Practice Management

SGR remains in place—for nowIt appears that the highly-anticipated repeal of Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula—also known as the “doc fix”—will have to wait at least a couple of weeks longer.
CMS releases Stage 3 Meaningful Use rulesFewer than half of physicians have met Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements and, despite a promise to add flexibility to reporting requirements in 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a proposed rule for Stage 3 of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Program that some stakeholders say is anything but flexible.
ACOs showing payment reform possibleAccording to comments made by Michael Chernew, PhD of the Harvard Medical School at the ACC meeting, the healthcare system must transform its payment methods. ACOs may be a solution to control spending.

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The complexity of atrial fibrillationAtrial fibrillation (AF), once thought of as a disease with a simple diagnosis, is now being seen as a disease of great complexity and now requires clinical judgement for effective managing.
Medical Therapy Excellent for Pediatric Heart FailureThe conclusion of a talk by Melanie Everitt, MD, Director Heart Transplantation, Children's Hospital Colorado is that medical therapy should be optimized first before moving on to treatment of children suffering from heart failure with a device or transplantation.
Old guidelines still appropriate for blood-pressure targetsDespite recently published hypertension guidelines for those over the age of 60, it is still appropriate to focus on blood pressure targets set by an older guideline recommended by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

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Market transition to fee for value: Practical implicationsKey market trends are placing pressure on healthcare providers to adapt new ways of delivering care more efficiently while improving patient outcomes. Cardiovascular care (and the importance of coordinating cardiovascular care) is critical because it comprises a significant portion of the overall healthcare spend, particularly in light of changing demographics.
New guidelines on statin therapyNew guidelines on the treatment of cholesterol highlight four groups of people who will most likely benefit from statin therapy, and emphasize the need to tailor stain therapy to meet the individualized needs of each patient.
Nonclinical competencies physicians need to surviveAs increasing numbers of physicians are called into leadership positions, new skills are needed to meet the many nonclinical demands required to fill these positions.
Cardiologists need to engage in tort reformMedical liability concerns still rate high on the list of concerns by cardiologists, despite State tort reforms in the past decade that have resulted in fewer claims made against physicians and subsequent decreased malpractice insurance pricing.

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