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Sensing Savvy

How the Affordable Care Act Affects Dialysis Patients

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Aug 29, 2016 7:00:00 AM

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”), signed into law March 23, 2010, requires everyone—including children—to have health insurance or pay a penalty. The law aims to have health insurance cover the services people need so that they won’t suffer financial ruin if an unexpected medical event occurs.

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Topics: Clinical Trends, Hemodialysis

Fresenius and DaVita Capture 84% of U.S. Hemodialysis Market

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Aug 24, 2016 6:30:00 AM

In its 2016 July issue Nephrology News and Issues published its annual survey of dialysis providers. Fresenius Medical Care and DaVita control the hemodialysis market with 84%, which translates to 366,000 patients out of a total of 433,000 patients.The two companies employ more than 135,000 employees. DaVita further solidified its position as one of the top players in the market with its 2015 acquisition of Renal Ventures Management, which added 2,387 patients to its roster. U.S. Renal Care, the third largest company, bought DSI Renal. Other mid-sized companies with national coverage are Dialysis Clinic Inc., American Renal Associates Inc. and Satellite Heathcare Inc. The top 10 are:

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Topics: Clinical Trends, Hemodialysis

Do Dialysis Clinic Star Ratings Really Reflect Quality?

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Aug 22, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Introduced in January 2014, the Center for Medicare/Medicaid's (CMS) Star Ratings for dialysis facilities are intended to help patients know how dialysis clinics rate for quality measures. A 5-star rating for a facility indicates that its quality of care is considered “much above average” compared to other dialysis facilities. A 1- or 2-star rating indicates that measured outcomes were below average compared to those for other facilities.

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Topics: Clinical Trends, Hemodialysis

Why Cardiovascular Disease is Killing Hemodialysis Patients

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Jul 27, 2016 6:30:00 AM

John has end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and goes for hemodialysis three times a week at his local dialysis clinic. By all accounts, John seems to be handling his hemodialysis treatments well.

At the end of one of his sessions, John doesn’t feel well. He assumes it has to do with his recent treatment and figures he’ll feel better shortly. He leaves the clinic, but fails to show up for his next hemodialysis treatment.

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Topics: Clinical Trends, Hemodialysis

Medical Errors as a Cause of Death: 4 Things to Know

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Jul 20, 2016 6:30:00 AM

As a surgeon, you're keenly aware of the danger of medical errors and extremely diligent to avoid making them.

Medical errors as a cause of death now rank as the third leading cause of death, behind heart disease and cancer in the United States. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that errors result in the deaths of around 250,000 patients per year.

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Topics: Clinical Trends, CABG Surgery

Is Working as a Locum Tenens Perfusionist Right for You?

Posted by Roger DeLong, CP, PE, MBA on May 9, 2016 6:30:00 AM

A new challenge. A change of pace. For a profession that involves a lot of intense clinical work, these phrases might seem foreign to many cardiovascular perfusionists. But they don’t have to be.

The profession is evolving thanks to advancements in technology and medical procedures, and like other medical professionals, you can take advantage of locum tenens opportunities to expand your horizons, face new challenges or simply travel. It can be a career-shaping opportunity for many professionals.

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Topics: Clinical Trends, Cardiothoracic

3 Pieces of Cardiothoracic News: April Edition

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Apr 19, 2016 12:00:00 PM

doctor-studying-patient-expression.jpgIn newly released follow-up data, Dr. Robert Michler, et al. found there was no significant benefit in patients with moderate ischemic mitral regurgitation who underwent coronary-artery bypass grafting (CABG) with combined CABG and mitral-valve repair.

According to the study, “Patients with CABG and mitral-valve repair had an early hazard of longer hospital stay post-surgery, a higher incidence of postoperative supraventricular arrhythmias and higher rate of serious neurological events than those with CABG alone. There was a threefold higher incidence of persistent mitral regurgitation in this same group without evidence of higher mortality or adverse clinical events.”

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Topics: Clinical Trends, CABG Surgery

Study: Surgical Residents Can Safely Work Longer Shifts

Posted by Thomas Gole, DO, FAAFP on Mar 23, 2016 6:30:00 AM

Are sleep-deprived surgical residents more likely to make serious medical errors? According to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) they were, and as a result, the council implemented changes in 2003 limiting the number of hours residents can work per week and increasing the amount of time off between 24-hour shifts.

However, those work restrictions may soon be a thing of the past thanks to new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers wanted to discover if loosening the 80-hour workweek restriction and time off between 24-hour shifts had any effect on patient outcomes. What they found was surprising.

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Topics: Clinical Trends, Outcomes

5 Facts Surgeons Should Know About Their Coffee Consumption

Posted by Casey Newman on Mar 2, 2016 7:00:00 AM

It’s been called “brain juice,” “liquid energy” and even “rocket fuel.”

You might even be holding a nice warm cup of it right now as you’re reading this on your phone.

Coffee. It’s seen as the lifeblood of many professions, but none more so than that of a surgeon.

To prove this point, the British Medical Journal examined the coffee habits of surgeons and found some interesting information. Here are the facts surgeons should know about their coffee consumption.

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Topics: Clinical Trends

New Findings on CABG Failure After On-Pump vs. Off-Pump

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Feb 15, 2016 6:30:00 AM

Researchers at the Cardiopulmonary Research Science & Technology Institute in Dallas, Texas, analyzed the one-year vein graft patency and major adverse cardiac and cerebral events (MACCE—death, myocardial infarction, or stroke) in on-pump and off-pump patients enrolled in PREVENT IV (the PRoject of Ex-vivo Vein graft ENgineering via Transfection IV).

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Topics: Clinical Trends, CABG Surgery