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Healthcare Economics & Policy


Conversations about compensation are among the toughest for healthcare leaders to navigate. Add accusations of gender bias, and it’s a powder keg.

Ensuring mission and money in faculty compensation plans is a tall order for academic medical centers.

A $14,000 price tag isn’t the only thing standing between cardiac patients and cholesterol-lowering PCSK9 inhibitors anymore—access to the drugs could be further blocked by insurance companies, according to a study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes this week.

The new voluntary bundled payment model announced by CMS on Jan. 9 offers payment for 32 clinical episodes, including several of the cardiovascular variety.

Royal Philips announced the relocation of its North American headquarters in Massachusetts from Andover to Cambridge in 2020. The new location, including a 243,000-square-foot facility, will house 2,000 employees, while 300 ultrasound system manufacturing positions will stay in Andover, according to the Boston Globe.


Recent Headlines

The ACC Corner: New Year Brings Opportunities for Bipartisan Reforms The New Year provides an opportunity to turn a corner and not look back. At the American College of Cardiology (ACC), our initial focus is to apply all means necessary to mitigate the impacts of the 2010 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule rule, which resulted in drastic payment cuts for cardiology. The rule is bad policy. It will not only hurt access to care, particularly for disadvantaged populations, but will dramatically increase Medicare costs by shifting services to the hospital setting. The college is working all anglesregulatory, legislative and legalto reverse the most egregious elements of the rule.
First Word: Happy New Year, CMS! The smiles and lauds of Happy New Year are slowly being replaced by the droning realization that the reimbursement cuts in the 2010 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule are in full force. Its difficult to discuss any topic in cardiovascular medicine without contemplating the influence of these drastic cuts enacted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)some as high as 40 percent.
ACC Corner | Accountable Care Organizations: A Bold New Solution?

Beyond covering the uninsured, redesign of the healthcare delivery system is essential. Patients and physicians have not been served by the cost and volume controls that have occurred over the past decade and the current escalation of healthcare costs is not sustainable.

ACC Corner | Maintenance of Certification Could Have Brighter Future with Healthcare Reform

In 1936, the American Medical Association (AMA) and American College of Physicians (ACP) answered a call for the development of uniform high standards for new physicians by forming the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).

Back Page | Connectivity and the Changing Face of American Healthcare

When President Obama signed the economic stimulus package into law this past February, allotting $19 billion to accelerate the nationwide adoption of electronic health records, he welcomed a new era in American healthcare: the age of connectivity.

Economic Tourniquet Escapes EP, Tightens Elsewhere

Cardiovascular care, like other areas of medicine, is feeling the pinch of the economic tourniquet applied to stop the hemorrhaging of dollars and the potential closure of life-saving services. Interestingly, the pulse of electrophysiology is anything but flatlined, and vendors and CFOs are all a-flutter at the staggering growth of EPestimated to be between 12 and 15 percent annually.

The ACC Corner | ACC Approves Blueprint for Healthcare Reform

The American College of Cardiology held its successful 58th Annual Scientific Session in Orlando, Fla., in March. The event featured exciting science, quality improvement programming and critical networking opportunities for the entire cardiovascular community. In addition, the meeting provided an opportunity for the college to re-affirm its commitment to leading healthcare reform.

Study: Mammograms detect cancers that may have otherwise regressed
Breast cancer rates increased significantly in four Norwegian counties after women there began undergoing mammography every two years, according to a report in Mondays issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.
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.