Conferences

NEW ORLEANS — An antithrombotic regimen of apixaban plus a P2Y12 inhibitor such as clopidogrel lowered bleeding events and hospitalizations compared to warfarin plus clopidogrel in a cohort of patients with atrial fibrillation (AFib) and a recent acute coronary syndrome (ACS), according to results of the AUGUSTUS trial.

NEW ORLEANS — Patients who received the MitraClip device to treat heart failure with secondary mitral regurgitation showed significant and lasting improvements on a quality-of-life assessment compared to people treated with optimal medical therapy alone, according to a substudy of the COAPT trial presented at the American College of Cardiology’s scientific sessions.

NEW ORLEANS — Described by its authors as “a one-stop shop” for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, a new guideline released March 17 by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) runs the gamut from smoking cessation strategies to specific recommendations for treating cholesterol based on a patient’s 10-year risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

NEW ORLEANS — Two trials evaluating transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in low-risk patients haven’t just shifted the TAVR versus surgical AVR discussion. They’ve completely flipped it, said experts here at the American College of Cardiology’s scientific sessions.

Women are more likely to call ambulances for male relatives like brothers, sons and husbands with suspected MIs than they are to call an ambulance for themselves, according to research presented March 3 at the European Society of Cardiology’s Acute Cardiovascular Care 2019 congress in Malaga, Spain.

Prolonged non-face-to-face time, something providers have long considered a part of the job, has only been reimbursable through CMS since 2018. Practices still in the dark about the change are missing a revenue opportunity.

A systematic approach to transitioning heart attack patients from the hospital to outpatient care helped the Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina, drop its 30-day readmission and death rates while increasing the likelihood of patients making and keeping follow-up appointments.

ACC.19 will feature 36 late-breaking clinical trials and clinical research studies, starting with the Apple Heart Study’s findings on the ability of a smartwatch to help identify atrial fibrillation. That question is just one of many the conference will address, says ACC.19 Program Chair Andrew Kates, MD, professor of medicine and director of the cardiology fellowship program at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. During a conversation with Cardiovascular Business, Kates predicted trial highlights and previewed some ACC.19 program innovations. 

Two more surveys have been released showing burnout affects nearly half of physicians. But at this point, some are getting frustrated with the inability to move beyond awareness and toward meaningful improvement.

A nurse navigator-led program at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Oregon helped the hospital double its palliative care referral rates for advanced heart failure patients considered to be at high risk of readmission.

By modifying the appropriate use criteria (AUC) for transthoracic echocardiograms (TTEs) and educating physicians on which tests should be performed in an inpatient versus outpatient setting, researchers at Bridgeport Hospital in Connecticut reduced their inpatient echo order volume by 11.1 percent and boosted the efficiency of their department.

A simple educational initiative designed to show cardiac surgeons how often they used blood transfusions—and how much they cost—helped one heart center significantly cut its rate of blood utilization and save a projected $500,000 each year.