The Pulse | February 2021

Celebrating CV Professionals

This year, CVP Week 2021 is really important.

For nearly the past 400 days, healthcare workers across the world have been contending with the biggest global health crisis in over a century.

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has strained our health systems, tested the resilience of healthcare team members, and caused suffering for individuals and families the world over. The ordeals of the past year have been difficult, to say the least, but there is both solace and obligation shrouded beneath the struggles of the SARS-COV-2 virus and the efforts those who have worked so diligently over the past 400 days to meet the occasion set before us.

The solace we might find in the pandemic is not in the virus itself, but in the ways in which it has enhanced our perspective and confirmed the tenacity and courage of the health professionals serving the public good.

The obligation it requires of us is to those very same professionals – that we must vocally and continuously show our gratitude for their arduous labor, trust in their judgments, and support their efforts in any and every way possible.

Our perspective of both the strengths and shortcomings of our healthcare system is clearer than ever before.

In addition to highlighting the immeasurable fortitude of healthcare professionals, the pandemic has shed light on many gaps and inequities in the delivery of health services. These gaps and inequities chart our path forward on the journey of constant improvement. Certainly, addressing our present concerns around Covid-19 must take first priority, but our ability to understand and articulate where we fall short is a necessary step towards the next iteration of our healthcare system.

Make no mistake, we are on the precipice of far-reaching change, and the medical professionals currently serving our societies are the stewards of current lessons for the next generation of the healthcare workforce. They are the frontline, the vanguard – agents of the critical progress ahead.

Celebrating CVP Week 2021 in your honor

We are indebted to these professionals always, but now more than ever, and it is all of our duty to celebrate their efforts and successes.

Failing to do so would be to our detriment, and poses a tangible risk to our long-term progress, not only regarding Covid-19 but to future pursuits as well. Underappreciation is a common theme in medicine, and failing to address it will have lasting effects on the healthcare workforce of tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.

To celebrate health professionals appropriately, it is helpful to look back at our roots as a medical community and understand where we came from.

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American Heart Month

Practice Management

Cardiac care feels staffing crunch as big money converts COVID-19 travelers
(TCTMD) – In Georgia, a teenage girl critically ill with COVID-19 complicated by fulminant myocarditis, heart failure, and multiorgan clots needed to get on extracorporeal membrane oxygen (ECMO) if she was to survive—but doctors at the tertiary center didn’t have the staff to run the machines. They’d lost the majority of their permanent nurses to higher paid “travelling” positions elsewhere, so needed to request transfer.

Physician practices take pandemic hit in tandem with hospitals, Kaufman Hall finds
(HealthcareDive) – Competitive telemedicine offerings and ongoing reluctance to receive in-person care are some factors Kaufman Hall attributes to the declines for physician practices, which have increasingly entered into employment arrangements with hospitals and health systems.

Legislation & Rev Cylce

Biden signs healthcare executive actions: 5 things to know
(Becker’s Hospital Review) – President Joe Biden on Jan. 28 signed a series of executive actions related to healthcare, including an order to reopen ACA enrollment.

CMS clarifies 2021 PFS reimbursements for remote patient monitoring
(mHealth Intelligence) – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has made corrections to the 2021 Physician Fee Schedule, opening the door to improved reimbursement for remote patient monitoring.

CMS withdraws 3 proposed health rules
(Becker’s Hospital CFO Report) – CMS has withdrawn three proposed healthcare rules developed under the administration of former President Donald Trump. The withdrawn rules include a revision to Medicare Part A enrollment requirements, altered dialysis coverage requirements for third party-payment programs and increased oversight of accrediting organizations.

Clinical & Quality

Microvascular thrombi common in patients dying of COVID-19
(TCTMD) – Two new pathology studies are highlighting the prevalence of microvascular thrombi in the hearts of patients with COVID-19 and exploring the role they might play in causing acute ischemic injury.
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Heart disease remains the world’s No. 1 cause of death—and COVID-19 will likely keep it there
(Cardiovascular Business) – Heart disease is still the world’s leading cause of death, according to an updated report from the American Heart Association and National Institutes of Health.

American Heart Association explores close ties between mental, cardiovascular health
(Cardiovascular Business) – The American Heart Association (AHA) has published a new scientific statement examining the powerful impact a person’s mental health can have on their cardiovascular health.