CVS Health has urged healthcare professionals to reconsider guidelines used in assessing which patients should use new cholesterol-lowering medications. Three top CVS medical officials expressed their opinion in a commentary published in JAMA on Aug. 10.

The Justice Department filed a civil complaint alleging BlueWave HealthCare Consultants paid doctors around $68 million in illegal kickbacks to order blood tests from Health Diagnostic Laboratory (HDL), the Wall Street Journal reports. 

Patients with a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) who underwent an endovascular-first treatment strategy at Stanford University Medical Center had reductions in perioperative morbidity and mortality and improvements in long-term survival compared with those who had an open repair.

An analysis of eight surgical subspecialties at Johns Hopkins hospital found that more than 80 percent of the variability in 30-day readmissions was due to individual patient factors. The overall readmission rate was 13.2 percent, including 9.6 percent of patients who underwent cardiac surgery.

Cook Medical recalled more than 38,000 of its angiographic catheters in the U.S. after receiving reports that the catheter tip may split or separate from the catheter. Of the 26 reports, 14 resulted in adverse events.

A recent analysis painted an optimistic view on Medicare, a program that is divisive among politicians, healthcare professionals and the general public.

The FDA warned of serious adverse events associated with certain left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), which are implanted in patients with advanced heart failure.

Since former Vice President Dick Cheney had a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implanted in 2012, general interest in the devices have increased and social media sites have included more information on them.

Since 2010, at least 8,000 deaths have been linked to three of the new anticoagulants compared with 700 for warfarin, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today report. The publications noted that there were around three times as many prescriptions for warfarin compared with the new anticoagulants last year.

The American Society of Echocardiography released the first guidelines for the use of echocardiography in patients implanted with left ventricular assist devices.

Who are the top performing surgeons in the U.S.? A pair of websites featured recently in the Washington Post attempt to answer the question by ranking surgeons receiving high marks and pointing out those with the most complications. 

Harlan Krumholz, MD, a cardiologist and professor at Yale University, reviews two JAMA studies published on July 14 that examined the ACC/AHA cholesterol guidelines. In an article for NPR, he writes that people should weigh the benefits and risks of statins before taking the medications.