Cardiovascular Rounds

Access CV utilization trends in your region

By Megan Tooley and Marissa Schaffer

In today’s rapidly changing CV market, it’s critical to understand where and when services are being utilized. The Cardiovascular Roundtable has just updated our Regional Utilization Profiler tool to give our members access to market-specific utilization rates for over 40 inpatient and outpatient CV services.

The tool enables you to easily select your regions of interest and receive instant access to per-capita Medicare utilization rates—both for the patient population overall and at the diagnosis-specific level. You can also compare your market to a self-selected cohort of other markets, and examine trends from 2012 to 2016.

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Sample Output Graph of Market-Specific Per-Capita Utilization Rates

Regionalization Profiler tool in action: Atrial fibrillation program refinement

CV leaders at Lana Hospital, a pseudonym, had been interested in optimizing their atrial fibrillation program for several years. Lana's CV Service Line Director used the Regional Utilization Profiler to analyze AF procedural treatment utilization rates in their market compared with neighboring markets and national rates. She found that while utilization rates of catheter ablation for AF were higher than the national average and nearby markets, Lana's EP program was not witnessing the procedural volumes they would expect based on the high utilization in their market. With this information, Lana recognized an opportunity to further examine utilization in their market.

Lana's administrator analyzed their physician referral patterns, discovering that out-of-network referrals were a significant contributor to Lana's low ablation volumes. In response, they developed a more comprehensive referring provider marketing strategy to ensure that local PCPs and general cardiologists were aware of the comprehensive suite of EP services Lana offered. Lana made sure to provide targeted data on the high-quality outcomes of these services in their marketing to physicians. And simultaneously, Lana reassessed their direct-to-patient marketing to ensure that patients were similarly aware of Lana's extensive EP service offerings and excellent results.

Next, learn 6 steps to optimize CV organizational and leadership structures

CV programs have been developing cardiovascular service lines for years, but there’s no standard definition of what a service line entails. We define it as having a dedicated administrative body, a discrete budget, and a unified strategic plan.

When it comes to CV service line organizational and leadership models, there is no "right answer" for all programs. And there is typically no end state—it is usually a work in progress. These six steps and associated tools will assist you in defining the org chart and governance structure that’s right for you.

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