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Cleerly Value to Health Systems: Precision Heart Care Reduces Risk and Improves Patient Care

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Current methodologies for coronary artery disease (CAD) screening often result in misidentification of low-risk patients and may submit patients to unnecessary and expensive invasive procedures.

Cleerly’s coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA)-enabled analysis creates value for health systems by identifying CAD in patients and empowering providers to personalize treatment. Use of Cleerly’s precision heart approach can help health systems improve patient care and satisfaction, avoid unnecessary and expensive procedures, and offer a more continuous care experience.

AI-enabled coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA)

Cleerly offers a personalized care pathway for heart attack prevention that is backed by two decades of clinical research as well as industry-leading AI for heart disease evaluation. Cleerly focuses on quantifying the root cause of heart disease instead of waiting for symptoms. This empowers providers to assess cardiac risk and personalize treatment for improved patient care.

Benefits to hospitals and health systems

Precision heart care leads to reduction in cardiac event related visits to the ED

Today’s health systems increasingly face pressure to reduce the total cost of care and improve outcomes. Recent analysis from Kaufman Hall showed that hospitals’ operating margins in 2021 remain 3.8% below margins in 2019, driven by declines in emergency department visits, discharges, and surgeries1, coupled with a 37% increase in adjusted labor expenses.2

At the same time, many emergency department (ED) visits for heart attacks are preventable if risk factors for heart disease are identified in advance. Current diagnostic methods miss 70% of all patients who will suffer a heart attack, as they are mistakenly considered “low risk” by traditional measures such as cholesterol or blood pressure.3 What’s more, roughly half of patients who have a heart attack show no symptoms (such as chest pain or shortness of breath) before their catastrophic event.4

On top of that, today’s EDs face issues of overcrowding issues and staffing shortages – a one-two punch that’s negatively impacting the patient experience. Throughout 2020 and 2021, hospital admission times have increased. When occupancy rates are greater than 85%, admission times exceed four hours – the Joint Commission’s threshold for a patient safety concern – 90% of the time.5 Meanwhile, the rate at which patients are leaving the ED without being seen by a physician has doubled since 2017. 6

Finally, many patients who do receive treatment are often subjected to high-cost, low-value care. Nearly two of three referrals for invasive evaluation of the heart are unnecessary,7 90% of stress tests come back normal,8 and roughly half of all stent placements in stable patients were either definitely or possibly inappropriate.9

There’s a clear value proposition for relieving pressure on EDs around the country to treat patients whose worsening heart health could have been prevented. Doing so, however, will require a transition away from the current approach to cardiovascular care, which results in the death of nearly 700,000 Americans to heart disease every year.10

Precision heart care for better patient care and reduced risk

The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology raised CCTA to a Level 1A in their guidelines for heart disease diagnosis.11 This combined with Cleerly having spent more than a decade researching the effectiveness of CCTA, and advanced analytics for measuring atherosclerosis has enabled Cleerly to develop a clinically-proven, standardized approach that meets or exceeds multiple current methods for supporting the diagnosis, quantification, and characterization of coronary artery disease. Visit Cleerly’s Clinical Evidence page to see how Cleerly + CCTA compare to current gold standards.

For hospitals, health systems, and provider organizations managing populations, it’s imperative for clinical staff to have the most accurate assessment readily available at the point of care and throughout the enterprise. This has increasingly become the standard of care for common chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, as well as for common types of cancer.

Streamlined workflows allow for continuous patient care

Through use of Cleerly clinical insights, the treatment of CAD can also extend to the primary care provider’s office. Cleerly’s simple reporting system and clear staging system guidelines can aid providers in identifying the best course of referral or treatment for their patients.

The combination of easy-to-understand CCTA scan results and a first-of-its-kind staging system for cardiovascular disease severity empowers PCPs with knowledge to enable them to take on a more prominent role in maintaining patients' heart health. Cleerly provides clinical insights that providers can use to make more informed treatment and personalized care plan decisions. This data also allows for a more proactive and preventive approach to cardiovascular care, as treatment options for lower-level stages may include lifestyle changes or medications as opposed to unnecessary and expensive invasive procedures.

Cleerly results also make it possible to compare patients against treatment benchmarks. Through ongoing care management, PCPs can measure patient progress and modify treatment plans accordingly – again with an emphasis on reducing the need for high-cost, low-value invasive procedures and medical therapies.

Beyond making improvements to cardiology care, Cleerly has focused on streamlining cardiology workflows. Traditionally, heart care has been a fragmented process. Ordering tests, obtaining referrals, scheduling appointments and follow-ups, and getting reimbursement all fall upon the shoulders of the PCP office that’s already overwhelmed with work. Plus, because these steps require multiple phone calls and occasional faxes, each represents a potential point of failure where a patient may drop off a care plan.

Cleerly aims to address some of these challenges with a precision heart care approach that enables a more continuous care journey with reduced risk and better patient care.

With Cleerly, providers can personalize care for increased efficiency and effectiveness. Patients are better positioned to receive the right care at the right time for their level of risk. Learn more about the benefits of Cleerly for your health system by downloading our report: Precision heart care’s role in supporting the business of healthcare.

 

LEARN MORE IN OUR LATEST REPORT


References:

1. National Hospital Flash Report: January 2022. Kaufman Hall. Jan. 31, 2022.
2. A Special Workforce Edition of the National Hospital Flash Report. Kaufman Hall. May 11, 2022.
3. Preventing Myocardial Infarction in the Young Adult in the First Place. JACC. May 2003.
4. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2019 Update. American Heart Association. Jan. 31, 2019.
5. Hospital Occupancy and Emergency Department Boarding During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open. Sept. 30, 2022.
6. Monthly Rates of Patients Who Left Before Accessing Care in US Emergency Departments, 2017-2021. JAMA Network Open. September 30, 2022.
7. Low Diagnostic Yield of Elective Coronary Angiography. New England Journal of Medicine. March 11, 2010
8. Temporal Trends in the Frequency of Inducible Myocardial Ischemia During Cardiac Stress Testing. Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). March 12, 2013.
9. Trends in U.S. Cardiovascular Care: 2016 Report from 4 ACC National Cardiovascular Data Registries. JACC. March 2017.
10.Leading Causes of Death. National Center for Health Statistics. Last reviewed Jan. 13, 2022.
11.The 2021 Chest Pain Guideline: A Revolutionary New Paradigm for Cardiac Testing. JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging. Last updated January 15, 2022.

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