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Cardiac Assist: Pumping up the Heart Failure Market

Executive Summary

After struggling for years to gain momentum, the ventricular assist device market appears finally to be coming of age. Second-generation VAD designs are performing well and seem to have largely addressed the pump durability and safety issues of the past that stymied growth and prevented this market from reaching its full potential. In the process, these new pumps, and their third-generation counterparts now waiting in the wings, are revitalizing interest in VADs among both physicians and patients, and propelling this potential multibillion dollar market to the forefront once again.

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A new Medicare cost-control program aimed at reducing costly hospital readmissions has heart failure squarely in the cross-hairs, and the consequences could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost Medicare revenue for hospitals that fail to meet the new readmission standards. As a result, providers are scrambling to implement programs to assess and reduce heart failure readmissions, and a growing number of device companies are touting a variety of technologies they believe could help them achieve that goal.

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