By: James Pitt  Oct. 15, 2018
Heart valve replacement is a competitive field, with many competing options. A recently developed category is rapid deployment valves, which do not require suturing. This allows for much faster implantation. Payors class these valves as experimental, under ICD-10 procedure codes like X2RF032 for open-approach implantation, rather than under the ICD-10 codes like 02RF08Z that conventional heart valves are assigned.Read more
By: James Pitt  Sep. 06, 2018
In Dexur's national data, there were about 150,000 Percutaneous Cardiovascular Procedures With Coronary Artery Stent each year from 2013-2016 in Medicare-eligible inpatients. Stents are a diverse and fast-moving market. The most common devices are bare-metal or drug-eluting, but innovations like CeloNova's polymer-coated Cobra PzF stent may have advantages for patients at high risk of bleeding. This advantage comes indirectly, through reducing the risk of stent thrombosis.Read more
By: James Pitt  Aug. 27, 2018
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR, aka TAVI or PAVR) is a procedure to replace the valve between the largest blood vessel and the heart. In this procedure, a replacement valve is passed along through a blood vessel to the heart. This allows surgeons to replace the valve in patients who would face too many risks in open-heart surgery.Read more
By: James Pitt  Aug. 17, 2018
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reimburses heart valve procedures based on which of six diagnosis-related groups (DRGs) they fall in. These groups are based on whether there were complications/ comorbidities (CCs) and on whether cardiac catheterization was used.Read more
By: James Pitt  Aug. 16, 2018
When plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to the brain, the patient has carotid artery disease. This disease creates a great risk of stroke, because plaque can break off and cause an obstruction in vessels in the brain. Carotid artery disease is involved in 8% of ischemic strokes. Per Weber and Clair 2014, “Carotid artery disease leading to stroke is one [of] the primary causes of serious long-term disability in the United States today.”Read more
By: James Pitt  Aug. 15, 2018
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common condition in which narrowed blood vessels reduce blood flow to the limbs. Calcium buildups on the vessel walls frequently complicate treatment. Rocha-Singh et. al write “The prevalence of VC [vascular calcification] in lower extremity PAD is inadequately defined, but data extrapolated from other vascular beds provide evidence that 30-50% of patients may manifest some degree of VC.”Read more
By: James Pitt  Aug. 10, 2018
Baroreflex activation therapy is an experimental treatment for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. A device called the BAROSTIM NEO, developed by CVRx, is currently recruiting for clinical trial (NCT02627196), with final results on heart failure morbidity and mortality expected in 2021. Preliminary results as of August 2017 include reduced heart failure hospitalization and reduced blood pressure.Read more
By: James Pitt  Jul. 09, 2018
Hospitals and physicians often struggle with how to evaluate the economic & quality benefits of WCDs. Hospitals & physicians face a number of challenges including:
What should be the appropriate measure that measures the quality & economic benefits of WCDs?
How does one get the data to measure the benefit?
Can we even get the right resources & teams to analyze the data?
By: James Pitt  Jul. 06, 2018
Heart failure can be classified by ejection fraction. In heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF, aka LVEF), the left ventricle pumps out an unusually low fraction of the blood that enters it. HFrEF has been a focus of research efforts, because most studies find it is associated with higher mortality than heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF).Read more