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How Docs Can Make Cardio Service Lines More Profitable

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, December 6, 2012

The cardiovascular co-management agreement with a cardiovascular group, which includes a dyad leadership model, was established several years ago and led to formation of the Wellmont CVA Heart Institute, which includes eight hospitals and ambulatory facilities. 

Physicians' leadership and involvement also have generated savings and efficiencies at Wellmont, Attebery says, including the system's relationship with vendors.

Wellmont includes a chest pain center and expanded STEMI (ST-elevation myocardial infarction) heart attack program designed to improve clinical outcomes, identifying physicians as "accountable care leaders," Attebery says.

An estimated $5 million in cost reductions occurred between 2003 to 2006. He attributes the savings to standardization in major supply items, achieved when physicians pushed unit price reductions with suppliers and vendors.

Rose of the Carolinas Health Care System's Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute also emphasized the physician involvement in care and the importance of "a definite institute vision" to "create value from the cardiovascular institute."

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