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Practice Management

 - cholesterol

The FDA has approved alirocumab, an injectable cholesterol-lowering medication and the first commercially available proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitor. Alirocumab (Praluent, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi Aventis) is approved as an adjunct to diet and statins to treat patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH) or patients with clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease who have not been able to lower their low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

 - HeartDNA

New research is revealing the level at which radiation exposure received during CT scanning damages DNA.

 - aspirin

More than 70 percent of adults with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) in 2013 took aspirin daily or every other day to reduce the risk for myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke and fatal coronary events, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report.

 - brain sketch

A systematic review of randomized, controlled trials and prospective cohort studies found little evidence to suggest older adults experience long-term cognitive decline following cardiovascular procedures. However, better evidence is needed.

 - doctors talking

Although hospitals are increasingly purchasing physician practices, more than 60 percent of doctors still worked in practices of 10 or fewer physicians in 2014, according to an American Medical Association (AMA) survey released on July 8. However, younger physicians were more likely to work for hospitals.


More Stories

Anger management: Statins decrease aggression in men, increase it in women

Statins decreased aggression in adult men and increased aggression in postmenopausal women, according to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial published online July 1 in PLOS One.

Cardiovascular risk factors are high throughout the U.S.

Some regions of the U.S., particularly in the South, are known for having high cardiovascular disease rates. Still, a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine on June 30 found at least three-quarters of people in each state had at least one cardiovascular risk factor.

Older women are less likely to die from CHD compared with men

Older women who have undergone menopause are less likely than men of a similar age to die from coronary heart disease (CHD), according to a prospective cohort study of more than 30,000 residents of 10 Southern states.

Half of cardiovascular deaths in U.S. are preventable

Half of the cardiovascular deaths in U.S. adults in 2009 and 2010 were due to modifiable risk factors such as elevated cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, obesity and smoking, according to a cross-sectional analysis of a large survey.

Elevated blood pressure in young adulthood increases likelihood of cardiac dysfunction

Young adults with elevated levels of blood pressure were more likely to have left ventricular systolic and diastolic dysfunction in middle age, according to a prospective study that tracked people over 25 years.

Statins, ARBs may help in fight against Ebola

Physicians are making a case for statins and ARBs as a treatment for Ebola patients. They are not proposing the combination of drugs is a cure or preventive but rather an aid in survival to give patients time to build up immunity to the virus.

Nearly 50% of Hispanics, Latinos in U.S. don’t know they have high cholesterol

Approximately half of Hispanic and Latino adults in the U.S. were unaware they had high cholesterol and fewer than one-third received treatment for the condition, according to a cohort study in four geographically diverse communities.

Patient satisfaction is associated with lower 30-day mortality rates

A retrospective analysis of data on older patients who underwent surgery at 180 hospitals in the U.S. found that patients treated at hospitals with higher patient satisfaction scores had lower 30-day mortality rates and fewer minor complications. However, there was no association between patient satisfaction and readmissions or major complications.

Obesity rates continue to increase in U.S.

As of 2012, the most recent data available, 39.96 percent of men were overweight and 35.04 percent of men were obese. Meanwhile, 29.74 percent of women were overweight and 36.84 percent of women were obese.

Growing market share and value together

Competing takes effort. When hospitals compete for market share, it also takes an investment that may or may not produce profits in the long run. In the past, that business model has served the victors well. It isn’t the only option, though.

Largest Medicare fraud case in DOJ history alleges $712M in false billings

On June 18, the federal government charged 243 individuals with participating in a Medicare fraud scheme totaling approximately $712 million in false billings. The Medicare Fraud Strike Force, a joint initiative between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Health and Human Services, led the investigation.

Educating patients after stroke or TIA helps reduce emergency department arrival time

Providing patients with educational materials or an interactive intervention when they were discharged for stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) helped reduce the time they waited before heading to the emergency department following subsequent stroke, TIA or stroke-like symptoms.

Joint Commission outlines rules for Comprehensive Cardiac Centers

The Joint Commission unveiled proposed requirements for an optional advanced certification program for Comprehensive Cardiac Centers in accredited hospitals. The commission will accept comments through July 16.

FDA advisory panel members express concerns with PCSK9 inhibitors

On June 9 and 10, the FDA’s Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee recommended the approval of alirocumab and evolocumab to lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in patients. Two members of the committee who did not recommend approval for either drug spoke with Cardiovascular Business about their concerns.

TAVR program raises margin 350% by befriending rivals

Why swim with the sharks if you can float above them in uncontested waters? One medical center is taking a “Blue Ocean” approach to its transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) program after its success with a liver initiative netted $1.1 million and saved the healthcare system $54 million. 

Linking autonomy with accountability reaps rewards

Accountability and autonomy can go hand in hand. Citing a lesson learned from his military service, Christopher White, MD, showed that cardiologists at Ochsner earned autonomy through a program that made them accountable for resource use.

Novel oral anticoagulant use after stroke is increasing but still lags behind warfarin

Despite the approval of novel oral anticoagulants in recent years, nearly 90 percent of atrial fibrillation patients with ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack receive warfarin, according to analysis of patients hospitalized between October 2010 and September 2012.

Minding MACRA

Is MACRA the new SGR? Thankfully not. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore it.

Proton pump inhibitors may increase risk for MI

Patients who take proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) may be at an increased risk for myocardial infarction (MI) and other cardiovascular outcomes, according to a data mining analysis. However, there was no association between the use of H2 blockers and MI or cardiovascular risk. H2 blockers are alternatives to PPIs in treating gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Cardiovascular network provides benefits beyond patient referrals

If the alliance between his health system in Texas and the Cleveland Clinic didn’t bring a single new patient through their doors, it would still be a victory, said Michael Mack, MD. “We’ve already received enough value that we view this as a success.”