Matching resources to treatment decisions for patients with acute coronary syndromes.
Multiple dynamic forces are having an impact on the way cardiovascular disease is treated today and will be in the future. These forces include extended life expectancy, decreased disability, and accelerated improvement in the effectiveness of medical technology. All of these forces will lead to a predictable increase in health care costs. Cardiologists must also be cognizant of the rise in health care consumerism; patients are assuming a larger role in decisions about their medical care and treatment. All of these factors are driving the climate of evidence-based medicine, particularly in the cardiovascular field. Payers and the government are beginning to require the clinical community to define quality. In turn, these third parties are beginning to measure quality as defined by the profession and to hold providers accountable for the quality of what they do. Although the frontier of genetic prediction in therapeutics will serve as an intellectual focus for bringing these issues closer to the forefront in cardiovascular medicine, the fundamental provision of value in health care (high quality at reasonable cost) cannot wait on genomics. Because the amount of evidence in acute coronary syndromes (ACS) exceeds other areas of medicine, therapies for ACS will undergo increasingly intense scrutiny.
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