CHEST 2012 Conference Recap

The American Journal of Managed Care editorial team attended the American College of Chest Physicians' CHEST 2012 Meeting in Atlanta, GA, this past week. Although a very clinical conference, there were many studies released that will directly impact payers. Here are some of the highlights of our coverage.

The American Journal of Managed Care editorial team attended the American College of Chest Physicians' CHEST 2012 Meeting in Atlanta, GA, this past week. Although a very clinical conference, there were many studies released that will directly impact payers. Here are some of the highlights of our coverage.

The most impactful way to improve our healthcare system is to improve outcomes. The CHEST conference naturally focuses on many pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases. Late-breaking research studies that were released at the conference touched on everything from pharmacokinetics to challenges and opportunities to improve care in patients suffering from pulmonary vascular disease. An equal amount of studies reviewed the hospitalization, prevalence, and outcomes associated with cardiovascular disease.

All of the efforts put into improving outcomes are valuable to the overall effort to improve healthcare because these data lay the groundwork for improving readmission rates.

Readmission rates are becoming increasingly important to hospitals as reimbursement becomes more closely aligned with those data. To view some of the studies released around improving reimbursement rates, please visit highlights from the second day of the conference, Ongoing Efforts to Reduce Readmission Rates. The AJMC editorial team also had the opportunity to speak with Brian Carlin, MD, FCCP, Allegheny General Hospital about some of the challenges that go along with improving readmission rates. Dr Carlin believes that one of the biggest challenges in reducing readmission rates is setting up a coordinated team care effort. Additionally, AJMC spoke with Robert De Marco, MD, FCCP, Intensivist, Orlando Health, Dr. Phillips Hospital, about reimbursement in the ICU. Dr De Marco believes that one major concern for reimbursement in the ICU is that many private physicians are becoming hospital employed.

As study data continues to help healthcare providers improve care and, hopefully, improve readmission rates in some areas, the overall costs associated with healthcare can be better managed.

There was no shortage of data at the CHEST meeting related to cost. In fact, it was interesting to see how many research teams have dedicated their efforts to applying new data to help initiate new processes and therapies that they hope will decrease health spending. Among some of the studies that reviewed cost-effective methods of managing disease states were Cost Savings Associated With Compliance to an Early Sepsis Intervention Strategy by Garder et al; Direct Costs of Acute Exacerbation of COPD Patients in a Second Level Hospital by Tanriverdi et al; Factors Associated With Healthcare Cost in Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease by Darnell et al; and Catheter-Directed Thrombolysis for Acute Deep Vein Thrombosis: A Cost-effectiveness Analysis by Chan et al. You can read about the results of the four studies here.

For more on this year’s CHEST 2012 meeting, please visit our dedicated conference page. And, for more on this year’s published abstracts, please visit the American College of Chest Physicians website.