Understanding Cath Lab Finance: ACVP Collaborates with SCAI to Produce Resource

Cath Lab Finance

A collaboration between the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions and the Alliance of Cardiovascular Professionals produced an expert consensus statement outlining the general principles of cath lab finance - crucial considerations for cath lab managers and all cath lab staff.

The document was published online last week in the SCAI's Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions journal and endorsed by ACVP.

In a SCAI-TV video interview, James C. Blankenship MD. MHCM, MSCAI and Peter L. Duffy MD, MMM, FSCAI described the crucial importance of understanding cath lab finance and its impact on quality patient care.

"As we see health care evolving with new payment mechanisms coming on board, the incentives are going to change and the way that cath labs operate is going to have to change as well," said Dr. Blankenship. "Cath lab directors need to be able to talk to their administrative partners about the financial aspects of this and be able to advocate for patient care, which is sometimes more expensive, and make sure that they keep the cath lab solvent financially."

ACVP's Collaboration with SCAI "Critically Important"

When asked about the collaboration with ACVP, Dr. Duffy explained that involving both physicians and non-physicians, managers and administrators was "critically important" in producing this resource.

Continue reading Understanding Cath Lab Finance: ACVP Collaborates with SCAI to Produce Resource

Transradial Access: where we are

A popular hashtag among cardiologists on Twitter, #RadialFirst hopes to promote the adoption of transradial access for cardiac catheterization and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in cath labs across the world thanks to a deepening evidence base of positive outcomes.

The evidence shows that transradial access is associated with reductions in bleeding, vascular complications, and time to ambulation compared with a femoral approach. However, while the adoption of the transradial approach is increasing in the United States, the approach is not as widely used as it is in Europe, Canada and Asia—perhaps due to the challenges in the approach's learning curve.

So, what is the current state of the transradial approach in the United States? That is the question a new comprehensive literature review from the Duke Clinical Research Institute, published in Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications, set out to answer.

Continue reading Transradial Access: where we are

Stents not effective? Study sparks debate pt. 1

U.K. PCI study sparks U.S. debate

On Wednesday, November 1, results from the Objective Randomized Blinded Investigation with Optimal Medical Therapy of Angioplasty in Stable Angina (ORBITA) study were published in The Lancet.

The next day, this article was published in the New York Times:

"A procedure used to relieve chest pain in hundreds of thousands of heart patients each year is useless for many of them," it began... "The new study, published in the Lancet, stunned leading cardiologists by countering decades of clinical experience. The findings raise questions about whether stents should be used so often—or at all—to treat chest pain."

Without further knowledge, the debate may start right here—the New York Times article had little in the way of medical detail to satisfy invasive cardiovascular professionals and may have further generalized results in a misleading manner.

But let's hold off on reacting, look at the debate surrounding this particular study and also place the findings in a wider context (part two). Note: this isn't the first time it has been suggested that stents are overused.

Continue reading Stents not effective? Study sparks debate pt. 1

ACC and AHA Release 10 “Comprehensive” Measures to Combat Sudden Cardiac Death

A new joint report released today by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) offers practitioners and stakeholders ten evidence-based quality and performance measures to prevent sudden cardiac death (SCD).

"This is the first comprehensive measure set in the area of SCD prevention," says Sana Al-Khatib, MD, co-chair of the report writing committee in an ACC press release. "Our vision is that these measures will be developed, tested and implemented in clinical practice and that implementation will improve patient care and outcomes."

Sudden cardiac death a "healthcare crisis"

The American Heart Association reports more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) occurring in 2016 with only 12 percent of people surviving to hospital discharge. These approximate statistics suggest more than 308,000 sudden cardiac deaths per year.

Continue reading ACC and AHA Release 10 “Comprehensive” Measures to Combat Sudden Cardiac Death