forces to reduce the cost of drug discovery and the time it takes a new drug to enter the marketplace.

Most uninsured heart, stroke patients incur ‘catastrophic’ hospitalization costs

More than three-fourths of patients without health insurance who were hospitalized for heart attack, stroke or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery incurred catastrophic healthcare expenses before the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to research presented Nov. 13 and 14 at the American Heart Association’s scientific sessions in Anaheim, California.

Readmissions reduction program linked to increased mortality for heart failure patients

A program that financially penalizes hospitals for excess readmissions for heart failure may have an unintended consequence: higher rates of 30-day and one-year mortality in those patients.

Survey finds the general public knows little about basic human anatomy

With the exception of a handful of major organs, a recent poll of 63 Lancaster, England, residents yielded one clear result: The global public suffers from a lack of knowledge of basic human anatomy—a phenomenon that could compromise future healthcare efforts and the efficacy of clinical systems.

Serving water with school lunches could curb obesity, save billions

Increasing access to plain drinking water in school cafeterias throughout the U.S. could prevent 570,000 children from becoming overweight or obese and save $13.1 billion in medical costs and indirect societal costs, suggests a new study in Pediatric Obesity.

TCT 2017: Physician's 5 key points for aligning incentives under MACRA

Herbert D. Aronow, MD, MPH, discussed with Cardiovascular Business how to align financial incentives between physicians, hospital administrators and other stakeholders, and how collaboration could lead to success under MACRA.

Noninvasive test for CAD to be reimbursed by CMS in 2018

A noninvasive technology that allows clinicians to view a simulated, three-dimensional model of a patient’s coronary blood flow will be reimbursed by CMS beginning in 2018, HeartFlow announced Nov. 6.

Mexican doctors recycle used pacemakers to save money, lives

In Mexico, where more than half of the population doesn’t have access to private health insurance, physicians are successfully recycling donated pacemakers to patients in need, the European Society of Cardiology reported this week.

40% of healthcare employees work while ill

Doctors may not be sticking to their own guidelines—four in 10 healthcare workers who come down with the flu continue to work in spite of their symptoms, a new study published in the American Journal of Infection Control reports.