6/7/2006

Proposed federal changes to shift Medicare reimbursement from critical cardiac procedures to routine medical therapies would hurt patients' access to such technologies and could reduce hospital staff for the procedures, according to experts with the Heart Rhythm Society. The proposal includes payment cuts of 33% for drug-coated stents, 24% for implantable cardioverter defibrillators, 15% for pacemakers and 28% for cardiac ablation surgery. HRS President Dr. Dwight Reynolds said the proposal "will significantly hinder our mission to improve care and advance treatments," and AdvaMed President Steven Ubl said, "A bad reform is worse than no reform at all."

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