The TCT will be held in Miami Beach, October 22-26, 2012
The Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics conference (TCT) is the largest U.S. meeting devoted to interventional cardiology (angioplasty, stents, and related procedures) and it starts next week. Organizers are predicting a new attendance record of over 12,000 cardiologists and associated healthcare professionals, as well as members of the device, imaging and pharmaceutical industries, venture capitalists, and press. Speaking of which, yes…I will be there and Angioplasty.Org will be reporting on late-breaking trials, new directions and innovative devices.
The annual meeting is truly international: attendees will be traveling from 70 countries; in fact, this year more than two-thirds of the registrants hail from outside the United States. Continue reading
Published “online first” today in the New England Journal of Medicine are two articles, authored by the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees, President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, describing their health care platforms and their visions for the future of American health care. The editors of NEJM had asked the nominees for these statements which are brief and concise, summing up the two positions in less than 1,300 words each.
President Obama’s statement, titled “Securing the Future of American Health Care,” recaps the highlights of the Affordable Care Act, passed in his first term, and lays out plans for future improvements. Continue reading
Artist illustration of the iFR “Wave Free Period”
As previously reported on Angioplasty.Org, a new method for the functional measurement of intracoronary pressures and the severity of blockages has been developed by researchers at Imperial College in London. One of the main advantages of this new method, called Instant Wave-Free Ratio™ (iFR), is that, unlike standard fractional flow reserve (FFR), it does not require injection of a vasodilator drug, such as adenosine, to induce stress on the heart. The result is that the procedure is more comfortable for the patient and potentially useable in clinical scenarios where vasodilation is not feasible, such as acute coronary syndromes, infarctions, unstable patients, patients with breathing problems; it may also be somewhat quicker, easier to use, and more cost-effective. Continue reading
Patient exchange in cath lab at Kihara Cardiovascular Hospital in Japan
Earlier today I reported on an important study, published online first in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. The study fed the results from 14 radial vs. femoral trials (RIVAL et al) into the cost-benefit analysis machine at Penn Medicine’s Center for Evidence-based Practice (CEP).
And the results? The transradial wrist approach to catheter-based procedures (angiograms, stents, etc.) was less expensive ($275 per procedure) and resulted in two-thirds less complications than the femoral/groin approach. Continue reading
The question of the day, regarding whether or not to stent a coronary artery, is now being brought to the forefront by the U.S. government in the form of a Medicare “Demonstration Project”. And by “brought to the forefront”, I mean MONEY! — as in “we won’t pay you if we determine that the stent procedure was inappropriate.”
The bottom line is that, on November 15, CMS announced “New Demonstrations to Help Curb Improper Medicare, Medicaid Payments“. These so-called “demonstrations” will occur in 11 states where claims “historically result in high rates of improper payments”: Florida, California, Michigan, Texas, New York, Louisiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and Missouri. Continue reading