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Healthcare Economics & Policy


A $14 million 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.

CMS is on the verge of rescinding a policy that has for years barred heart patients from MRI coverage if they had an implanted pacemaker or cardioverter defibrillator.

Neighborhood characteristics—not just individual socioeconomic standing—could have a significant impact on the cardiovascular health of a community and its residents, reports a study published this week in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.


Recent Headlines

Preventive behavioral counseling could trim costs, waste over time

A new report from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) calls for primary care physicians to begin offering behavioral counseling on healthy lifestyles to patients with low cardiovascular disease risks. The method serves as a way to prevent the onset of the condition and reduce costs.

Help Wanted: Strategies for Cardiologists Working with, or in, the C-suite

There’s plenty of room for clinicians in hospital C-suites. Start by appreciating nonclinical expertise, zeroing in on shared concerns and leveraging “soft power.” 

Economic inequalities lead to disparities in cardiovascular disease rates

A patient’s socioeconomic status as a child may not be found in any chart—but a recent study showed how it can impact development of the heart. Researchers found that childhood socioeconomic inequalities lead to differences in left ventricular mass and diastolic function in adulthood.

ACC 'deeply concerned' by Senate healthcare bill; AHA calls for 'no' vote

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its report on the Senate’s version of an Affordable Care Act repeal-and-replace plan, projecting 22 million more people would uninsured by 2026 while deductibles and premiums would increase significantly. In response, the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology have announced opposition to the legislation, dubbed the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).

AHA argues funding cardiac research now could save billions later

A new assessment from the American Heart Association (AHA) questions whether investments in heart disease research benefits the overall costs of healthcare and patient needs.

Improved quality interventions for heart failure patients linked to reduced readmissions, varying costs

Patients who are hospitalized once are likely to be hospitalized again, but patients with heart failure are at an even greater risk. Plus, it’s costly.

Physician-vendors partner for patient good

The partnering of physicians and vendors has created and improved modern medicine. Collaborations have dawned new devices, systems, drugs, innovations and ways of diagnosing, treating and managing patients. Every day these advancements help to save and improve patient lives. But as we well know, partnership over the years also has overly feathered the pockets of some and bred a fair amount of fraud.

Medicare now covers non-invasive peripheral artery disease treatment

Medicare now covers a supervised exercise therapy for peripheral artery disease (PAD), according to CMS, a decision that will likely result in other insurers following this example.

AHA awards $2 million to cardiac research at top universities

The American Heart Association (AHA) announced May 19 that it will donate two $1 million research grants to support research on medications and high blood pressure.

ACC president emphasizes access to insurance, quality care in letter to Senate

The repeal-and-replace program for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has passed through the U.S. House of Representatives, meaning the Senate will soon begin work on comprehensive legislation. Debate remains just how much the Senate will take from the House’s American Health Care Act.