In the News: Unnecessary Deaths Attributed to Healthcare Disparities

A recent Los Angeles Times article examined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that healthcare disparities in the United States lead to hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths each year.

Researchers at the CDC found that roughly 20-40 percent of premature deaths from the five leading causes of death – heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke and accidents – could be avoided if Americans had equal access to the best preventive care available.

For us here at Vasomedical, one of the numbers that strikes closest to home is that out of the 895,000 patients under the age of 80 who died prematurely, 91,757 of these deaths were the result of heart disease.

Heart disease, as we all know, is rampant in the U.S. As such, preventative care is of the utmost importance and we have seen firsthand the positive impact EECP® Therapy has on patients’ lives.

Our team will continue to lead the fight to increase awareness and insurance coverage of EECP Therapy. We support patients and their physicians by providing them with the most up-to-date clinical information on EECP so that an informed decision can be made about their patients’ care.

Does your physician know about EECP Therapy? If not, let us know how we can help educate them by sending us an email at vaso@kcsa.com and we are happy to reach out on your behalf.

Meet the German Doctor who “Speaks the Language of the Patient”

Dr. Kai Ruffmann is a cardiologist based in Germany who has been recommending and administering EECP® Therapy treatments for his patients for more than ten years. He has treated more than 250 patients in the hospital he worked at in the Black Forest region, and recently opened his own cardiology and internal medicine clinic in Baden-Baden.

Though various sites in Germany have provided EECP Therapy for many years, Dr. Ruffmann is the first German provider to get one of the German health insurance companies – a sickness fund – to provide reimbursement coverage for EECP Therapy, which is a huge win.

Germany has a universal multi-payer healthcare system with two main types of health insurance: “Law-enforced health insurance” (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung), also known as sickness funds, and “Private” (Private Krankenversicherung). The “law enforced health insurance” is available for people who fall below a certain income level, and is provided through private non-profit sickness funds at common rates for all members. This insurance is paid for with joint employer-employee contributions.

The recently updated 2013 European Society of Cardiology Guidelines granted a IIa Level of Recommendation for EECP Therapy in treating refractory angina patients and this upgrade in status helps with reimbursement from insurance companies. At Vasomedical, we know that EECP Therapy changes lives, and we are very pleased to see that additional insurance companies around the world are beginning to accept this treatment and reimburse for it.

We appreciate Dr. Ruffmann’s commitment to his patients and his support of EECP Therapy on their behalf. We will continue to work with him to expand reimbursement coverage for more patients in Germany and Europe.

Heart Health in the News: The Link between Heart Health and Mental Function

It’s no surprise that having a healthy heart impacts one’s overall health. But a new study found that the health of our hearts impacts our minds much more than one would think, and the correlation starts early.

A recent piece by Reuters explores a study on how young adults with healthy blood pressure tend to have better thinking and memory skills in midlife than their peers with higher blood pressure. The key takeaway from this piece is that the relationship between heart health and mental function begins earlier than many may realize.

Early adulthood (ages 18-25) is a great time to form healthy habits that will not only protect your heart, but ultimately impact your cognitive functioning later in life.

We suggest that young adults:

  • Exercise. Make sure you’re moving! Exercise will keep the heart healthy, body weight in check and, as an added bonus, it releases endorphins that can combat stress.
  • Start forming healthy eating habits. Forming healthier eating habits when you’re younger is much easier than doing a full revamp once you have already experienced health issues and your bad habits are firmly engrained. Make sure to monitor your sugar intake and cholesterol, as they impact the functioning of your heart.
  • Find a hobby to combat stress. Whether it be yoga, running or unwinding with a good book, having a go-to stress buster is crucial, as stress can make one’s blood pressure spike. Find something that helps you unwind and hone that skill or activity.
  • Refrain from smoking and drink only in moderation. Make sure to keep your vices in check, this will be beneficial to your heart and body as a whole in the near and long term.

Tell us: what are your tips to keep your mind sharp and your heart healthy?

To read the full piece, click here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/01/us-heart-adults-idUSBREA301KY20140401

Tales from the Heart: Portland Edition

Sometimes the road to health can be a long and challenging one, as one patient from Portland knew all too well.

This 63-year old female with heredity heart disease and Type 1 Diabetes had undergone four bypasses by age 49. Despite the procedures, the arteries in her heart were too small to supply it heart with the blood and oxygen it needed to function without constant chest pain. For years she wore nitro patches to try to achieve relief.

When she began receiving EECP® Therapy treatment at Heart Centers of America, LLC in Portland, the improvements came within – weeks. Initially, she was too weak to drive herself the 58 miles to her EECP appointments, but by the third week she was able to drive herself to her appointments without any pain or discomfort. Shortly after, she was completing everyday tasks – such as bathing, cooking and having phone conversations – with ease.

According to this Portland patient:

EECP has been the most wonderful, lifesaving, non-invasive treatment I’ve ever experienced. EECP is the only treatment that affords me quality of life! I was able to spend Thanksgiving with my children and grandchildren because of EECP. I would encourage anyone prescribed EECP treatment to do so, as soon as possible!”

Now that’s a ringing endorsement! We love receiving great success stories like this. If you or a loved one has a story about your experience with EECP Therapy, please share it with us at vaso@kcsa.com.

Vasomedical’s Dr. John Hui Featured in Asian American E-Zine

Following the recent EECP Therapy segment on “Long Island Naturally,” our very own Dr. John Hui was featured in a piece that ran in Asian American E-Zine, which highlights his work with EECP throughout the years.

The piece reports that EECP is “recommended for patients who may have exhausted other treatment methods.” These other treatment methods include antianginal medications, angioplasty and arterial stents, or bypass surgery. Studies show that EECP provides benefit long after the treatment is completed, with some patients remaining symptom free for years.

Dr. Hui is a leading authority on EECP Therapy and its benefits.  He holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics from International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan, obtained his Master’s degree from Cambridge in 1972 and his physics doctorate from Stony Brook in 1975.

Dr. Hui learned from the best: he studied EECP with Clifford Birtwell, the inventor of the concept of counterpulsation, from 1974 until Dr. Birtwell’s death in 1978, and has carried on Dr. Birtwell’s clinical research at Stony Brook. Hui began his research in cardiology with Birtwell after his own father died of a heart attack in 1973.

You can read the full article here: http://www.aaezine.org/articles/vol32/32n4-john-hui-eecp-sbu-alumnus-2014.shtml

Tell us, do you have any questions for Dr. Hui about EECP Therapy or his experiences? Send us an email at vaso@kcsa.com and we’ll post the answers on our blog!

 

Patient Spotlight: EECP Therapy is Treatment of Choice for Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith

Reverend Beckwith, the founder and spiritual director of Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles, has been visiting Global Cardio Care for about eight years and is a huge advocate for EECP Therapy.

The Reverend has been receiving EECP Therapy since 2004 as a preventative treatment to ensure his system is functioning to its best capacity and he has optimal blood flow. Due to a hectic schedule which includes a great deal of travel and public speaking, he believes maintaining his system and focusing on his circulation and healthy diet are critical.

According to Rev. Beckwith:

“It is essential, if someone is going to do their life work, if someone’s going to release their gifts, their talents, their capacities – which is what I teach – they need to be healthy. It’s a sad thing to see someone who has a great dream within their heart and soul but can’t manifest it because they’re sick all the time.”

In the video, the Reverend discusses not only his excellent experience with EECP Therapy, but relays the positive experiences of several members of his congregation as well.

 

You can view the full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CewwGQD–DA&feature=youtu.be