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Healthcare Economics & Policy


Despite a growing number of states requiring high school students to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), nearly 700,000 students graduate each year without receiving training due to lack of legislation, according to a review published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Recent Headlines

ACC Corner: “Quality First” in Healthcare Reform Debate

Health system reform is imminent. If you travel anywhere in the United States, you will find physician and patient satisfaction levels decreasing as a result of inconsistent quality, lack of coordinated care and medical liability concerns. Combine these factors with 47 million uninsured Americans, and you have a system primed for reform.

Maximizing Reimbursement, Minimizing Penalties

In today’s healthcare reimbursement scene, reimbursement in cardiology per procedure code tends to be declining. Along with flat or declining volumes and increasing overhead costs, many shareholders are experiencing a downslope in income. Thousands of dollars can be recouped, as well as costly penalties avoided, by paying close attention to billing and coding.

The Back Page: A Quick Primer on Medical Practice Valuation

Today’s uncertain healthcare environment has spurred a new wave of medical practice buy-outs, mergers and purchases. Cardiology practices, which were previously perceived as being impervious to purchase offers by hospitals, are now becoming targets for purchase.

Financing New Technologies: Early Adopters, Lease vs. Purchase, and Joint Ventures

Biting the bullet on a new purchase is always an uncertain proposition, especially in a volatile market. Practices need to learn about the market, weigh the pros and cons of leasing and purchasing and consider competition, reimbursement and regulations.

First Word: Business Complexity Demands Attention to Detail

The intricacy of the business of medicine mandates that leaders pay attention to the smallest details of every aspect of cardiovascular treatment and care. While the articles in this issue span the gamut of cardiovascular imaging, informatics, and management, they have one thing in common: they drill down into the fundamentals of good business practices and sound financial planning.

Cardiac CT: A Sound Business Investment?

Insurers and the government may not be on board, but the medical community sure is: when it comes to improving patient care, cardiac CT is a must-have technology.