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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

Amgen, Harvard Pilgrim sign outcomes-based refund contract for cardiovascular medication

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care signed an outcomes-based refund contract with Amgen pertaining to evolocumab (Repatha), the company’s cholesterol-lowering medication.

75% of cardiologists received industry-related payments in 2015

An analysis of Open Payments reports found that 74.9 percent of cardiologists in the U.S. received industry-related payments in 2015, representing the highest proportion within physician specialties.

Favorable middle-age cardiovascular health reduces costs, improves long-term outcomes

Adults who had favorable cardiovascular health in early middle age lived an average of 3.9 years longer, survived 4.5 years longer before developing a chronic illness and saved nearly $18,000 in Medicare costs compared with those with two or more risk factors at middle age, according to a longitudinal cohort study.

Boston Scientific posts revenue, earnings growth in 1Q

During the first quarter of 2017, Boston Scientific’s sales increased 10 percent to $2.16 billion compared with the same time period last year. The company also reported GAAP earnings of $0.21 per share, up from $0.15 per share in the first quarter of 2016.

Partners HealthCare System settles for $10 million to resolve fraud allegations

The Partners HealthCare System and Brigham and Women’s Hospital agreed to pay $10 million to resolve allegations that the hospital’s stem cell research laboratory fraudulently obtained grant funding.

CardioNet agrees to $2.5 million fine, corrective action plan to settle HIPAA allegations

CardioNet agreed to pay $2.5 million and implement a corrective action plan to settle allegations of noncompliance with HIPAA privacy and security rules.

Jury awards ex-Cardiovascular Systems employee $25.1 million in whistleblower lawsuit

A jury in Los Angeles this week awarded former Cardiovascular Systems sales manager Steven Babyak more than $25 million in damages related to a whistleblower and wrongful termination lawsuit he filed against the company.

MyoKardia appoints physician, executive David Meeker to board of directors

MyoKardia named pharmaceutical executive and physician David Meeker, MD, to its board of directors on April 18.

Adults with syncope may have increased risk of occupational accidents, job termination

Adults in Denmark who were diagnosed with a first-time syncope had a 1.4-fold higher risk of occupational accidents and a two-fold higher risk of getting terminated from their job within two years when compared to the general employed population, according to a nationwide cohort study.

Deerfield Management provides Endologix with up to $170 million in funding

Deerfield Management agreed to provide Endologix, Inc. with up to $170 million in funding, including a $120 million, six-year secured term loan and a $50 million, three-year secured asset-based revolving line of credit.