As heart procedures increase, quality and cost controls are critical

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 8, 2006) - With more than a million heart and vascular interventions performed each year in the United States., it becomes even more critical to the healthcare system to keep costs down and quality high, a UK interventional cardiologist notes in the American Journal of Managed Care, published today, Aug. 8.

Dr. Debabrata Mukherjee is Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories at the Linda and Jack Gill Heart Institute at the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, a part of UK HealthCare, and is an Associate Professor in the UK College of Medicine. In the editorial, Mukherjee says that it is increasingly important to the U.S. healthcare system to monitor the success of new treatments and technology, as these treatments, particularly those done in cardiac catheterization labs, increasingly replace traditional open-heart surgery.

Mukherjee notes that patients, healthcare providers and insurance companies stand to benefit from measures to keep costs down and quality of patient care high. He notes that one possible method could be financial incentives from insurance companies for providers that consistently show high quality of care for patients. Another measure that has shown promise in some areas is a peer review team made up of doctors, nurses and administrators from separate hospital systems. Overall, Mukherjee says, "Physicians need to partner with nurses, administrators, practice managers, insurers, and information technologists to improve quality of care while cutting costs. It is possible to improve and provide the highest quality of care while keeping costs down."

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