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Healthcare Economics & Policy


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.

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.


Recent Headlines

Rates of paid malpractice claims decrease in cardiology, other medical specialties

Between 1992 and 2014, the rate of paid malpractice claims decreased 13.5 percent in cardiology and declined 55.7 percent in all medical specialties, according to a database analysis.

Merit Medical Systems expects to receive $136.5 million in common stock offering

Merit Medical Systems announced on March 27 that the company plans on selling 5,175,000 shares in a public offering of common stock with a total expected net proceeds of $136.5 million.

CMS delays cardiac bundled payment models by three months

CMS delayed the implementation date for its bundled payments for cardiac care from July 1 until Oct. 1. It also hinted that it could further delay the model until Jan. 1, 2018.

Acasti Pharma appoints two cardiologists, professors to scientific advisory board

Acasti Pharma appointed Barry A. Franklin, PhD, and Robert Hegele, MD, to the company’s scientific advisory board.

Mayo Clinic invests $217 million to enhance cardiac facilities, Saint Marys campus

As part of a $217 million project, Mayo Clinic will relocate and upgrade its cardiac surgery facilities. The board of trustees approved the plans, which in addition to giving the cardiac facilities a facelift, will also expand and modernize its Saint Marys Campus in Rochester, Minnesota, where the health system is based.

Arrhythmia Research Technology rebrands itself Micron Solutions

Fitchburg, Massachusetts-based Arrhythmia Research Technology is rebranding itself Micron Solutions as a way to better align itself with Micron Products, the subsidiary it fully owns that produces medical device components through machining and injection molding. 

45% of cardiometabolic deaths in U.S. associated with suboptimal diet

In 2012, more than 45 percent of cardiometabolic deaths in the U.S. were associated with suboptimal intakes of 10 dietary factors, according to a comparative risk assessment model.

45% of U.S. population may have cardiovascular disease by 2035 at a cost of $1.1 trillion

Cardiovascular disease remains a challenging condition not only from a patient perspective, but from a financial perspective, as well.

AHA, 10 other patient groups release statement on proposed changes to ACA

The American Heart Association (AHA) and 10 other patient groups released a position statement on March 6 outlining priorities that Congress should consider when making changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Ascension Medical Group names former Cleveland Clinic executive its new president

Joseph Caccione, a cardiologist and Cleveland Clinic executive, has been named president of Ascension Medical Group.