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Practice Management

 - Emergency

Location, location, location. Almost 60 percent of variation in hospital readmissions may be attributed to the county where a hospital resides, according to a study published online April 9 in Health Services Research. The findings challenge Medicare’s use of financial penalties for hospitals with higher than expected readmission rates.

 - child

Fifteen of the 25 high-risk devices approved by the FDA between 2008 and 2011 for use in children were cardiovascular therapeutics, with approval for 22 of the 25 devices based on studies that enrolled patients 18 years and older, according to a study published online April 14 in Pediatrics.

 - Gavel and stethoscope

Medical malpractice claims and costs are likely to rise as changes from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act take effect, an analysis by RAND Corp. predicted.

 - sad

Some patients hospitalized for various cardiac illnesses who had or developed mental health conditions fared better under a low-intensity care program in a clinical trial. The results were published online April 14 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

 - Safety First

Knowledge among residents is limited regarding radiation safety for patients and healthcare workers, according to a study published online April 5 by Academic Radiology

 

More Stories

ACEIs but not ARBs may lower cardiac risk in diabetics

ACE inhibitors (ACEIs) may warrant consideration as a first-line therapy to prevent death and cardiovascular events in patients with diabetes mellitus, according to a meta-analysis published online March 31 in JAMA Internal Medicine. The analysis found lower rates of mortality and cardiovascular events with ACEIs, but no similar effects with ARBs.

It's official: Another SGR patch, another ICD-10 delay

The Senate voted to approve a bill that will delay the implementation of ICD until at least Oct. 1, 2015. The bill now moves to President Obama, who is expected to sign it into law. The bill was passed 64-35 on Monday, March 31.

March madness

What a weekend. The American College of Cardiology annual scientific session. A looming deadline for the sustainable growth rate formula. And a Sweet Sixteen with Cinderellas galore.

Duke pays $1M to settle case over cardiac services

The Duke University Health System agreed to pay $1 million to settle a whistleblower case involving its cardiac services.

Hawaii sues makers of Plavix

The attorney general in Hawaii filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers of clopidogrel, claiming the companies deceptively marketed the antiplatelet drug by not disclosing its reduced efficacy in patients who are poor metabolizers. 

Talking statins

I heard on my car radio that 12.8 million more Americans would receive statins under new cholesterol guidelines. Well, they got the number right.

Guidelines swell ranks for statins by almost 13 million

Almost 13 million Americans between 40 and 75 years old would become eligible for statin therapy under new cholesterol guidelines, according to a study published online March 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Proceed with caution

Incremental improvements in stenting over the past several decades gradually transformed practice and patient care. Will the same be true for less invasive cardiac surgery?

ACC.14: Renal denervation, colchicine and registries among late-breakers

The upcoming American College of Cardiology (ACC) conference will feature more than 2,200 abstracts and 22 late-breaking trials. The ACC elaborated March 18 on its list of late-breakers that will be presented at the three-day event, to be held March 29-31 in Washington, D.C.

Guidelines on fat intake may need revision

The long-standing recommendations to decrease the intake of saturated fat and increase intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids in order to reduce the risk of heart disease may warrant reconsideration, based on a study published online March 18 in Annals of Internal Medicine. The study found little evidence to support this guideline.

Some older adults' meds can worsen coexisting conditions

About 20 percent of older Americans take multiple medications that may interfere with each other, a study published Feb. 25 in PLOS ONE found. Despite the frequency of this “therapeutic competition,” providers change treatments only about 16 percent of the time.

FDA approves new indication for apixaban

The FDA has approved a supplemental New Drug Application for the anticoagulant apixaban for the prevention of deep vein thrombosis, which may lead to pulmonary embolism in patients who have undergone hip or knee replacement surgery.

SGR repeal passes House, with strings attached

A bill to repeal the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR) and improve Medicare payments for physicians passed the House of Representatives today, but an amendment to delay the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate penalty likely means the legislation is dead on arrival in the Senate.

Gestational diabetes may up risk of atherosclerosis

Women who develop gestational diabetes but have no history of type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome may be at increased risk for subclinical atherosclerosis, regardless of whether they are obese before pregnancy or not, based on the findings of a study published online March 12 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Discrepancies in reporting of trial results raise questions on accuracy

An analysis of 96 clinical trials found almost all had at least one discrepancy between the trial results published in journals and the results published on ClinicalTrials.gov, the public clinical trial registry. The findings were published in the March 12 edition of the JAMA.

79% of cardiologists would repeat career choice

It appears there is not much heartache among cardiologists over their career choice. Four in five cardiologists would choose their specialty again if given the option, according to a survey by an organization that oversees an online physician community.

Combat exposure may increase risk of heart disease

Military deployments may increase the risk for coronary heart disease among U.S. service members and veterans, a study published online March 11 in Circulation found.

Report cards on outcomes at lower-volume hospitals may be skewed

Report cards that compare provider outcomes may not be as accurate if the providers have small caseloads, according to a study published online March 11 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Cardiologist Skorton to lead Smithsonian

Cardiologist, jazz musician and arts advocate David J. Skorton, MD, will take over as the head of the Smithsonian Institution in 2015, making him the first physician to head up the venerable organization.

FDA places another recall on Ranbaxy’s statin

The FDA once again issued a recall on Ranbaxy’s generic statin, this time after a pharmacist spotted a 20-mg tablet in a sealed bottle of atorvastatin calcium at 10 mg doses.