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To Stent or Not: Is That the Question?

therapies. And by reinforcing a proven treatment, it leaves room for health insurers to argue for controls over angioplasty as a purely preventive measure."

According to Freedman, the study results may prompt some hospitals to compare their practice patterns to ACC/AHA guidelines. Risk managers concerned about their hospital's utilization of angioplasty services might also consider external peer review to assess appropriateness of individual cases, and to identify any departures from evidence-based recommendations.

But Freedman doesn't think hospitals that have adhered to the ACC/AHA guidelines need to change what they do. Still, patients who experience angina pain despite medical therapy may elect to have angioplasty to reduce chest pain -- just as one third of the patients in the study did.

"It's unfortunate the press and public misunderstood the populations studied and simplified the study results, pitting angioplasty against medication," said Freedman. "Both are viable solutions for treating stable coronary disease. They are complementary, not competing, solutions."

For more information on making informed decisions on whether angioplasty and stenting is medically necessary, visit AllMed's web site at http://www.allmedmd.com.

CONTACT: Martin Middlewood, +1-360-882-1164, , forAllMed Healthcare Management martinm@pacifier.com

Web site: http://www.allmedmd.com//

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