Doctors must choose and manage ICD patients carefully
Implanted devices that can shock a failing heart back into regular rhythm do an excellent job of keeping patients alive, two new University of Michigan studies find. The research also suggests that doctors may be able to categorize their patients according to their individual risk factors, to determine who might get the largest benefit from the expensive devices, called implanted cardiac defibrillators, or ICDs. The studies also reinforce the importance of providing good follow-up care to all heart failure patients, whether or not they receive an implanted device.
With Medicare poised to start covering ICDs for many more patients than ever before, the new results come just in time to help doctors decide which patients might get the greatest benefit from the costly devices. More than half a million more people may qualify for ICDs, which cost around $20,000, under Medicare guidelines that will take effect soon.
Kara Gavin | EurekAlert!
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