5 interesting cardiology moves in the last year

The derailing of plans for an Alabama vascular ASC and risk-based deal between Medtronic and Spectrum Health are among five noteworthy cardiology moves in the last 12 months.

1. In March, Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Spectrum Health signed a risk-based deal with Medtronic to improve outcomes for heart failure patients. The deal focuses on heart patients who receive a cardiac resynchronization therapy device from Medtronic under a financial accountability program.

2. In April, an interventional cardiologist at Duluth, Minn.-based Essentia Health performed the state's first intravascular lithotripsy, a procedure in which a balloon inserted into an artery delivers sonic pressure waves to break off calcified plaque, which optimizes stent placement.

3. In September, the Heart & Vascular Institute of Alabama in Montgomery set aside its request to open an ASC for endovascular and cardiac catheterization procedures amid opposition from several hospitals and other organizations. 

The institute filed a certificate of need for a surgery center in early 2021. Montgomery, Ala.-based Jackson Hospital & Clinic, Jackson Surgery Center, Montgomery (Ala.) Surgical Center and Baptist Medical Center South in Montgomery, an affiliate of UAB Health System, opposed it.

4. In November, the Guardian, an implantable acute coronary syndrome event detector, qualified for a CMS transitional pass-through payment as part of the 2022 Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System. The Guardian uses machine learning to establish a patient's baseline electrical activity once implanted, then records the heart's electrical activity to detect and alert for heart attacks.

5. In December, Cleveland Clinic doctors were the first in the world to successfully implant leadless pacemaker defibrillator systems in two patients as part of a global clinical trial sponsored by Boston Scientific. The devices, manufactured by Boston Scientific, combine the technology of leadless pacemakers with subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillators.

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