I’d never heard of EECP as a treatment for heart disease. Apparently it works, according to this UCSF analysis. But Debra Braverman’s letter to the NY Times says it all (other than mistaking the drug industry for the medical device business):
A full course of EECP costs Medicare a fraction of one stenting procedure and offers physicians and hospitals very little and the pharmaceutical industry nothing. EECP does, however, offer patients substantial relief and improvement in quality of life without risk of heart attacks or death, unlike the drug-coated stents in widespread use, despite the little scientific evidence of long-term benefits.
Meanwhile does anyone know if Dean Ornish’s program is routinely reimbursed by Medicare? Because if the tax payer is buying stents that dont really work as advertised, perhaps we should also be funding alternatives.
Meanwhile, apparently the latest wisdom is that angioplasty is essential within a few hours of a heart attack. And where did this inspired piece of medical wisdom come from? It was developed in the socialized health care havens of Denmark and Sweden. But we’re told that patients there are left to die; apparently not necessarily so!