Trick Or Treat? Hospitals, Haunted By DOJ ICD Investigation, Settle For $250 Million

The specter of the US government investigation into hospital overuse of ICDs has now finally been dismissed. The investigation, which has haunted hospital executives and electrophysiologists since it began in 2011, was finally resolved on the day before Halloween. With a $250 million treat for the government the hospitals have now finally managed to get the unwelcome trick or treaters…

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DOJ May Soon Announce Settlements With Hundreds Of Hospitals Over ICD Overuse

The US Department of Justice may be getting ready to announce that hundreds of hospitals have settled with the government in response to a lengthy investigation over ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator) overuse, according to an article by Lisa Schencker in Modern Healthcare. “The U.S. Justice Department may announce in the coming weeks what may be the largest False Claims Act…

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Counterintuitive Advice About Staying Alive After A Heart Attack

… An interventional cardiologist– the cardiologists who put in stents and usually treat heart attack patients in the first few hours– asked an electrophysiologist– the cardiologists who treat arrhythmias– whether wearable defibrillators should be used post-MI. Here’s what that electrophysiologist, Edward J. Schloss, the medical director of cardiac electrophysiology at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, OH, replied….

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MADIT-CRT Long-Term Follow-Up Shows Survival Benefit with CRT-D

MADIT-CRT was an influential trial that showed a reduction in heart failure complications — but not mortality — when cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) was added to an implantable defibrillator in patients with mild heart failure who also had left bundle-branch block (LBBB). Patients in the trial were followed for 2.4 years, raising questions about the…

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Could Terrorists Have Hacked Dick Cheney’s ICD?

It happened in Homeland. Could it happen in real life? In a 60 Minutes segment scheduled for broadcast tomorrow, Dick Cheney says that his doctors turned off the wireless function of his implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD) “in case a terrorist tried to send his heart a fatal shock,” according to the Associated Press. Years later, Cheney…

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Richard Lehman On ICDs In Clinical Practice And Serelaxin For HF

This week in CardioExchange Richard Lehman is not quite as funny as most weeks (perhaps he’s still recovering from New Years’ celebrations?), but he has some interesting and useful comments on a JAMA study comparing real world patients garcinia cambogia plant uses in registries to patients in clinical trials and an impressive Lancet study testing the role of…

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Subcutaneous ICD Gains FDA Approval

The FDA today approved the Subcutaneous Implantable Defibrillator (S-ICD) system from Cameron Health. The device is the first ICD that does not require a lead that connects directly to the heart and  therefore  does not need to be guided with x-ray fluoroscopy. Instead, the S-ICD lead is implanted along the bottom of the rib cage…

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