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Practice Management

 - Decision aids help inform prostate cancer screening

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.

 - anticoagulants

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.

 - female doctor, young male patient

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.

 - mind the gap, disparity

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.

 - pills

Adding niacin and laropiprant to statins in patients with atherosclerotic vascular disease increased the risk of adverse events without providing therapeutic benefits compared to statins and a placebo, according to results from the HPS2-THRIVE trial.


More Stories

Most cardiac patients commit medication errors after discharge

Only 40 percent of patients with acute coronary syndrome or acute decompensated heart failure in a prospective study were able to correctly identify individual medications, dose and frequency after they left the hospital, highlighting a major problem.

Bristol-Meyers Squibb recalls injectable Coumadin

Bristol-Meyers Squibb issued a voluntary recall of Coumadin for injection after particulate matter was found in unreleased samples. 

USPSTF: No screening for asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis

For patients without a history of stroke, transient ischemic attack or other neurological symptoms, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) does not recommend screening for asymptomatic carotid artery stenosis. This decision was published online July 8 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Improving habits has a positive impact on heart health

Continuing to encourage patients to follow healthy habits is a must. Habits acquired in the early 20s demonstrably affect signs for coronary atherosclerosis in the decades that follow, according to a study published in the July 1 issue of Circulation. Loss of those habits had a marked effect as well.

AHA awards $15M to 4 centers targeting heart disease, stroke

Four universities are taking aim at heart disease and stroke with the launch of Strategically Focused Prevention Research Network Centers.

Variable post-CABG infection rates may hinge on hospital, surgeon-level factors

Hospital-acquired infection rates after CABG differed by 18.2 percent in an analysis of 33 hospitals in Michigan that was published online July 1 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. Patient mix did not explain the variation.

Diet dynamics: More olive oil, less risk of AF

Chefs will be happy to note: A Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil reduced inflammation markers and risk for atrial fibrillation (AF) in a cohort followed by the PREDIMED Trial. 

Integration deal weds Michigan Heart, IHA

The physician group IHA and Michigan Heart planned to be fully integrated by June 29, the two groups announced. The integration will expand IHA to 335 physicians at 54 practices across southeastern Michigan.

3+ hour TV watching may increase cardiac mortality risk

Young adults who watched three or more hours of television a day increased their risk of death from cardiovascular disease or cancer twofold, according to a study published online June 25 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

FDA clears olmesartan after safety review

The FDA supported the use of the blood pressure medication olmesartan in patients with diabetes after determining that its benefits outweigh potential risks.

Recipe for heart health? Canola oil reduces risk in diabetics

Can canola oil help diabetics lower their risks for cardiovascular disease? A research team from the University of Toronto believes it can. 

Thorough market assessment quickly pays off for physician network

Today’s healthcare system is fragmented and full of misaligned incentives, but it can be transformed with discipline, patience and adherence to evidence-based medicine, said Chris Lloyd, CEO of the Memorial Hermann Physician Network in Houston. “You have to go slow to go fast,” he advised.

CXO: Making patient experience a C-suite priority

Healthcare is undergoing a transformation, and so is the C-suite in hospital systems. The emerging role of chief experience officer (CXO) provides strategic guidance to hospitals as they try to engage patients and their families in the care process.

Worthy—and succinct—advice

Here are some words of wisdom from the MedAxiom Cardiovascular Service Line Symposium in Beaver Creek, Colo. These snippets occurred June 18, the first day of the three-day event.

With $1B and a top rating, service line still strives for better

Even the best can do better. Michael Mack, MD, medical director of cardiovascular surgery at Baylor Scott & White Health in Dallas, shared strategies used by his cardiovascular service line that helped place them among top performers as well as the challenges they still face.

So you want a successful service line? Follow these 12 steps

Twelve features define a successful service line, Suzette Jaskie, president and CEO of MedAxiom Consulting, said June 18 at the MedAxiom Cardiovascular Service Line Symposium in Beaver Creek, Colo. “I will tell you up front that no one place is doing all of them.”

Leading treatment centers and patient group form alliance to improve AFib care

Five heart treatment centers in four states, along with an atrial fibrillation (AFib) patient advocacy group have formed a national alliance to improve arrhythmia treatment by sharing information on best practices, creating better care standards and gathering outcome information.

Measures & money

Quality measures can be sticks or carrots. Either way, they may influence physicians’ behaviors and hospitals’ practices, so watching what is on the horizon is important. Two recent analyses could change the playing field for providers who provide CABG surgery or who wrestle with hospital-acquired complications.

No substantial benefit found in lowering blood pressure past 120 mmHg

How low can it go? Apparently, decreasing elevated blood pressure into the standard range in hypertensive patients can do as much good as bringing it down even lower, according to a study published online June 16 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Inpatient quality analysis zooms in on acute MI

An analysis of inpatient complications placed acute MI and pulmonary embolism as top targets for potential quality measures that payers might consider to reduce variation in care and costs. The two conditions were among the top 10 conditions likely to affect mortality, length of stay, cost and reimbursement.