Medicare cuts reimbursement for heart transplants at Medical University of South Carolina hospital

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Medicare will no longer reimburse Medical University of South Carolina hospital in Charleston for heart transplants, citing low volumes of the procedure, according to The Post and Courier.

The hospital performed a total of nine heart transplants (six adults and three children) between July 2015 and June 2016, the latest period for which data is available from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients

Heather Woolwine, spokesperson for MUSC, said the hospital was identified as low volume based on outdated data, and the decision was made as part of the federal government's "larger strategy not to fund 'low volume' centers," according to the report.

MUSC is appealing the decision, which does not affect pediatric patients on the wait list or adult patients covered by private insurance policies. MUSC is the only hospital in South Carolina that performs heart transplants, according to the report.

According to Ms. Woolwine, the hospital was deemed low-volume because officials decided three years ago to temporarily suspend the heart transplant program after concerns were raised about poor patient outcomes. At least one patient who received a heart transplant at MUSC died, according to the report.

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