WALTHAM, Mass., March 6, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BG Medicine, Inc. (Nasdaq:BGMD), a diagnostics company focused on the development and commercialization of novel cardiovascular tests, today announced that company representatives and independent researchers will highlight the clinical utility of galectin-3 blood testing in assessing the prognosis of patients with chronic heart failure through an extensive series of data presentations and company-sponsored events at the American College of Cardiology's (ACC) 62nd Annual Scientific Session & Expo in San Francisco, California. As part of BG Medicine's presence at the ACC meeting, the company will host an educational symposium chaired by Alan Maisel, MD, Professor of Medicine, UCSD, Director of Coronary Care Unit and Heart Failure Program at the San Diego VA Medical Center, focused on how galectin-3 testing can help hospitals reduce readmissions. Representatives from BG Medicine will also be sponsoring booth N5519 which showcases how galectin-3 can impact the treatment of patients with chronic heart failure through a series of real-life case studies. Reducing unplanned readmissions for patients continues to be one of the most urgent and pressing issues facing US-based hospitals today, particularly since October 2012, when the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) enacted new rules that impose significant financial penalties on hospitals with excessive 30-day hospital readmission rates. Because heart failure patients with elevated galectin-3 are two-to-three times more likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge, we believe that identifying these high-risk patients through galectin-3 testing is an efficient, simple and cost-effective tool in a hospital's strategy to reduce unplanned 30-day readmissions, enabling hospitals to better direct their intervention strategies and resources to those who need them most. i, ii,iii Clinicians and hospital administrators interested in learning more about the unique role of galectin-3 testing as a risk stratification tool in reducing 30-day hospital readmissions can register to attend the BG Medicine dinner symposium From Emergency Department to Discharge: The Role of Biomarkers in Preventing Readmissions at www.galectin-3.com . The program will feature scientific and economic data from nationally-recognized experts from the emergency department, laboratory and administrative settings. "For patients presenting to the emergency department, the initial triage and diagnosis by a clinician can influence the entire course of their care," said W. Frank Peacock IV, MD, FACEP Professor, Associate Chair & Research Director, Baylor College of Medicine and a featured panelist in the symposium. "Having ready access to a patient's galectin-3 level early in the assessment process may help clinicians make more informed management decisions across the spectrum of heart failure patients. Not only does knowledge of a patient's elevated galectin-3 provide valuable information as to which patients are in greatest need of aggressive management and at the highest risk for readmission, a low galectin-3 also identifies the lowest risk patients who may be appropriate candidates for observation or possibly early discharge."