Small Ohio town boasts most angioplasties

Aug 18, 2006

The U.S. government and at least one major insurer are wondering why doctors in the small Ohio town of Elyria are performing so many angioplasties.

Statistics show that in Elyria Medicare patients with blocked coronary arteries are receiving angioplasty over drug therapy or bypass surgery at a rate that is nearly four times the national average, The New York Times reports.

While no one is accusing the doctors involved of wrongdoing, the question of whether angioplasty is the correct treatment is open to medical debate.

"People are rewarded for erring on the side of an aggressive, highly expensive intervention," says Dr. Elliott S. Fisher, a researcher at Dartmouth Medical School, which analyzed Medicare data from Elyria.

Medicare pays Elyria's community hospital about $11,000 for an angioplasty involving use of a drug-coated stent. The cardiologist might receive $800 for the work.

Because Elyria cardiologists are not surgeons, they must refer patients to another doctor if they conclude bypass surgery is needed.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Report examines health care challenges for pregnant women enrolled in covered California

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Sexual fantasies: Are you normal?

3 hours ago

Hoping for sex with two women is common but fantasizing about golden showers is not. That's just one of the findings from a research project that scientifically defines sexual deviation for the first time ever. It was undertaken ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.