EECP Therapy Maintains Class IIb Rating with the new ACC/AHA Guidelines for Stable Ischemic Heart Disease (November 27th, 2012)
The American College of Cardiology Foundation and American Heart Association (ACCF/AHA) Guidelines issues practice Guideline every 10 years for treatment of specific heart disease conditions. The Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Patients With Stable Ischemic Heart Disease.
The outcome of the guidelines are significant. In the spirit of cost savings in the new Healthcare enviornment, there were significant changes in tone towards expensive healthcare procedures such as invasive surgical procedures as well as costly diagnostic imaging. Among the guidelines, there is an emphasis on non-invasive, non surgical lines of treatment such as External counterpulsation Therapy. Among the results of the revision, EECP (trademarked term by Vasomedical for ECP) therapy retained the same Class IIb recommendation (COR) rating it received in the ACC/AHA 2002 Guideline Update for the Management of Patients with Chronic Stable Angina. EECP Therapy was also given a B rating for Level of Evidence (LOE).
According to the Guideline, a class IIb rating maintains that procedures and treatments may be considered for patients. Additional studies with broad objectives are needed and further registry data would be helpful. This classification finds that the benefits of treatments are greater than or equal to the risk of treatment.
This report appears to represent positive new for ECP and EECP Therapy as this a safe, effective treatment option at a fraction of he cost of invasive, surgical treatment options. Healthcare cost reduction has been demonstrated in the clinical literature to reduce re-hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
An additional note, EECP was the only treatment option of the three available alternative treatments for ischemic heart disease, including (spinal cord stimulation and transmyocardial revascularization) that maintained the same Class of Recommendation and Level of Evidence in the new Guideline as in the 2002 Guideline. The other two alternative treatments were given lower COR and/or LOE ratings than in the 2002 Guideline. EECP is now listed as the first alternative treatment for ischemic heart disease and continues to hold an equal or greater level of acceptance in this important category.
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