Archives for December 2009

Engage with independent insights, opinions, and analysis from an array of leaders in cardiology.
Avatar of Brahmajee Kartik Nallamothu, MD, MPH

The CT Scan Is Out of the Bag (18 Dec 2009)

Brahmajee Kartik Nallamothu, MD, MPH

No doubt you’ve read about the FDA’s October announcement that it was investigating more than 200 cases of excess radiation exposure — at 8 times the expected level — during perfusion CT scans of the brain at a Los Angeles area medical center. In some patients, the excess exposure resulted in hair loss and reddening of the skin, which were the clues that first raised concerns. What you may not know is that, in early December, the FDA expanded its probe to include at least 50 additional cases of excess exposure, now… Continue Reading

Avatar of Joseph S. Ross, MD, MHS

To Recommend Aspirin or Not to Recommend Aspirin, That Is the Question (16 Dec 2009)

Joseph Ross, MD, MHS

The debate over the use of aspirin in primary prevention of cardiovascular events among adults with no known cardiovascular disease continues to grow. In March, the United States Preventive Services Task Force assigned Class A recommendations to encourage: Men 45-79 to use aspirin when potential MI benefit outweighs potential GI harm Women 55-79 to use aspirin when potential stroke benefit outweighs potential GI harm   No controversy yet. As before, physicians are being told that aspirin is a “must use” drug among patients at moderate risk of either MI or… Continue Reading

Avatar of Vincent J. Bufalino, MD

The Final CMS Rule Is Flawed (4 Dec 2009)

Vincent Bufalino, MD

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Final Rule on the cardiology fee schedule (download the entire 450-page document here) is an ill-conceived policy change that will drastically affect the practice of cardiology in the United States. Relying on limited, unrepresentative data from the Physician Practice Information survey (PPIS) done by the AMA, the CMS determined that the cost of delivering care in a cardiology practice (the practice expense) went down by 40% in the last three years. Those of you involved in managing practices know that costs haven’t dropped at all… Continue Reading