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ACC CV Quality SmartBrief

The ACC CV Quality SmartBrief eNewsletter is a free, twice-weekly briefing for health care stakeholders interested in quality care. Learn more about the ACC CV Quality SmartBrief and subscribe.

  • Valentine outlines challenges facing cardiology

    Workforce diversity, face time with patients, regulatory burdens and rising annual costs are some of the challenges facing cardiologists, American College of Cardiology immediate past president Dr. C. Michael Valentine told the ACC Scientific Session. Valentine said obesity and diabetes are factors in the reversal of 30 years of decline in mortality from cardiovascular disease and that preventing the growth of CVD risk factors and increasing cardiology's diversity are major priorities. Healio (free registration) (3/16) Learn More

  • Cardiology groups issue new guidance on aspirin use for heart disease

    The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association have released a revised recommendation that says most people never previously diagnosed with heart disease should not take aspirin to prevent heart attacks and other heart disease, releasing a set of "primary prevention" guidelines during a recent ACC conference. The recommendation was based on findings from studies that showed an increased risk of bleeding in aspirin users, particularly gastrointestinal bleeding, although the drug is still recommended for prevention of heart attacks in those previously diagnosed with cardiovascular illnesses. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (3/17) Learn More

  • Study: HF readmission penalties hit safety-net hospitals harder

    A study presented at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Session showed safety-net hospitals were more likely to be penalized for 30-day heart failure readmissions and had average penalties of 0.7% compared with 0.51% for hospitals in high-income areas. Researcher Sameed Ahmed Khatana said under the 21st Century Cures Act, CMS in fiscal 2019 starts to account for socioeconomic factors in its Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, which will lead to fewer penalties for safety-net hospitals but more penalties for other hospitals. Healio (free registration) (3/17) Learn More

  • More physicians are experiencing burnout

    Researchers found that the rate of physicians who reported burnout rose from 40.6% in 2014 to 45.6% in 2017, which was associated with upturns in exhaustion and cynicism during the same period. The findings in JAMA Network Open also showed the highest burnout risk among early-career physicians, or those who have worked 10 years or less since training. Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (3/15) Learn More

  • AMA survey: Prior authorizations have negative impact on patient care

    Eighty-five percent of physicians surveyed by the American Medical Association say prior authorizations have a negative impact on patient care, and providers say they haven't seen an improvement in the situation despite payer awareness. The AMA and other groups issued a consensus statement last year calling for reforms in light of the increase in prior authorization requirements from insurers. Healthcare Dive (3/13) Learn More

  • Investigation: 10 years in, EHRs fail to live up to their promise

    The digitization of health records in the US was supposed to improve the quality and value of health care by providing real-time access to the information needed to optimize decisions and improve outcomes, but 10 years after legislation fast-tracked the move to EHRs, even the architects of the effort agree the US' $36 billion investment has not delivered as expected. Although nearly all hospitals have EHRs, the systems are difficult to use, interoperability is poor, and an investigation by Kaiser Health News and Fortune has uncovered reports of patient deaths, injuries and close calls tied to software glitches, user error and other problems. Fortune (3/18) Learn More

  • HHS initiative will address HIV testing, treatment shortfalls

    CNN (3/18) Learn More


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