Let the good times roll
Kaitlyn Dmyterko, staff writer
While the majority of our coverage last week from the annual American College of Cardiology (ACC) scientific sessions focused on late-breaking clinical research including PARTNER, RIVAL and STICH trials, this week, our coverage from the windy city centers on practice management at the annual leadership conference of the American College of Cardiovascular Administrators (ACCA).

During ACCA yesterday, part of the morning was focused on physician partnering and integration. Cathleen Biga, president and CEO of Cardiovascular Management of Illinois, tipped administrators off on how to successfully move towards integration with the hospital. Biga said the key to it is ensuring that physicians have a seat at the table and have oversight of their cath lab service line. She said that while several models are feasible, governance, setting up committees and roles and responsibility will be the key to integration success.

Additionally, Renee L. Mazeroll, RN, of the St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif., made the case of why facilities should move towards the hybrid OR. And while the business venture produced lofty costs upfront, the hospital has realized faster patient recovery times and length of stay and the ability to perform cardiac and vascular procedures in a less invasive way. And for the feat that took four years from start to finish, Mazeroll said training is crucial for facilities looking towards moving to the hybrid lab.

Other news from ACC showed that while ACE inhibitors and ARBs have been shown to be superior to calcium channel blockers, results of the NAGOYA HEART study showed that patients administered valsartan and amlodipine saw similar rates of cardiovascular outcomes. However, for patients administered valsartan, the risk of congestive heart failure was decreased.

Also at ACC this year, researchers from the University of California-Los Angeles, urged that cardiologists need to take responsibility for clinical data after it was found that there was a significant variation in performance and outcomes for heart failure and acute MI. In fact, based off data from the Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, the researchers found significant differences and “inadequate adherence” to evidence-based HF guidelines by specialized clinicians and internal medicine physicians. The researchers concluded that cardiologists must be more involved with the management of patients with decompensated HF and integrate protocols into facilities.

Piggybacking off of ACC last week, ACCA will look at how health reform will impact CV practice, how the market for transcatheter valve implantation (TAVI) will create a spark in the market and what it means for reimbursement and what ACOs mean for the hospital. Keep an eye out for our conference coverage into next week.

On these topics or others, please feel free to contact me.

Kaitlyn Dmyterko
Senior writer, Cardiovascular Business News