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Cardiovascular Rounds

News, resources, and analysis from the Cardiovascular Roundtable

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What remote patient monitoring means for heart failure

by Jodi Askew February 10, 2016

Now more than ever, cardiovascular service line leaders are expressing interest in deploying telemonitoring technology to remotely manage their CV patients. Remote patient monitoring, or RPM, enables providers to virtually collect and transmit a patient’s data for the purposes of clinical assessment and care management. The health care IT community is largely in agreement about RPM’s potential to expand the geographic reach, clinical scope, and capacity for quality care—isn’t it about time our CV service line leaders joined the conversation?

We say "yes." Just last year, our Health Care IT Advisor research team suggested that providers should deploy RPM for chronic disease patients. This has become more important in the last year, with mounting pressure from CMS and private payers to expand the timeframe for long-term accountable care management in the CV service line and escalating penalties associated with excess readmissions.

With this in mind, we examined the recent literature on the clinical and financial impacts of RPM for heart failure (HF) patients in five high-impact areas—length of stay, mortality, readmissions, cost effectiveness, and reimbursement—and have reported our most interesting findings below.

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Can PCI patients make it home for dinner? We say 'yes.'

Brian Contos February 3, 2016

Thanks to the two-midnight rule, Recovery Audit Contractors, and growing competition, hospitals face a lot of pressure to keep low-risk, short-stay patients out of inpatient beds. But when it comes to CV procedures like percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), it’s a lot easier said than done. Findings from our Crimson Continuum of Care data set and Cardiovascular Roundtable research provide more insight into the opportunity for same-day discharge (SDD).

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How one hospital saved over $1,000 per case with LOS protocols

by Julie Bass January 13, 2016

Preliminary results from our 2015 CV Outpatient Efficiency Benchmarking Survey suggest that protocol-driven observation care leads significantly lower length of stays (LOS). In fact, the average observation LOS for chest pain patients is 41% lower for Cardiovascular Roundtable members who use chest pain protocols compared to members who do not.

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Improper ICD implants cost hospitals $250 million

by Julie Bass January 11, 2016

Five years ago, the Department of Justice (DOJ) started an investigation on the potential misuse of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). In October 2015 the DOJ announced it had settled with 457 hospitals in 43 states for a total of $250 million for improper implantation of ICDs in Medicare patients.

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Need pre-admission testing done? Have the caregivers come to the patient.

by Marissa Schwartz January 5, 2016

Access is a buzzword throughout health care these days, and the CV service line is no exception. Improving patient access can differentiate your CV program—and a critical element of this is a flexible, convenient, and patient-focused schedule.

Here's how Elmhurst Memorial deployed dedicated CV schedulers and a streamlined scheduling process with promising results.

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How does your cath lab turnaround time compare?

by Kristen Barlow December 9, 2015

At the Cardiovascular Roundtable, we recently received a question on how long it takes to turn around a cath lab—in other words, the time between one patient leaving the room and the room being ready for the next case, not including scheduled down time—so we surveyed our members and received over 900 responses. Read on to learn about the survey results and how to improve your cath lab’s efficiency.

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Cleveland Clinic's model for shared medical appointments

By Marissa Schwartz October 26, 2015

CV clinical providers face larger workloads and higher volumes. To increase efficiency and maximize productivity, we must consider new strategies. One tactic discussed in the Cardiovascular Roundtable’s study, The Highly Productive Cardiovascular Enterprise, involves shared medical appointments.

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Follow these steps to compare your observation use to your peers'

by Erin Lane October 9, 2015

The appropriateness of observation has been a hot topic for the past several years as we have experienced rapid, continuous growth in observation status. In fact, according to MedPAC data, observation stays increased 96% from 2006 to 2013. We are also seeing an increase in long stay observation cases, with 26% of observation cases lasting at least two nights, and 11% lasting three in 2012.

The increase in observation use is due to providers' response to multiple factors, such as short inpatient stay scrutiny, ambiguity in appropriateness of inpatient admission, and fear of readmission penalties. But members often tell us they do not have a way to compare their observation performance to their peers'.

I'm here to tell you there's a tool at your fingertips that can do just that. Our Hospital Benchmark Generator includes Medicare benchmarks for financial, operational, and quality data. The tool allows you to select a cohort of hospitals that most closely resembles your organization and compare performance side-by-side. Your organization's data will be displayed in a red column.

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