Navigation Links
Cardiac Patients Across Rural America Risk Losing Access to Nearby Care as Federal Agency Considers Cuts this Week

Disproportionate impact to rural areas if Medicare rule includes proposed cuts to cardiac tests -- The clock is ticking for tens of thousands of heart patients in rural America as a looming federal government decision that is only days away could take away their access to quality cardiac care.

Ann Arbor, MI (PRWEB) October 26, 2009 -- The clock is ticking for tens of thousands of heart patients in rural America as a looming federal government decision that is only days away could take away their access to quality cardiac care.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is expected to finalize regulations as early as Friday, Oct. 30, 2009, that could cause the outright closure of many rural cardiac clinics, forcing many Americans living outside city centers to travel great distances to get the care they need and deserve.

"We're down to the wire here and hope that our collective voice is being heard as we urge Washington to protect our patients," said Matthew Phillips, a cardiologist in Austin, Texas. Phillips operates rural clinics in Central Texas where he would need to significantly reduce services and the availability of cardiologists if Medicare's final rule that goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2010, which includes proposed cuts to imaging tests needed to diagnose and treat heart disease.

Phillips, a founding member of the Guarding Hearts Alliance, a group of 23,000 cardiologists fighting Washington over proposed Medicare cutbacks that ultimately would restrict access to cardiac care, is not alone. Hundreds of practices could be affected.

The cardiac care cutbacks are based on highly questionable data gathered in 2006 via a statistically invalid survey that used data from only 55 cardiologists--the equivalent of only one quarter of 1 percent of the nation's cardiologists. The proposed Medicare rule was released in July, and if finalized in its current form by the Nov. 1 deadline it would take an act of Congress to overturn the regulations.

This means many cardiologists, especially those who already run rural outreach clinics at a fiscal loss, may have to stop providing diagnostic testing in outlying areas; and in some cases may be forced to close rural offices completely. Patients then may need to obtain diagnostic tests at hospitals, resulting in many rural patients facing long-distance travel, out-of-pocket costs that are as much as five times higher than in-office co-pays and wait times for tests and test results that will take days, not hours as currently is the case when obtained in the cardiologist's office.

"These draconian Medicare cuts will have a real impact on the rural population's access to health care," said Dr. Bruce Murphy, a cardiologist with Little Rock Cardiology Clinic, which has 33 satellite offices serving rural communities. "If the cutbacks are passed, we may not be able to continue to provide diagnostic echocardiography services on-site at those locations. This means that, for example, our patients in Camden, Ark., will have to drive four hours round-trip to Little Rock to obtain these critical imaging tests. Some patients won't be able or willing to do that, which puts their heart health at serious risk."
Patients concerned about being lost in this debate should sign up to join the fight at to let lawmakers know that severe cuts to Medicare reimbursement could have significantly adverse effects on the nation's 80 million patients who suffer from heart disease.

Media interested in speaking to a cardiologist and patients about the measure should contact Margo Burrage at 734.878.2108.

About the Guarding Hearts Alliance
The Guarding Hearts Alliance is a partnership representing more than 23,000 cardiologists across the country, all of whom are strongly in favor of Medicare regulations and health care reform initiatives that put patients first in preserving access to quality cardiac care. Administered through the Cardiology Advocacy Alliance, this group is vitally concerned about potential changes that could inadvertently endanger patient lives. Such issues as imaging equipment utilization and reimbursement fee schedules might sound like they would generate simple shifts in business practices, but they represent a potential threat - access to lifesaving technology that serves the range of rural Medicare recipients to privately insured urban residences alike.

For more information, visit


Read the full story at

Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2009 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Health Education Solutions' Advanced Cardiac Life Support Courses Gain Approval from American Academy of Physician Assistants
2. Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association Honors Illinois Governor Pat Quinn for Legislative Efforts to Increase Survivability of Sudden Cardiac Arrest
3. Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association Honors FDNYs Department of Emergency Services for Efforts to Address Sudden Cardiac Arrest
4. Medicare Cutbacks Threaten to Put Cardiac Care Out of Reach for Millions of Rural Americans
5. Medicare Cutbacks Threaten to Put Cardiac Care Out of Reach for Millions of Rural Americans
6. Health Education Solutions' Advanced Cardiac Life Support Course Gains Approval from American Academy of Family Physicians
7. Cardiac stem cell trial seeks to treat some heart attack patients
8. Uninterrupted chest-compressions key to survival in cardiac arrest outside hospital setting
9. Cardiologists Mobilize to Protect Quality Cardiac Care for Patients New Guarding Hearts Alliance: Heart Patients' Advocate in Congress
10. Cardiologists Mobilize to Protect Quality Cardiac Care for Patients
11. Health Education Solutions' Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support Courses Receive Accreditation
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Cardiac Patients Across Rural America Risk Losing Access to Nearby Care as Federal Agency Considers Cuts this Week
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, as ... of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and to ... one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As lice ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his Bachelors in ... School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Green Hospital ... at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to train in ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the ... In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, ... just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from reveals ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, ... the dangers associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity ... who are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Fla. (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global ... Trend magazine’s 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition ... Florida. , Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)...  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator in the ... cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it has secured ... led by Innova Memphis, followed by Angel Capital ... Arkis, new financing will accelerate the commercialization of ... of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... "Pharmaceutical Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, ... Formulation (Oral, Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market ... at a CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast period ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Capricor Therapeutics, ... a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development ... patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical ... 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the ... quarter of 2016, and to report top line ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: