March Healthcare News Update

Healthcare is ever-changing, so it’s important to stay up to date on advancements and issues that may impact the development, operation, maintenance, and growth of your services. Here are some important developments:

ICDs are associated with improved survival in older adults with heart failure

Adults with heart failure who received implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) for primary prevention had a significant survival advantage compared with those who did not receive ICDs, according to a propensity score-matched analysis of Medicare patients. After three years of follow-up, the mortality rates were 40.2 percent among women who received an ICD and 48.7 percent among women who did not receive an ICD. Meanwhile, the mortality rates were 43.3 percent among men who received an ICD and 50.9 percent among men who did not receive an ICD. Continue reading…

Bradycardia may not be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease or mortality

After adjusting for risk factors and potential confounders, researchers found that bradycardia was not associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease or mortality, according to a retrospective analysis. They defined bradycardia as a heart rate of less than 50 beats per minute and said the condition is typically found in athletic adults. Lead researcher Ajay Dharod, MD, of the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston Salem, North Carolina, and colleagues published their results online in JAMA: Internal Medicine on Jan. 19. Continue reading…

Irregular Heart Beat May Pose Bigger Threat to Women

The world’s most common type of abnormal heart rhythm appears to pose a greater health threat to women than men, a new review suggests. Atrial fibrillation is a stronger risk factor for stroke, heart disease, heart failure and death in women than it is in men, according to an analysis published online Jan. 19 in the BMJ. The condition is most often associated with an increased risk of stroke, because the irregular rhythm allows blood to pool and clot in the atria. But women with atrial fibrillation are twice as likely to suffer a stroke than men with the condition are, researchers concluded after reviewing evidence from 30 studies involving 4.3 million patients. Continue reading…

A woman’s heart attack causes, symptoms may differ from a man’s

A woman’s heart attack may have different underlying causes, symptoms and outcomes compared to men, and differences in risk factors and outcomes are further pronounced in black and Hispanic women, according to a scientific statement published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation. The statement is the first scientific statement from the American Heart Association on heart attacks in women. It notes that there have been dramatic declines in cardiovascular deaths among women due to improved treatment and prevention of heart disease as well as increased public awareness. Continue reading…

Cardiologist recommends EKG screening for some college athletes

LAST March, the N.C. A.A.’s chief medical officer, Brian Hainline, announced that he was going to recommend that all male college basketball players undergo an electrocardiogram, which measures the electrical activity in the heart, presumably as a requirement for being cleared to play competitively. He said his action was in response to research suggesting that the risk of sudden cardiac death in Division I basketball players was about one in 5,200 per year, much higher than previously thought. Continue reading…

Proposed CMS rule encourages analysis, sharing of medical-claims data

Some medical data miners may soon be allowed to share and sell Medicare and private-sector medical-claims data, as well as analyses of that data, under proposed regulations the CMS issued Friday, January 29. Quality improvement organizations and other “qualified entities” would be granted permission to perform data analytics work and share it with, or sell it to others, under an 86 page proposed rule that carries out a provision of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Continue reading…




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