Cardiovascular Rounds

News, resources, and analysis from the Cardiovascular Roundtable

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Sentara Heart Hospital's secrets to success for complex CAD patient care coordination

by Alicia Daugherty and Carrie Wolf October 20, 2017

Coronary artery disease (CAD), which affects 15.5 million U.S. adults, is the leading cause of death in America. Despite many efforts to reduce the burden of this disease through innovations in medical therapies, revascularization techniques, and technological innovations, hospitals continue to face significant challenges treating these patients.

In particular, patients with complex CAD characterized by left-main coronary disease or multi-vessel blockages have proven particularly challenging to treat due to patient under-identification, clinical complexity compounded by a lack of standardized treatment practices, and resource-intensiveness.

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5 takeaways from the 2017 Napa Atrial Fibrillation Symposium

Megan Tooley , Julie Bass September 21, 2017

Last month, the Cardiovascular Roundtable had the opportunity to both attend and present at the 2017 Napa Atrial Fibrillation (AF) Symposium in Napa Valley, California. The symposium—hosted by the St. Helena Hospital Foundation in partnership with Gather Napa Valley and co-sponsored by the Heart Rhythm Society—was a three-day meeting of the minds of the country's leading experts in atrial fibrillation. Electrophysiologists, CV surgeons, cardiologists, primary care providers, AF care coordinators, and hospitals administrators spent the weekend learning and sharing best practices.

Here are our five biggest takeaways from the weekend.

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The case for palliative care in CV

by Megan Tooley and Marissa (Schwartz) Schaffer September 6, 2017

In recent years, palliative care has received growing attention in the press and become top-of-mind for many CV leaders. Hospitals across the country are making strides in adoption, thanks to palliative care's promise to enhance quality and reduce costs. But in the CV service line, palliative care still doesn't get the attention it deserves.

Read on to learn why palliative care should be a priority at your CV program—and how to get the ball rolling.

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How to address PACT—a hidden threat to your TAVR margins

by Megan Tooley and Marissa (Schwartz) Schaffer August 10, 2017

Facing challenging TAVR finances? You're not alone. In addition to device, infrastructure, and operating costs, it turns out that an often-overlooked CMS policy may be eating away at your margins–but that doesn't have to be the case.

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From risk factors to Apple apps: 4 major trends in the arrhythmia world

by Megan Tooley and Julie Bass June 1, 2017

Patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and other cardiac arrhythmias are particularly complex to manage due to the chronic, often comorbid nature of these patient populations. Heart rhythm disorders affect patients both within and outside the CV service line—in fact, 17% of all admitted patients in the United States have some type of arrhythmia.

But that's not the most concerning point: The prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) is expected to grow to 12.1 million by 2030, more than double the 5.1 million cases in 2010.

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Why there's new urgency for CV programs to consider social determinants of health

by Megan Tooley and Emily Snow May 16, 2017

For the most part, CMS's FY 2018 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) proposed rule includes nothing unexpected for CV leaders. However, it does address one highly debated topic—socioeconomic status (SES) as it relates to pay-for-performance programs.

Some critics of the these programs have taken issue with their failure to account for SES, out of a concern that providers who serve low-SES populations with significant health risk factors may incur penalties at a disproportionate rate.

This is of particular concern for cardiovascular service lines, as there is a strong link between cardiovascular disease and social determinants. Additionally, cardiovascular programs have an increasing amount of their business tied to cross-continuum care through pay-for-performance programs such as the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program (HRRP), in which reimbursement dollars are tied to what happens to patients after they leave the hospital.

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The FY 2018 Inpatient Proposed Rule: Early insights for CV leaders

Megan Tooley April 21, 2017

April showers bring May flowers and—this year, at least—CMS's FY 2018 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) proposed rule. Per usual, this rule outlines CMS's proposed updates to inpatient reimbursement for acute and long term care hospitals as well as changes to policy and quality reporting requirements for these providers. If approved, these changes will go into effect on October 1, 2017.

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How to increase radial access—and potentially save $1M per year

by Megan Tooley and Marissa Schwartz March 22, 2017

Over the past several years, there's been mounting evidence that radial access is superior to femoral access when it comes to percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). But despite its benefits, many programs still struggle with radial access adoption. Read on for best practice strategies to improve radial access rates. 

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