Cover Story | ACC’s Cardiovascular Summit a Primer on the Business of CV Medicine

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With cardiology accounting for nearly 20% of health system spending and about a third of Medicare spending, any attempts to improve value in the U.S. health care system must have cardiologists at the center.

This requires a strong understanding of the policy and financial issues affecting hospitals and physicians today. Bringing this understanding to clinicians and administrators in cardiovascular medicine is the goal of ACC's Cardiovascular Summit.

As the business of health care becomes more and more intertwined with the clinical, interest in the summit is heightened. More than 600 people attended this year's meeting held Feb. 6-8 in Washington, DC – the highest number in the meeting's 12-year history, according to Summit Co-Director Cathleen Biga, RN, MSN, FACC.

"The level of participation and engagement was unprecedented," she says "Learning from each other, seeking solutions from best practices, and leaving with tool kits and actionable items seemed to be the elements most appreciated by attendees."

The summit itself continues to evolve as health care policy and financing evolves, Biga says. For instance, this year's meeting included an academic track for the first time.

"We had 10 people from academic medical centers at our conference last year and they were very eloquent in explaining the need," she says.

"Physicians in academia are now facing many of the same issues as employed physicians."

Another focus this year, she adds, was team-based care, with a mini-intensive and several workshops devoted to the topic.

Also new this year were pre-conference workshops focused on health care finance and leadership.

"Many participants told us they felt they were drinking from a fire hose because the summit is so different from clinical meetings they're used to attending," Biga says.

"So the pre-conference workshops were designed to provide an infrastructure to the meeting, a brief smorgasbord of information that provides a foundation for understanding the content in the breakout sessions."

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Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Longitudinal Studies, Academic Medical Centers, Administrative Personnel, Delivery of Health Care, Health Policy, Medicare, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (U.S.)

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