Healthcare Economics & Policy

The majority of the world’s countries aren’t on track to meet the United Nations' target of reducing premature deaths from noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) by a third by 2030, researchers report in the current edition of the Lancet.
Risk-adjustment models assessing hospitals’ stroke outcomes should include patient transfer status, argue the authors of a new study, who found centers that accepted more transfer patients treated a sicker population and experienced higher mortality rates.
U.S. counties heavily populated by Hispanics see higher rates of cardiovascular death than more diverse communities, according to a Journal of the American Heart Association report—a phenomenon that’s likely owed to a combination of language barriers, economic disadvantages and lack of access to quality healthcare.
A Yale University cardiologist found guilty of sexual harassment five years ago received an endowed chair this summer—an accolade Yale itself claims “is widely recognized as the most prestigious honor a university can bestow on an accomplished faculty member,” the Washington Post reports.
The prices of 90 different drugs increased at double their normal rate once shortages occurred, a new study found—and the increases were even greater for those with three or fewer suppliers.
Patients are responsible for a growing portion of healthcare costs. In some cases, that responsibility has become untenable, leading patients to delay or avoid care, or to leave their providers with unpaid bills. In their search for solutions, hospitals and practices are trying a variety of interventions.
Is the 30-day readmissions metric for PCI fair or fatally flawed? The answer could have considerable financial, clinical and reputational impact for hospitals and physicians.
Friends and family often tell me their stories about encounters with the healthcare system, maybe because people know my interest in healthcare. Or perhaps they’re venting because healthcare has a PR problem that is in part caused by its affordability problem. Patients and families are annoyed, frustrated and worried that the care they are receiving might not be necessary or that they might not be able to afford their growing portion of the price.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the FDA said late last week a second toxin that may cause cancer has been detected in valsartan—a common heart drug that has already been recalled in about two dozen countries due to the presence of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a probable human carcinogen.
Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) failed to improve access to care for minorities and low-income patients with complex surgical needs, researchers reported in the Sept. 13 online edition of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
The FDA is launching “the largest coordinated tobacco compliance effort” in the agency’s history, according to a 3,493-word statement from Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, released on Sept. 12.
It is legal to resell unexpired strips as long as they weren’t fraudulently purchased through Medicare or Medicaid. This has led to cash offers for unused testing strips online and on social media, as well as resell operations popping up in garages and basements, the Chicago-Sun Times reported.
A Fresno, California, cardiologist has been placed on five years probation following accusations that he sent inappropriate, “annoying” text messages to a teenage girl in 2017, the Fresno Bee has reported.
The 20-year-old Jackson Heart Study—the largest long-term study of cardiovascular health in a defined population of African-Americans—has received another six years of funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
Just weeks after Senate bill 3388 was introduced to Congress, major U.S. health organizations like the American Heart Association are warning that despite legislative efforts to ensure equal access to healthcare, the bill wouldn’t adequately protect patients with pre-existing conditions.
A learning curve of at least 225 procedures is required for hospitals to perform transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVRs) with the lowest mortality rates, suggests a study of 16 centers participating in an international registry.
Structural & Congenital Heart Disease, Healthcare Economics & Policy
A population health collaborative in San Diego County contributed to a 22 percent reduction in hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), according to new research published in Health Affairs. Compared to the rest of California—which saw an 8 percent drop in AMI admissions—the program was estimated to prevent nearly 4,000 hospitalizations and save $86 million in its first six years.
Acute Coronary Syndrome, Practice Management, Healthcare Economics & Policy
Theranos, the company that claimed it could test for a variety of medical conditions with a single drop of blood, is officially dissolving.
Healthcare Economics & Policy, Vascular & Endovascular
A cardiologist in Salinas, California, was sentenced to three years in prison this week after pleading guilty to claims he sexually assaulted a sedated patient after a cardiac catheterization procedure in 2016, the San Francisco Chronicle has reported.
Healthcare Economics & Policy
American Heart Association (AHA) president Ivor J. Benjamin, MD, is standing behind last week’s passage of Senate funding bill HR6157, calling the move “a tremendous triumph for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and for every patient who will benefit from its research.”
Healthcare Economics & Policy
A JAMA analysis of more than three million non-Medicaid hospitalizations has found states that opted to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act years ago are now seeing lower rates of uninsured hospitalizations for major heart events.
Healthcare Economics & Policy