Survey: More Patients Seek Cardiologists

NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla., July 27 (UPI) — U.S. cardiologists say they are seeing more patients than ever before as baby boomers age, a survey indicates.

The survey, for MedAxiom, a subscription-based service provider and information resource to cardiology practices, says cardiologists are reimbursed less for their services by Medicare and private insurance firms, in what one cardiologist calls “a revenue roller coaster of uncertainty.”

The cardiologists surveyed report they each saw an average of 343 new patients in 2009, continuing an increasing trend in the 2000s, while the cardiologists saw an average of 1,700 return appointments last year from existing patients — the highest annual number yet recorded.

The survey also indicates:

– Hospital admissions per cardiologist fell over a five-year period, indicating cardiologists doing more outpatient care.

– The average number of treadmill tests per cardiologist fell to its lowest level in a decade.

– Stress echocardiogram tests increased to their highest level.

– On average, nuclear studies were performed on one of every seven patients, the same as in the previous two years.

No survey details were provided.

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