Posts in Category: cardiology

This Week in Cardio and Health IT News 

EHR developments, top hospitals list, and more

Here are some of this week's top stories in cardiology and health IT.

Big names in healthcare pledge to facilitate interoperability, EHR accessibility

The Obama administration has announced an agreement to increase interoperability by top U.S. health information technology developers and many of their larger customers. Signing on to the pledge--which requires signees to ease patient access to electronic health records--were Allscripts, Athenahealth, and Cerner Corp., among others. About 90 percent of U.S. hospitals use at least one of the vendors who signed on. 

Top 100 Hospital List released by Truven

Truven Health Analytics has released its list of the 100 top hospitals in the United States. In researching the hospitals, Truven discovered a trend toward reduced expense per patient among the majority of top-performing hospitals. This year's trend appeared for the first time in the awards' 23-year history. 

More patients survive when hospitals adhere to cardiac arrest protocol

Hospitals that closely followed recommended care protocols after in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) had the highest survival rates. That's the conclusion of a new study published in JAMA Cardiology, which found that more than 24,000 lives could be saved annually if all hospitals operated at the level of the highest-scoring provider. 

Payer-provider collaborations called key to improved patient outcomes 

Payers and hospitals must overcome their differences to reduce readmissions, according to a special report by FierceHealthcare.com. "As providers increasingly move toward value-based care models, they must work with their counterparts in the payer sector to coordinate care and prevent readmissions," the report says. "But the transition is proving bumpy in some cases due in part to the historic mistrust between payers and providers."

Questioning whether readmission rates are a reliable care quality measure

Hospital readmission rates are not an outcome, but a measure of utilization, says one Harvard School of Public Health professor. He pointed to new federal research demonstrating that hospitals don't use observation status as a way to create the appearance of decreased readmissions, which had been a concern prior to the research. Readmission rates can decline for a number of reasons, including difficulty in being readmitted or better hospital-to-patient communication, he says.

The Best of Cardio and Health IT News: Week of 2/22/16 

Security breach, telehealth, and Obamacare

LUMEDX does the research for you! Here are some of the top stories in healthcare this week.

Security: Hospital pays ransom to get its data back from hackers

Security experts are concerned that a Southern California hospital paid a $17,000 ransom in bitcoins to hackers who infiltrated and disabled its network, saying that agreeing to the ransomers' demands could set a bad precedent. The hackers had encrypted the hospital's computer network and demanded the ransom to provide a digital decryption key to unlock it.

Healthcare could be major issue in presidential race

The future of U.S. healthcare--especially Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid--will be determined in this year's presidential election, and the candidates are offering starkly different visions. Democrat Hillary Clinton would uphold and expand the Affordable Health Act, while her primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, would replace it with a single-payer system. Republican Donald Trump expressed support for some facets of the ACA, while Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz vow to end it.

51 hospitals settle with Justice Department in ICD case

The Department of Justice has reached settlements with 51 hospitals that allegedly improperly implanted implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) in Medicare patients. The department said it had reached settlements worth a total of more than $23 million with hospitals in 15 states for allegedly improperly implanting the cardiac devices.

Forbes blogger predicts expansion of concierge healthcare model

An opinion piece in  Forbes suggests that hospitals should consider offering concierge healthcare. The concierge model could help financially struggling providers by making them more attractive to wealthier patients who will pay for expedited access to high-caliber physician talent.

Experts call Zika 'the scariest virus since HIV'

As experts learn more about the mosquito-borne Zika virus, they are becoming more alarmed. The American Council on Science and Health referred to Zika as  "possibly the scariest virus since HIV" because it is carried by hard-to-escape mosquitoes and causes serious birth defects.

The Best of Cardio and Health IT News: Week of 2/15/16 

Don't miss out on this week's top stories


CMS and health insurers announce alignment and simplification of quality measures

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and America's Health Insurance Plans (the health plans' trade group)  announced that they have agreed on seven sets of clinical quality measuresThe standardized measures are designed to help payers and consumers shopping for high-quality care. "These measures support multi-payer alignment, for the first time, on core measures primarily for physician quality programs," according to the CMS. This work is informing the CMS’s implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).

Supreme Court: What will happen to healthcare cases after Justice Scalia's death?

A number of healthcare-related cases are in limbo following the death of conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died on Feb. 12. "The court is weighing a case about data sharing with potential implications for insurers and state healthcare reform efforts," Modern Healthcare reports. "Another case has the potential to reduce—or increase—the number of False Claims Act suits brought against healthcare providers and other companies." Also before the court is a case involving the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act. 

CMS anticipates giving out $7.7 billion in ACA reinsurance payouts

Healthcare insurance companies could receive as much as $7.7 billion as part of the Affordable Care Act's reinsurance program. Reflecting data from the 2015 benefit year, the payouts are to be issued this year. "The Affordable Care Act created the temporary, three-year reinsurance program to protect insurers during the early years of the new individual marketplaces," according to Modern Healthcare"Insurers pay into the reinsurance pool, and those funds are then paid out to health plans that had members with extremely high medical claims." 

Still stalled: Federal healthcare rule that ties Medicare, Medicaid payments to disaster-preparedness plans

A proposed federal rule that would require healthcare facilities and hospitals to create emergency-preparedness plans in order to receive Medicare and Medicaid funding is stalled in the Office of Management and Budget, undergoing a legally required review. It would affect more than 68,000 providers, according to a New York Times news analysis."Industry groups have been critical of the time and expense they said would be involved in steps such as test backup power generators more frequently and for longer periods, or to pay staff overtime during drills," according to FierceHealthcare.com.

Harvard researchers say PCI readmission metric could be model

A model for improving the quality and value of cardiology care may be found in a pilot program from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR), according to Harvard researchers. The program evaluated and reported risk-adjusted 30-day readmission rates after PCI. "The researchers noted that preventing readmissions could improve the quality of care and reduce costs for cardiology patients," according to CardiovascularBusiness.com.

 

The Best of Cardio and Healthcare News for the Week of 2/1/16 

Trending topics in HealthIT

Leave the researching to us! LUMEDX surveys the top healthcare and health IT stories of the week.

Healthcare economics: Basing healthcare decisions on Medicare data might not be best practice

A recent study found that the correlation between total spending per Medicare beneficiary and total spending per privately insured beneficiary was 0.14 in 2011, while the correlation for inpatient spending was 0.267. “What that suggests is that policy for Medicare doesn’t necessarily make better policy for the privately insured,” one researcher told Health Exec.

Reducing readmissions among minorities: 7 population health strategies

A new guide from Medicare gives hospitals methods for addressing ethnic and racial healthcare disparities in readmissions. The guide comes amid increasing concerns about racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare outcomes, and frustration about federal penalties that some say unfairly punish providers in high-risk communities. 

Sharing of medical-claim data would be allowed under proposed #CMS rule

"Some medical data miners may soon be allowed to share and sell Medicare and private-sector medical-claims data, as well as analyses of that data, under proposed regulations the CMS issued," Modern Healthcare reports. "Quality improvement organizations and other 'qualified entities' would be granted permission to perform data analytics work and share it with, or sell it, to others, under an 86-page proposed rule that carries out a provision of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015" (#MACRA). 

Federal gender pay equity rule: What will it mean for healthcare industry?

Nearly 80 percent of hospital employees are women. How might they be affected by President Obama's recent announcement that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will begin requiring companies that employ 100 or more people to report wage information that includes gender, race, and ethnicity?

The price of healthcare miscommunication: $1.7B and nearly 2,000 lives

New research shows that healthcare miscommunication has cost nearly 2,000 lives, and was a contributing  factor in 7,149 cases (30 percent) of 23,000 medical malpractice claims filed between 2009 and 2013. Communication failures were also to blame for 37 percent of all high-severity injury cases.

Physical fitness can decrease mortality risk following first heart attack

Being physically fit may not only help to reduce the risk of heart attacks, but may also decrease the risk of mortality following a first heart attack, according to a new study. The study used multivariable logistic regression models to assess how exercise affected the risk of mortality at 28, 90, and 365 days after a heart attack.

 

Case study: CV Analytics Solution Ensures Consistent Quality Care for UnityPoint Health--Des Moines 

"Best outcome for every patient, every time"

High-Level View of Performance in a Few Clicks

With new analytics software, #UnityPointHealth -- Des Moines can set parameters and run the reports it needs with a few clicks of the mouse. The reports enable CV leadership to see and understand how service lines are performing in near-real time.

 

Posted by Friday, January 29, 2016 1:15:00 PM Categories: analytics cardiology data health information technology healthcare analytics performance

The Best of Cardio and Healthcare News for the Week of 1/11/16 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the cardiology and healthIT communities? Let us help keep you up to date on the stories you won't want to miss.

Heart attack outcomes may improve when treatment sought earlier

Restoring blood flow quickly after heart attack symptoms begin is key to less heart damage, according to a new study published in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions. The study found that failure to recognize and seek treatment for early heart attack symptoms can cause increased damage to the heart. 

Heart failure cell therapy trial gets FDA approval

The FDA has authorized Celyad’s Investigational New Drug (IND) application for a CHART-2 trial in the United States. The phase III heart failure trial will initiate clinical testing of Celyad’s C-Cure cardiopoietic cells delivered via the C-Cath proprietary catheter. CHART-2 is designed to test the efficacy of C-Cure as a treatment for heart failure of ischemic origin. 

Coronary stenting often followed by additional surgery

Nearly 15 percent of patients who received coronary stents during a PCI underwent another surgery within a year of the procedure, and nearly half had more surgery within five years, according to cardiovascularbusiness.com. The website reported that nearly 80 percent of the subsequent surgeries were noncardiac in nature.

Cardiac Assist  device preserves LV function in cardiogenic shock

XENiOS’ i-COR Synchronized Cardiac Assist system protects left ventricular (LV) function compared to continuous-flow ECLS (extracorporeal life support) in cardiogenic shock, according to data presented at the recent American Heart Association annual meeting. Synchronized cardiac assist, which superimposes a physiological pulse wave onto the patient’s weakened pulse, is intended to be a less invasive treatment than the current standard.

Optimism may lead to increased physical activity, reduced readmissions following acute coronary syndrome

Two weeks after an acute coronary syndrome, patients who were optimistic were more likely  to be physically active and less likely to be readmitted to a hospital for cardiovascular reasons, according to an observational study. But gratitude didn’t help, according to researchers, who reported that gratitude following an acute coronary syndrome was not associated with improvements in readmission or more physical activity.

 

Posted by Monday, January 11, 2016 1:01:00 PM Categories: best practices cardiology data heart failure mortality outcome

The Best of Cardio and Healthcare News for the Week of 1/4/16 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the cardiology and healthIT communities? Let us help keep you up to date on the stories you won't want to miss.

2016 may bring slower patient growth, higher wages, more expensive drugs

Late 2015 data support health systems' anticipation that the demand surge from patients newly insured under the Affordable Care Act would fade this year. Economists with the Altarum Institute say spending acceleration from the coverage expansion may have peaked last February. 

FDA clears Biotronik's peripheral stent 

The FDA has cleared Biotronik's Astron Peripheral Self-Expanding Nitinol Stent System, a device for improving luminal diameter in patients with iliac atherosclerotic lesions. The stent system is described as a self-expanding stent loaded on an over-the-wire delivery system. 

Patients increasingly turning to mobile health apps

More than 30 percent of consumers last year said they have at least one health app on their smartphones, and 60 percent are willing to have a video visit with a doctor through a mobile device, according to an online survey of 1,000 U.S. adults. An increased use of telehealth apps is one of the predictions for 2016 from the PwC Health Research Institute.

Diagnostic errors, measuring performance among top healthcare quality issues for New Year

Zeroing in on individual doctor performance, reducing diagnostic errors, standardizing performance measures, and rethinking the patient experience may be among the top agenda items for healthcare quality and safety leaders this year. There could also be a greater focus on individual doctor performance as it relates to value-based payment and quality reporting.

Family satisfaction increases when ICUs relax their visiting hours

A survey published in the American Journal of Critical Care shows patients benefit when families visit throughout the day and night. "These findings support open and patient-centered visitation guidelines in critical care settings," the researchers wrote.
 

The Best of Cardio, Health IT News: Week of 12/21/15 

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the cardiology community? Let us help keep you up to date on the stories you won't want to miss.

Mount Sinai heart director predicts cardio care will focus more on prevention

In the future, healthcare providers will put more emphasis on prevention, and (it is hoped) less on treating disease, Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D., said during a Dec. 17 panel discussion at the United Nations. Fuster, director of Mount Sinai Heart and physician-in-chief of The Mount Sinai Hospital, added that the transition “will require that cardiovascular specialists and healthcare workers are trained in ambulatory and home-based care.” 

Heart disease still top cause of deaths, but rate is decreasing in U.S.

Heart disease-related deaths are down, but still account for nearly one-third of all deaths in the United States, according to the American Heart Association's (AHA's) annual Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update. Cardiovascular disease caused 30.8 percent of all U.S. deaths in 2013 and is still the leading cause of death, with about 2,200 people dying of it daily in the United States. From 2003 to 2013, death rates attributed to cardiovascular disease declined 28.8 percent, the AHA reported.

Healthcare 2015: The year in review

Rising drug prices—including huge increases in the prices of some older drugs— lead Modern Healthcare’s list of top medical stories for 2015. Also on the radar: cyberattacks on health insurers, and the congressional breakthrough on “the long-standing headache of Medicare physician pay.”

Population health the big issue in healthcare IT

In the healthcare IT community, population health was one of the hot topics of 2015. That’s according to healthcareitnews.com, which closes the year with its 10 most-read population heath stories of 2015. One of the featured stories covers possible population health gains that could come about as patients become more engaged. 

Self-service kiosk lets patients share data with providers

A new self-service kiosk will allow patients and providers to share medical exam reports, radiology reports and medical images. Although it’s not yet available for commercial sale, Carestream Health’s MyVue Center Self-Service kiosk debuted recently at the 2015 Radiological Society of North America conference. 

Posted by Monday, December 21, 2015 12:14:00 PM Categories: cardiology data electronic health records health information technology health IT heart failure HIT hospitals

The Best of Cardio, Health IT News: Week of 12/14/15 

Telehealth trend continues its upward climb

2015 sees digital health funding top $4.3 million

More than $4.3 million flowed into the digital health market this year, with consumer engagement tools, personal health tools, and tracking categories by themselves making up 23 percent of overall funding. Consumerization in healthcare is also driving mergers or funding deals, according to a report by Rock Health.

Doctor shortages, readmission fines drive up use of remote patient monitoring systems

A new report from Frost & Sullivan predicts that the remote patient monitoring market will grow by 13.2 percent during the next five years. The market growth is thought to be caused in part by fear of readmissions penalties, an anticipated doctor shortage, and an increase of chronic health conditions.

Kaiser betting telehealth is the wave of the future

Kaiser Permanente Ventures has invested $10 million in Vidyo, a visual communications company that integrates hi-def video communications into workflow and patients’ electronic health records. Forbes reports that Vidyo is already used by clinicians at Mercy, American Well, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, United Healthcare, and Philips, among others.

Adequate nursing staff increases survival rates for in-hospital cardiac arrest patients 

A new report finds that assigning fewer patients to each nurse and improving working conditions for those nurses can increase the number of in-hospital cardiac arrest patients who live to return home. Outcomes are better “when nurses have a more reasonable workload and work in good hospital work environments," the report’s authors said in an announcement.

STS issues new CABG guidelines

Physicians who perform coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) should use arteries from the chest and forearm instead of veins from the leg in certain patients, according to guidelines from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). The STS members who created the guidelines “found that targeting the left internal thoracic artery during CABG procedures was associated with improved survival, graft patency and freedom from cardiac events compared with saphenous vein grafts,” according to cardiovascularbusiness.com.

 

The Best of Cardio and Healthcare News for the Week of 12/7/15 

Good news, bad news: High cholesterol rates are down, but fewer than half of patients are taking their statins

Did you have a chance to check out the latest news from the cardiology community? Let us help keep you up to date on the stories you won't want to miss.

 

The good news: High total cholesterol rates declining among U.S. adults

Rates of total high cholesterol and low high-density protein (HDL) in U.S. adults decreased between 2011 and 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  From 2009 to 2010, 13.4 percent of adults had high cholesterol and 21.3 percent had low HDL cholesterol. From 2011 to 2014, those percentages dropped to 12.1 percent and 18.5 percent, respectively.

The bad news: Most patients not making changes to reduce cardio risk

Fewer than half of patients considered candidates for cholesterol-lowering treatments are actually implementing the treatments, which include exercising more, taking statin medication and losing weight. “Cholesterol treatment gaps” are greater among non-white ethnic groups in the United States than they are for Americans who are white.

Mood matters! Patients with negative emotions before interventional procedures have more adverse outcomes    

Adverse effects after angioplasty and interventional radiology procedures are more common in patients who are fearful or distressed prior to the procedures. Patients who went in with negative emotions were more likely than those with positive or neutral emotions to experience prolonged lack of oxygen, low or high blood pressure, post-operative bleeding or an abnormally slow heart rate.

Hospital staff don’t feel prepared for a mass casualty event

Are critical care and emergency room (ER) staff ready to handle the next terrorist or other mass casualty event? Two-thirds of the physicians and nurses surveyed recently said no. They’re concerned about shortages of available surgeons, beds and blood supplies. 

What healthcare leaders must do to improve patient outcomes

Outcomes-based patient care requires a paradigm shift that has yet to occur for many in healthcare management, according to a Harvard Business Review blog post. Successfully adapting to this new business model requires investing time and money over the long haul, plus taking two other key actions, the post says.

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