First Person: Business Sense

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Welcome to the first issue of Cardiovascular Business—the business magazine for cardiovascular medicine. So why a business magazine for cardiovascular health? Because excellent cardiac care depends on the fiscal health and business intelligence of your cardiovascular practice. Climbing to the top and staying there hinge on the right business decisions—assessing, acquiring, integrating and operating leading-edge technologies, improving operational efficiencies and growing market share. From imaging, interventional and information technologies to pharmaceuticals, surgical and related products like stents and catheters, every decision counts—and is counted.

This month we’re taking a deep dive into cardiac CT. Sixty-four slice CT technology made the mainstream with Oprah; it’s a must-have technology. But is it a good investment? For some facilities and groups, absolutely, but get ready to justify the numbers—predicting procedure volumes and mixes, estimating staff expenses, digging into local reimbursement and considering the learning curve (and expense) toward CT reading proficiency. Advanced visualization software and a marketing budget are musts on the business plan, too.

We’re also taking a closer look at how cardiac PET/CT’s sensitivity, specificity and efficiency in myocardial perfusion imaging capabilities (and CMS reimbursement) are pushing it into the clinical mainstream, with deployments reaching beyond the academic world to community hospitals and imaging centers. A word from the wise: Make sure contracts with private payors include rubidium. The cardiac cath lab is changing too, with EP and peripheral vascular procedures on the rise and keen managers negotiating to consign pricey ablation catheters and even drug-eluting stents, and tightly managing inventory and staff. A digital lab is a must.

Cardiovascular information systems are the means to keep patient data, reports and images secure and retrievable, and the essential tool to bill effectively, mine valuable outcomes data and simplify accreditation. Enterprises beating the clock on door-to-balloon times show how it’s done—well. Also, check out the first year report card on the ICD National Registry. You’ll be proud.

As a companion, we’ve also launched CVB News—the weekly news digest for cardiovascular business. (Subscribe at subs.cardiovascularbusiness.com)

Once again, welcome—and thank you for joining us.