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    Plenty of cardiology debates remain unsettled

    One of the closing programs of the American College of Cardiology’s (ACC’s) 65th annual Scientific Session and Expo in Chicago consisted of three quick, spirited debates on the use of hospital 30-day readmissions as a quality measure, whether heart-failure specialists were the only physicians who should treat heart-failure patients and whether implantable hemodynamic monitors were now a “must” in the care of heart-failure patients.

    Each presenter gave a nine-minute argument followed by three minutes of rebuttal. A vote was taken before and after each debate to measure the audience’s opinion and whether they had that opinion changed by either argument.

    30-day Measure

    Defending the use of the 30-day measure was Farzad Mostashari, MD, co-founder and chief executive officer of Aledade, a Bethesda-based company that operates accountable care organizations across the country. The opposite view was argued by Gregg Fonarow, MD, director of the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center in Los Angeles. The pre-debate opinion of the measure was 38% approving, 62% opposing.

    “This is not a cardiology measure, it is a system measure,” argued Mostashari, the former National Coordinator for Health IT at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “This to say a hospital’s job doesn’t begin with admission and end with discharge.”


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