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Practice Management

 - Nurse

Stroke patients admitted to specialized units on the weekend have better outcomes when there is a higher registered nurse-to-bed ratio, according to a study published Aug. 19 in PLOS Medicine.

 - teen

E-cigarettes should fall under the same regulatory rules as tobacco products, stated the American Heart Association (AHA) in a position paper. The AHA called for strong laws and strategies to dissuade children from using these products, the lead author told Cardiovascular Business.

 - Europe, flags, euro, european

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither is improvement for global cardiac health. Europe’s cardiovascular disease and stroke mortality rates have improved, but not unilaterally, according to a report published Aug. 19 in the European Heart Journal

 - NJ Radiology Groups Launch Partnership

The Cleveland Clinic and the North Shore-LIJ Health System have agreed to a partnership that makes the 17-hospital system an exclusive member in an alliance with the clinic’s Cardiovascular Specialty Network.

 - chart drop falling rates

A decade of efforts to improve outcomes for patients with acute MI and stroke have made significant progress, according to a study published Aug. 18 in Circulation.


More Stories

Sunshine Act’s solar eclipse

If you haven’t heard, the federal government temporarily shut down the Open Payment System after physicians discovered data mix-ups. It is another blow to the credibility of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) websites.

Just a dash: Not enough salt also can be deadly

There can be too much of a good thing, but research finds that too little can be harmful, too. Against some guidelines, a study suggests that too little sodium also can increase the risks of cardiovascular events, stroke and death.

ACS incidence dips in all but the most elderly

Incidence of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) declined in Medicare beneficiaries in most age groups between 1992 and 2009, researchers reported online Aug. 11 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Cardiology still in demand but commands less pay

Cardiology once again made the top 20 list of most requested specialties in a review of physician recruitment searches, but incomes slid along with the number of searches over the 12-month period.

Is there a sweet spot for BP when treating hypertension?

When treating hypertensive patients, there may be a blood pressure (BP) goldilocks zone for best outcomes, results published Aug. 15 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggest. 

Staying on-call: Nurses work later into retirement age than expected

Registered nurses (RNs) are retiring later than expected, providing a larger growth in the field than previously predicted for 2012, according to a study published in the August issue of Health Affairs.

Hospital system pays $97M to settle inpatient dispute

Community Health System (CHS) agreed to pay more than $97 million to settle a suit alleging that it improperly submitted claims for several cardiac conditions as inpatient rather than outpatient services as well as violated the Stark Law with the director of a cardiac rehabilitation unit.

Red or blue? Many male heart specialists lean toward Republican

Congress may not be the only polarized entity in the U.S. An analysis of campaign donations by physicians showed a gap in political preference between high-income specialties such as cardiac and thoracic surgery compared with less lucrative specialties as well differences by sex and employment type.

CDC: Factor in job to ID at-risk heart patients

Employees who work in service and blue-collar industries were more likely to report a history of coronary heart disease or stroke in an analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The results may help clinicians identify at-risk patients and develop prevention strategies.

Making progress

Sometimes we have to remember to stop and celebrate the accomplishments achieved in cardiovascular care. This week offers examples of better quality and value in healthcare.

Menopausal hormone therapy & cardiovascular disease: It’s a wash

Low-dose hormone therapy in early menopausal women already at low risk for cardiovascular disease did not significantly affect carotid artery intima-media thickness or coronary artery calcium, according to a study published online July 29 in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Privately insured stroke patients more likely to receive some imaging exams

Disparities exist in the utilization of imaging for acute ischemic stroke based on the insurance status of the patient, though the underlying causes of these disparities aren’t quite clear, according to a study published in the August issue of American Journal of Roentgenology.

Infections after cardiac surgery common, with many avoidable

Practices and procedures do influence postsurgical infection outcomes, according to a study published July 29 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The research team found as many as 79 percent of patient infections occurred due to modifiable risks for bloodstream infections, pneumonia or C. difficile colitis.

Arizona increases cardiac arrest survival through centralized out-of-hospital care

Survival stats shot upward after a consortium in Arizona implemented statewide protocols to triage patients to the nearest cardiac care center as opposed to a hospital. The findings were published online July 23 in Annals of Emergency Medicine. 

No benefit in pregnancy TIPPS scales against heparin

Since the 1990s, well-meaning physicians have prescribed pregnant patients low-molecular weight heparin to combat complications, especially when thrombophilia or previous complications pose a risk to the mother and child. However, research suggests that there are no benefits and greater risks of increased minor bleeding when taking anticoagulant agents.

57% say 'no' to starting statins despite patient's 10.9% risk score

More than half of respondents chose to go against guideline recommendations for a hypothetical patient whose risk score made him a candidate for statin therapy in poll results published in the July 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Shared decision-making: How to choose best approach

There are many benefits to shared decision-making with patients. Informed patients make better decisions and have more meaningful and frank health discussions with their physicians, but there are as many barriers to an open conversation and shared decision between doctor and patient as there are benefits.

Journal takes deep dive into dabigatran’s safety data

The journal BMJ took aim at the anticoagulant dabigatran and its manufacturer in a three-pronged package published online July 23 that catalogued the drug’s tumultuous pre-approval and post-approval journeys in the U.S. and Europe. Maker Boehringer Ingelheim called the stories unbalanced.

Cholesterol guidelines offer men benefits beyond heart disease

If followed, the cholesterol guidelines published in late 2013 will increase the timing and frequency of initiating statin therapy in men, according to an editorial published in the July 11 issue of the Journal of Men’s Health. The authors added that the guidelines overlooked erectile dysfunction as a risk factor for coronary artery disease.

Lackluster AMI rates in middle-age adults reveal gaps

Between 2001 and 2010, some acute MI (AMI) rates barely budged for people younger than 55, a trend that runs counter to the declines reported by Medicare in elderly patients, according to a study published July 29 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.