From theory to action

No more spinning. We’ve made the quantum leap, and now it is time create value within healthcare reform. That is the message of the upcoming Cardiovascular Service Line Symposium.

“We no longer are talking about the theory of what will happen,” Suzette Jaskie, president and CEO of MedAxiom Consulting, told Cardiovascular Business. “We are trying to give people tangible, walk-away things that they can take home to programs they can implement.”

MedAxiom is hosting the conference, which kicks off June 12 in Atlanta. As Jaskie explained in a Q&A, the program presents examples of initiatives that have been implemented and made positive impacts within the healthcare system. Speakers include CEOs, physician leaders and others from a variety of organizations with strategies that range from systemwide changes in the delivery of healthcare to a partnership between an emergency department and a cardiology service line to better serve patients.

No more theoretical talk about change under healthcare reform. This year’s event advances to action, with the cardiovascular service line as a springboard. “In this meeting we say, ‘Healthcare reform is here. It is not going away. There are things we can do to create value in our industry. What are some of the solutions? Where do you start?’” Jaskie said.

Look for our coverage next week for some answers.

The service line concept shifts the perspective on care processes from hospital or practices to the patient. What does the patient care about? Not so much about clinical measures such as blood pressure or cholesterol readings but rather whether they will have a stroke, MI or die, said Philip Schauer, MD, director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, in an interview for an upcoming Cardiovascular Business cover story on obesity.

Two studies this week are worth noting from both the provider and patient perspectives. A meta-analysis published online May 30 in The Lancet on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs found that high-dose ibuprofen significantly increased the risk of major coronary events. The authors recommended more research to assess its safety.

Another study published June 5 in JAMA tackled a patient population that poses many challenges for cardiovascular specialists: those who are both obese and have diabetes. The randomized trial compared gastric bypass surgery with a lifestyle and medical management intervention in patients who were mild to moderately obese with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. At one year, the bypass group beat the lifestyle-medical management group on weight loss, achievement of diabetes management goals and reduction in the number of medications needed. But the bypass group also had 50 percent more serious adverse events. The researchers called for a large-scale study to further assess benefit and risks.

More on these topics in the next magazine. In the meantime, be sure to visit for tips from the Cardiovascular Service Line Symposium.  

Candace Stuart

Cardiovascular Business, editor