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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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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Why are young women more likely to die in the hospital after a STEMI?

by Marissa Schwartz December 16, 2015

A recent study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found significant sex differences in STEMI treatment for younger adults. Compared to men, women with STEMI were more likely to die in the hospital or receive interventions.

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Six things you need to know about critical limb ischemia

by Kristen Barlow November 18, 2015

Critical limb ischemia (CLI) is the most severe form of peripheral vascular disease. It’s an underappreciated epidemic, and despite a dramatic increase in health care spending to combat the disease, it has a very poor prognosis. We can and should do much more to improve outcomes. That was the message delivered by Brian Contos, Executive Director of the Cardiovascular Roundtable, at this year’s VIVA conference in Las Vegas.

Here are his six take-home lessons.

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JAMA: Death rates for heart disease and stroke declined dramatically

by Marissa Schwartz November 13, 2015

In the past four decades, we’ve gone through many changes, from cassette tapes to iPhones, from the Beatles to Coldplay, and—ever increasingly—from fee-for-service medicine towards value-based care models. According to a study recently published in JAMA, the U.S. has also seen a steep decline in heart disease- and stroke-related mortality since 1969.

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How one council made patient and family care its mission

by Julie Bass November 11, 2015

CV administrators have focused on improving patient engagement for years. However, the status quo for gathering patient perspectives is quite limited. Most programs rely on HCAHPS scores, which provide an incomplete picture of the entire patient experience. Few organizations conduct more comprehensive analyses, such as vendor surveys or community opinion surveys.

The University of Michigan’s Frankel Cardiovascular Center (CVC) is one program that has gone above and beyond by creating a Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) to further patient- and family-centered CV care.

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The care coordinator role, version 2.0

by Kristen Barlow November 9, 2015

Given new market pressures, it is important that navigator roles and responsibilities mature. For example, navigators must expand the time frame over which they track patients, aim to keep patients out of the hospital, and manage patients across various sites.

At The Valley Hospital in New Jersey, administrators developed the complex care coordinator role to identify and follow high-risk patients.

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