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Cardiologists Mobilize to Protect Quality Cardiac Care for Patients New Guarding Hearts Alliance: Heart Patients' Advocate in Congress
Date:9/24/2009

ighting to ensure that patients' safety comes first, ahead of well-intentioned but ultimately harmful changes that would reduce access to the best cardiac care possible.

Today, there are Medicare proposals that, if enacted, will have life-threatening impact on cardiac care in America. These proposed changes could:

 
  • Limit access to in-office imaging equipment, which would delay diagnosis and add another layer between doctor and patient.
  • Force cardiologists to lay off staff, close outlying offices, reduce services and limit the number of Medicare patients they treat.
  • Increase health care expenses, both to the system at large from the use of more expensive testing locations and to patients, via increased patient out-of-pocket costs.

In addition, proposed amendments to some health care reform proposals could also reduce patient access to critical cardiac care.

Together, such changes would decrease access to cardiac care, particularly in rural areas, and diminish competition and choice. And they would take lifesaving tools out of the hands of trained physicians.

"The most costly heart attack is the one that could have been prevented," said Dr. Levy. "These proposed changes will only hurt our ability to diagnose and treat patients before a heart attack strikes."

Patient-Focused Solutions
Successful treatment of patients with heart disease requires speed, access to the latest technology and access to specialized expertise. Certain changes now under consideration would cause lengthy delays in diagnosis and treatment, limit patient access to technology and, by f
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