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Heart Treatment Centers Form Afib Alliance

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 19, 2014

The founding member hospitals of the National Alliance of Integrated Afib Centers say the top goals of the multidisciplinary, data-driven effort are to stop inappropriate cardiac procedures and to improve the quality of care.

Five heart treatment centers from across the country and a leading atrial fibrillation patient advocacy group for have formed a multidisciplinary alliance to treat people with irregular heartbeats.

The National Alliance of Integrated Afib Centers says there exists little coordination or data sharing about the heart ailment even though by some estimates that 5.1 million people in the United States have a cardiac rhythm disturbance, and that the number could grow to 15.9 million by 2050.

NAIAC President Jonathan Philpott, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Sentara Heart Hospital in Norfolk, VA, says member hospitals will lead the nation in Afib research, foster and refine synergies among cardiac specialties for Afib patients, and parse mountains of specific patient data outcomes with a goal of sharing and standardizing best practices.

NAIAC's founding members are:

  1. Sentara Heart Hospital – Norfolk, VA
  2. Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute – Los Angeles, CA
  3. St. Helena Arrhythmia Center – Napa Valley, CA
  4. St. Vincent's Medical Center – Bridgeport, CT
  5. Orlando Health Heart Institute – Orlando, FL
  6. StopAfib.org 

"We share a common goal to improve the quality of care with folks who have Afib and to stop inappropriate procedures and go with more effective and more durable procedures," says Philpott, who is himself an Afib patient.

NAIAC will work with StopAfib.org to identify patients and steer them to the nearest member hospital. Each patient will be treated by a cardiothoracic surgeon who works with an electrophysiologist, and a patient care coordinator. The care team and the patient will design the best treatment care plan tailored to the patient's needs.

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