Tag Archives: Medicare

Heart Health in the News: “The Path to a Stronger Heart”

In the “Personal Journal” section of today’s Wall Street Journal, Ron Winslow writes about the attention that cardiac rehabilitation programs designed for patients with heart failure have been receiving recently.

We at Vasomedical are pleased to see programs aside from invasive surgery gaining mainstream attention. This piece largely focuses on post-surgery rehab via exercise, which is critical.

The reporter writes:

“Patients and clinicians hope increased access to a structured exercise program will not only improve and prolong patients’ lives but reduce hospital admissions – and readmissions. An estimated 17% of the 42 million elderly beneficiaries of Medicare have a heart-failure diagnosis and account for about 800,000 hospital admissions a year.”

With the updates to the Affordable Care Act, hospitals will begin to receive hefty fines for high readmission rates. Exercise will certainly go a long way in keeping patients healthy and improving quality of life, but sometimes it takes an additional push to get to the active phase of one’s recovery.

This is where EECP® Therapy comes in: as a bridge between heart conditions and exercising. EECP Therapy helps generate more blood flow to the heart, eliminates or reduces the symptoms of ischemic heart disease and after a course of EECP Therapy, patients are finding it easier to be more active without pain or discomfort.

Tell us: what do you do to pave the way to a stronger heart? Are you a regular exerciser? Let us know, and make sure to read the full Wall Street Journal piece here:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304157204579473541209255538?mg=reno64-wsj

 

 

Tales from the Road: Medica, Dusseldorf

After years of being told by the organizers of Medica Dusseldorf that there was no new booth space available for Vasomedical, last week we were finally able to participate as exhibitors in the largest medical industry fair in the world: Medica.

At the conference in Dusseldorf, Germany, we exhibited our EECP Therapy and Biox ECG Holter and ambulatory blood pressure monitoring products. In addition, this has been an excellent platform for the introduction of MobiCare™, our new innovative wireless patient monitors. We exhibited along with more than 4,500 medical industry companies, and showcased our products to more than100,000 visitors. Judging by the busy traffic in our booth, I am sure this year’s show broke all attendance records.

The response from attendees at Medica to our current products was excellent. We received visits from customers who use our products and distributors who sell our products. We’ve also received visits from customers and distributors who are currently, or have previously, used our competitor’s products – they heard about our products and wanted to see them first hand. Amongst all the visitors to our booth we saw both higher name recognition for Vasomedical EECP and Biox products, as well as an increased number of visitors who have put Vasomedical EECP and Biox products on their schedules for visits to our booth.

 

Medicare to Punish Hospitals for Excess Readmissions

Medicare, under the new healthcare legislation,is taking steps to crack down on excessive readmissions with the goals of increasing quality of care, reducing costs and minimizing the number of trips back to the hospital patients will have to make.

According to an article by Jordan Rau in Kaiser Health News, Medicare has identified 2,225 hospitals that will have their Medicare payments reduced by up to 1 percent as a result of the fines imposed under the penalty provisions of the current Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) this year. Eighteen hospitals will lose 2 percent, the maximum penalty allowed under the new legislation for one year starting on October 1, 2013. The penalty program, which began one year ago, is designed to pay hospitals for the quality of their performance, not simply the number of patients they treat.

The program this year started by punishing hospitals for unplanned patient readmissions within 30 days after initial treatment for those treated and released for heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia.

Based upon the first year’s results some large hospitals may lose more than $1 million in penalties. Also, hospitals that avoided the penalties may have even lost more in revenue due to their reduced admissions. Obviously, the hospitals are not too happy about this plan, especially those hospitals that treat large numbers of lower income patients. Low-income patients have a harder time following their post discharge instructions due to the cost of buying expensive medications, not fully understanding discharge instructions, or having the means to support a particular diet to avoid congestive heart failure.

Hospitals have taken additional steps, such as hiring more staff to follow up with patients outside the hospital to avoid these readmissions or giving them free medication upon discharge, as Medicare does not pay for these services. When one looks at this picture it just begs the question: why wouldn’t hospitals be more receptive to adding alternative therapies – such as EECP® Therapy – to their services so that they could also realize the same significant reduction in hospital readmissions that have been demonstrated in clinical studies, such as one authored by  Dr. Ozlem Soran at the University of Pittsburgh?

EECP Therapy is a proven treatment that will reduce hospital re-admissions. Now we need to persuade hospitals to jump on the EECP Therapy bandwagon by adding EECP Therapy services in their clinical departments or hospital owned physician practices.