News

Endovascular Therapy for Critical Limb Ischemia Better Than Surgery on Several Counts
March 21, 2016

Patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI) have better immediate outcomes with endovascular therapy than open surgery, an observational study suggests. Compared with those who had surgery, endovascular patients were less likely to die, spent fewer days in the hospital, and had care that was less expensive overall. “That’s a big deal to us,” said senior… more

 

US News: Poor Leg Circulation Hits Women With Kidney Disease Earlier Than Men
February 23, 2016

Compared to men, women under the age of 70 who have kidney disease are at higher odds for peripheral arterial disease (PAD), an often disabling impairment of blood flow in the legs. That’s the finding from a new study of almost 3,200 people with chronic kidney disease. Researchers led by Dr. Grace Wang, of the… more

 

CQ Roll Call: Budget Proposes More than $470 Billion in Savings
February 9, 2016

The final budget blueprint from President Barack Obama proposes ways to shave more than $470 billion over a decade from Medicare spending, slowing the pace of growth for expenses for the federal program for the elderly and disabled. If Congress were to approve the cuts, the estimated annual cost of the Medicare program would still… more

 

Inside Health Policy: NRHA Says Rural Hospital Closures On The Rise, Pushes Legislation
February 5, 2016

A National Rural Health Association-backed report found that more than 650 rural hospitals are at risk of closing, and both the association and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) are pushing bills with new hospital classification systems to reverse the trend of rural hospital closures. The pace of rural hospital closures is increasing, NRHA Vice President of… more

 

Fierce Healthcare Finance: CMS proposes changes to ACO structure under Medicare Shared Savings Program
February 1, 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed a variety of changes to the payments to providers who participate in accountable care organizations (ACOs) under the Medicare Share Savings Program. Among the biggest developments, CMS plans to use regional rather than national spending trends when updating performance benchmarks, it will also take into… more

 

Health Essentials: How to Treat Your Peripheral Artery Disease
January 22, 2016

Your options for treating peripheral artery disease (PAD)are expanding. That’s good news – if we only knew which ones were best. First, some background on PAD PAD is when plaque builds up in arteries that carry blood to your legs. Plaque buildup can restrict your circulation. If it becomes severe, you may develop wounds in… more

 

HuffPost Healthy Living: That Annoying Leg Pain Could Be a Blessing in Disguise
January 11, 2016

Nathaniel Creager had been firing through three packs of unfiltered Chesterfields every day for about 20 years when the Surgeon General released the landmark Smoking and Health report, the document that scientifically linked cigarettes to cancer, heart disease and more. Despite the warnings, he kept puffing away for about another decade. Eventually, his legs hurt… more

 

St. George News: Do you have peripheral arterial disease?
December 29, 2015

If you have any of following symptoms: • Painful cramping in your hip, thigh or calf muscles after activity such as walking or climbing stairs • Leg numbness or weakness • Coldness in your lower leg or foot • Sores on your toes, feet or legs that won’t heal • A change in the color… more

 

CQ: Massive Omnibus Bill Cleared by Congress, Signed Into Law
December 18, 2015

The Senate on Friday with little drama cleared 65-33 a $1.15 trillion omnibus appropriations bill and tax extenders package, as members raced to complete business before a holiday recess. The massive legislation (HR 2029) was signed into law just hours later by President Barack Obama. The omnibus bill was passed by the House earlier Friday,… more

 

Oakland Press Health: Leg discomfort should never be ignored
December 7, 2015

Aching calves, burning legs, numbness in the feet — pain and discomfort in the lower extremities is a common complaint that sends many of us to our doctors seeking relief. But unless the cause is something obvious, like a fall, pinpointing the source may require some medical detective work. Trying to tough it out, though, will not… more

 

CardioVascular Coalition Urges Increased Awareness of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Among Diabetes Patients During American Diabetes Month
November 30, 2015

Americans living with diabetes are at an increased risk for developing PAD, which disproportionately affects minority and underserved communities WASHINGTON – The CardioVascular Coalition (CVC), a leading group of community-based cardiovascular and endovascular care providers, physicians, and manufacturers created to advance community-based solutions designed to improve awareness, prevention, and intervention of vascular disease, is highlighting… more

 

RevCycle Intelligence: CMS Reports ACOs Assume High Risk Yet Generate High Savings
November 10, 2015

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) generated over $411 million in net program savings last year, according to financial and quality performance results from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). “The Affordable Care Act takes important steps toward a more accessible, affordable, and higher-quality health care system,” says CMS within a press release. “Today’s announcement… more

 

News Medical: Amputation is not wound healing
November 9, 2015

A couple of years ago there were 100 amputations a week in Britain; now there are 138 according to the National Health Service. Most of them are to diabetics because 20% suffer from wounds which the doctors consider impossible to heal. The doctors are wrong. These wounds can be healed. In the year 2000 it… more

 

Medical Xpress: Revascularization before exercise program improves walking for patients with PAD
November 8, 2015

Among patients with peripheral artery disease and intermittent claudication (cramping pain in the legs due to poor circulation in the arteries, aggravated by walking), a combination therapy of endovascular revascularization (an invasive procedure to improve blood flow in an artery) followed by supervised exercise resulted in greater improvement in walking distances and health-related quality-of-life measures… more

 

Dr. Jeffrey Carr: Era of Change in Sites of Service for Peripheral Vascular Intervention Requires New Ways to Look at Costs
November 6, 2015

I read with interest the article by Jones et al. (1) in the March 10, 2015, issue of the Journal. I am concerned that, based on the methodology and data presented, the conclusions may be misleading and suggest that interventionalists are making treatment decisions for peripheral vascular interventions (PVIs) and the choice of atherectomy, particularly,… more

 

USA Today: Texas Rep. Kevin Brady to head House Ways and Means Committee
November 4, 2015

Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas was chosen Wednesday to succeed Rep. Paul Ryan as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, beating out Ohio Rep. Pat Tiberi for the post. The committee perch is one of the most coveted in the House, and it puts the Texas Republican at the center of looming… more

 

National Law Review: Congress Take Step Toward Site-Neutral Medicare Payments in Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015
October 29, 2015

On October 28, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that, if enacted, would, among other things, substantially alter how and how much Medicare pays for outpatient services furnished by hospitals. The legislation, known as the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, principally reflects and implements a two-year federal budget and debt limit compromise negotiated… more

 

Modern Healthcare Blog: Hospitals hire more doctors, outpatient prices increase
October 19, 2015

Hospitals that acquire doctors may be able to better coordinate patient care to curb waste, according to an argument heard frequently in recent years as hospitals steadily buy up physicians. But that did not happen across nearly two-thirds of the nation’s metropolitan areas, a new analysis shows. Instead, prices increased. The study, published in JAMA… more

 

Wall Street Journal: Outpatient Medical Care Prices Are Rising, Study Shows
October 19, 2015

As hospitals have acquired more doctor practices, prices for outpatient medical services have gone up, according to a new study that will fuel debate over the impact of the merger boom sweeping through health care. The new study, in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, looked at what happened to the cost and volume of health-care… more

 

FOX 13: Leg Pain: Could it be Peripheral Artery Disease?
October 15, 2015

What is peripheral artery disease? Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is the narrowing of peripheral arteries, which results in reduced blood flow to the limbs. PAD can also be a sign of atherosclecrosis, a widespread accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries. Although some people may not experience any symptoms with this disease, others can experience… more

 

Modern Healthcare: CMS to unveil first group of Next Generation ACOs ‘soon’
October 14, 2015

The Obama administration is close to naming the first cohort of Medicare’s Next Generation accountable care organizations, according to Dr. Patrick Conway, acting principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer at the CMS. Conway spoke at an event held by American’s Health Insurance Plans in Chicago. He did not provide any specific date or details… more

 

Bloomberg BNA: MedPAC Discusses Obstacles to New Doctor Payment System
October 13, 2015

Obstacles confronting the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as it begins design of a new physician payment system could include excessive complexity and lack of participation, members of a Medicare advisory panel were told Oct. 8. Medicare Payment Advisory Commission staff members said one part of the new system that will replace the sustainable… more

 

Inside Health Policy: GAO Taps Members Of Advisory Panel That Will Guide CMS On New Physician Pay Models
October 9, 2015

The Government Accountability Office unveiled Friday (Oct. 9) the members of a new advisory panel that will play a key role in CMS’ development of physician payment update models to replace the defunct Sustainable Growth Rate formula. “This committee will be a critical source of information and advice for the Secretary of Health and Human… more

 

Fierce Health Finance: New payment model proposed for ACOs
October 5, 2015

The current payment plans for accountable care organizations (ACO) do not work and should be replaced with a global payment model adjusted for risk, two healthcare experts say in a Health Affairs blog post. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which manages the ACO program, has been reluctant “to pay providers a competitive… more

 

Healio: The Future of Vascular Intervention
October 1, 2015

The field of vascular intervention is evolving at a rapid pace. The use of catheter-based vascular interventions for the treatment of aortic, carotid, cerebrovascular, peripheral and other diseases continues to grow as a result of new technologies, an aging population and cross-specialty interest. Now, more than ever before, interventional cardiologist involvement in the treatment of… more

 

The Bay Net: September is PAD Awareness Month
September 28, 2015

In conjunction with Peripheral Artery Disease Awareness (PAD) month, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital (MSMH) is working to help educate the community about PAD, an often undiagnosed illness which left untreated can lead to lower extremity amputation, as well as extensive pain and suffering, and even death. It is estimated PAD affects between 8 and 12… more

 

Inside Health Policy: AMA Suggests First Regulatory Steps For CMS To Implement SGR-Replacement
September 10, 2015

The American Medical Association is suggesting first regulatory steps that CMS could take to implement the alternative payment models that replace Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate formula for setting physician pay. AMA’s recommendations cover the definition of financial risk, eligible alternative pay entities, thresholds of participation, evaluation of alternative pay models and the application of SGR-replacement… more

 

Inside Health Policy: Stakeholders Spar Over Health Care Mergers At Judiciary Panel Hearing
September 10, 2015

Health industry mergers faced their first congressional spotlight at a hearing Thursday that pit Republicans versus Democrats and insurers versus providers, as a House Judiciary subcommittee launched its inaugural hearing in a series on health care marketplace competition this fall. Lawmakers’ concerns fell largely along party lines, with Democrats portraying the ACA as a tool… more

 

The Sage Group: September is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Awareness Month; THE SAGE GROUP Highlights PAD Costs and Consequences
September 9, 2015

According to THE SAGE GROUP LLC, PAD is one of the most widespread chronic diseases. Currently afflicting almost 20 million U.S. citizens, PAD prevalence is exceeded only by diabetes and venous disease. Costing an estimated $212 to $389 billion, PAD direct disease costs exceed those of diabetes and coronary disease, as well as all cancers… more

 

Morning Consult: Medicare Advisory Committee Examines Benefits of Vascular Disease Intervention
September 8, 2015

Vascular disease is becoming increasingly common in America – particularly among Medicare aged individuals – however, it’s a health condition less commonly understood by patients and policymakers alike. An estimated 18 million Americans are living with Peripheral Arterial Disease, a condition where blood flow to the extremities is restricted, resulting in pain, infection and deterioration… more

 

HTR News: Ask A Doctor: Leg pain caused by many factors
August 25, 2015

Question: Why do my legs hurt? Answer: I am a board-certified vascular surgeon who treats circulation disorders of the arteries, veins and lymphatic systems. As a result, I see a lot of patients in my clinic with leg pain. Usually, I can diagnose the cause of leg pain, and if I cannot treat it myself,… more

 

Modern Healthcare: Federal healthcare spending projections inch upward
August 25, 2015

Federal spending on Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and exchange subsidies will rise from 5.2% of the country’s economic output in 2015 to 6.2% in 2025, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday in updated budget projections (PDF). The CBO said in its March report that those healthcare programs would constitute 6.1% of the country’s… more

 

Healthcare Finance News: Medicare ACOs vary in how they spend savings, though many aren’t reporting plans, study finds
August 24, 2015

While accountable care organizations in Medicare’s Shared Savings Program must publicly show not only the amount of savings they generate, but what they also plan to do with the cash, a new report published in the American Journal of Managed Care found that just over half of ACOs shared plans on how they’ll allocate savings…. more

 

Healio: Updated guidelines address new changes in PAD management
August 19, 2015

A group of experts recently published an update to the Inter-Society Consensus for the Management of Peripheral Arterial Disease, or TASC II, providing a complete classification on anatomic lower limb lesions and an update on new endovascular techniques and practice patterns. The TASC II guidelines, which represent the collaboration of international vascular specialties, were published… more

 

Bloomberg BNA: Medicare Agency Expands Bundled Payments Pilot
August 14, 2015

Development: CMS adds more providers to Medicare bundled payments pilot program that aims to improve care and cut costs. Significance: Attorney says organizations in test program will need to coordinate care well to receive payments for delivering savings and higher quality, or risk a penalty. Aug. 14 (BNA) — Additional providers have joined a Medicare… more

 

WTOP: The Silent Killer: Peripheral Vascular Disease
August 11, 2015

Between 8 and 12 million people in the United States have peripheral vascular disease (PVD), according to the National Institutes of Health, but many are unaware that they are at risk. Even when they experience the classic symptom – leg pain or cramping – people often attribute it to aging and do not seek treatment…. more

 

CQ Roll Call: Cancer Drug, Leg-Artery Devices Win Approval for Add-On Payments
August 5, 2015

Medicare officials have cleared special technology reward payments for a cancer drug and for devices developed by rival companies for treating poor blood flow in legs, while rejecting applications for four other unrelated products as not innovative enough to merit special reimbursement. The fiscal 2016 hospital inpatient payment rule details the deliberations surrounding the most… more

 

Modern Healthcare: Healthcare spending grows twice as fast as economy
July 30, 2015

Healthcare spending grew at twice the rate of the rest of the economy in the second quarter, renewing fears that the sector’s upward march has resumed after nearly a half decade of relative calm. The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis in its advance estimate (PDF) for second-quarter gross domestic product showed healthcare spending… more

 

Bloomberg BNA: CMS Predicts Modest Health Spending Growth
July 28, 2015

Health spending is projected to grow to nearly $5.5 trillion in the next 10 years, spurred on by the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansions, an aging population and a stronger economy, according to a July 28 report from the CMS. In the report, published in the journal Health Affairs, actuaries at the Centers for Medicare… more

 

CQ: CMS Mulls Next Steps on Leg-Artery Treatments
July 23, 2015

Officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are planning a deep look into treatments available to improve poor blood flow in the legs, a condition that can lead to gangrene and amputations in severe cases and raises risk for strokes and heart attacks. The agency may take as long as eight months to… more

 

Bloomberg BNA: Analysts Warn of Rising Medicare Outpatient Costs, Deficit Spending
July 23, 2015

Medicare Trustees’ Report Development: Analysts are concerned about deficit spending and rising cost of outpatient care threatening Medicare’s fiscal future. Context: Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund (Part A) will remain solvent until 2030 according to most recent report. July 23 (BNA) — Deficit spending and the rising cost of outpatient care threaten Medicare’s fiscal future,… more

 

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NEWS UPDATES

Morning Consult: Stand Together Against Limb Loss... READ MORE

Healio: Hospital lower-extremity amputation volume linked to major amputation, mortality in patients with CLI... READ MORE

POLICY UPDATES

CardioVascular Coalition February 2017 Newsletter... READ MORE

CardioVascular Coalition January 2017 Newsletter... READ MORE