Companies in this industry are engaged in diagnosing and treating disorders of the heart and blood vessels, which make up the cardiovascular system. Cardiologists operate through office-based private practices, health care organizations, and hospitals, as well as academic, government, or research institutions. Leading institutions for cardiology and heart surgery include The Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic, both based in the US, along with India's Narayana Health, Singapore's Gleneagles Hospital (part of Parkway Holdings), and Thailand's Bangkok Hospital.
Along with other physicians, cardiologists face pressure from government payers and insurers to lower costs while improving quality of care. The profitability of individual practices depends on the reputation, cost, operational efficiencies, and expertise of doctors and staff. Large practices have advantages in leveraging administrative processes and expensive diagnostic equipment and are more likely to accept Medicare and Medicaid than smaller practices. Small practices can compete effectively by providing good customer service. Demand for cardiology services is driven by the rate of cardiovascular disease (which is related to demographics and the obesity rate), as well as the availability of health insurance coverage.
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Cardiologists diagnose, treat, and work to prevent disorders affecting the heart and circulatory system through interventional and nonsurgical techniques, as well as medication. Many cardiology doctors are general cardiologists, while others provide more specialized services. Interventional cardiology involves nonsurgical techniques such as angioplasty and stenting; pediatric cardiology diagnoses and treats heart problems in children; electrophysiology (EP) cardiology addresses heart rhythm disorders; and nuclear cardiologists perform and interpret thallium stress tests and other perfusion studies. A cardiovascular surgeon specializes in operations on the heart, lungs, and blood vessels.