Kentucky Chapter
American College of Cardiology
6737 W. Washington St.
Suite 1300
Milwaukee, WI 53214

Kentucky ACC Logo

News

Newsletters

 

ACC Media Center

Submit Member news to: info@kentuckyacc.org

ACC International Exchange

In an effort to facilitate international exchange for Cardiovascular Professionals, the Early Career Professional Council (ECPC) has developed an on-line resource for those interested in pursuing opportunities abroad. This tool is meant for use throughout the college and is a member benefit for all.

Please visit the ACC International Exchange page at http://www.cardiosource.org/intex.  A list of sites and contacts for those offering exchange programs are available, organized by country, as well as resources for planning and managing the logistics of work-related international travel. This site will be frequently updated.

CGS Medicare (OH and KY) Incorrectly Denies In-Office SPECT-MPI Tests, Working on Fix

Your ACC has confirmed with CGS Medicare, Part B contractor for Ohio and Kentucky, that the payer incorrectly denied SPECT-MPI claims with a place of service (POS) of 11-Office since May 1, 2014. CGS has identified the error and is currently working to correct it.  The affected nuclear cardiology claims were denied with EOB reason code CO-58 - Treatment was deemed by the payer to have been rendered in an inappropriate or invalid place of service. CGS will provide corrective instructions to all providers impacted by the error.  It should only apply to the physician office setting and not to hospital based providers. The ACC is strongly encouraging office-based providers to review their SPECT-MPI claims for the denial code (CO-58) to ensure the affected claims are properly reimbursed. Once the claims processing error is fixed, we will share the corrective instructions.

ACC News You Can Use

October 2014

Hot Topics and Overarching News

Global CVD in the Spotlight: World Heart Day
With the United Nations poised to debate and decide its Sustainable Development Goals for 2015 and beyond, the cardiovascular diseases community has a rare opportunity over the next few months to convince international bodies to devote appropriate resources to curb the rise of non-communicable diseases, including cardiovascular disease and stroke, according to a statement published recently from the Global Cardiovascular Disease Taskforce. The statement, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), was released just before the cardiovascular community came together to build awareness of heart disease as part of World Heart Day. Given that the majority of cardiovascular disease is caused by food intake, physical activity levels and living environment, this year's World Heart Day was focused on promoting heart healthy environments where people live, work and play. See posts from the ACC on World Heart Day on ACC's Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Vote for Your State’s BOG and Cardiovascular Team State Liaison
Elections for the 2014 Board of Governors (BOG) and Cardiovascular Team State Liaisons will be held Oct. 22 – Nov. 17. Elected representatives will bring local needs to national attention, create new initiatives, develop quality, advocacy, and educational opportunities, and expand the value of membership. To learn which states will be holding elections and for more information about the election process, visit CardioSource.org/Elections. Official results will be announced after the Board of Trustees meeting on Dec. 8.

Top Science and Quality News

New NSTE-ACS Guideline
The ACC and AHA released the new 2014 Guideline for the Management of Patients With Non–ST-Elevation Acute Coronary Syndromes (NSTE-ACS). The guideline has a new name and new terminology that reflect current ways of thinking about this frequent and serious cardiac condition, and is the first full revision since the 2007 ACC/AHA Guideline or the Management of Patients with Unstable Angina and Non–ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (NSTEMI) and subsequent focused updates. Read more.

ACC Updates Choosing Wisely Heart Attack Recommendation
In response to new science showing that complete revascularization of all significantly blocked arteries leads to better outcomes in some heart attack patients, the ACC has withdrawn its Choosing Wisely recommendation that patients and caregivers examine whether this practice is truly necessary. As part of its American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation Choosing Wisely list of five things providers and patients should question released in April 2012, the ACC recommended questioning any intervention beyond unblocking just the "culprit" artery responsible for the heart attack in a hemodynamically stable patient. At the time the list was released, there were several nonrandomized studies demonstrating harm to patients when treating all significantly blocked arteries. However, over the past two years, new science has emerged showing potential improvements for some patients in their overall outcomes as a result of complete revascularization. Read more.

ACC/AHA Release Recommendations For Congenital and Genetic Heart Disease Screenings in Youth
Health care professionals should use a 14-element checklist when evaluating healthy, young individuals ages 12-25 for congenital and genetic heart disease vs. initial screening using electrocardiograms (ECGs), according to a new scientific statement released by the ACC and the American Heart Association and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Read more about the recommendations on CardioSource.org.

Top Advocacy and Health Policy News

State Advocacy in Action: California
California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law S.B. 906, a measure strongly supported by the ACC's California Chapter. The law creates the Elective Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) Program in the California Department of Public Health. It also authorizes certification of general acute care hospitals that provide urgent and emergent cardiac catheterization laboratory service. In order to be certified, a hospital must provide proof that it follows ACC, American Heart Association and Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions recommendations for performance of PCI without onsite cardiac surgery, and agree to participate in and provide timely data to the NCDR.

Pulse Oximetry Wins: Rhode Island, Mississippi, Washington
Three states are working toward joining the 40 that have mandated pulse oximetry screening for critical congenital heart disease (CCHD). The Rhode Island Department of Health has completed work on regulations that will become effective July 1, 2015. The Mississippi Department of Health has scheduled a vote on pulse oximetry regulations at its October meeting. According to Thad F. Waites, MD, FACC, a member of the ACC's Board of Trustees, the regulations will take effect immediately. Additionally, Washington State Rep. Dawn Morrell, a cardiac nurse, has written a letter to her state's department of health urging it to consider pulse oximetry regulations at its October meeting. Passing CCHD screening legislation is one of the College's state advocacy priorities and the ACC is continually working with local ACC Chapters, ACC's Adult Congenital and Pediatric Cardiology Section, and partners such as Mended Hearts and Mended Little Hearts to ensure the voice of CCHD patients and caregivers is heard on the state level as well as Capitol Hill.

Senate Finance Committee Examines CHIP Expiration
The Senate Finance Health Subcommittee recently held a hearing titled, "The Children's Health Insurance Program: Protecting America's Children and Families," which focused primarily on the pending expiration of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Although the program is authorized through 2019, funding for CHIP expires in 2015. A lapse in funding for this crucial program could lead to significant disruption for state governments, private health plans, hospitals and numerous other stakeholders in addition to the families whose children are enrolled in the program. Panelists at the hearing cited difficulty with planning state budgets for 2016 because of uncertainty that the program would exist beyond its expiration date. Other panelists noted the challenge of a straight reauthorization of the program in a new regulatory environment, particularly those related to the Affordable Care Act. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), one of the original architects of the program, and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) have introduced legislation which would extend the program for four additional years, through 2019. In its June report to Congress, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment Access Commission called for the program to be extended for only two additional years.

Words of Wisdom from Legislative Conference
Fellow-in-training Howard Julien, MD, and Nicolas W. Shammas, MD, FACC, interviewed Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) last week while on Capitol Hill during ACC's Legislative Conference. Grassley weighed in on funding for graduate medical education and research, practice stability, Sustainable Growth Rate repeal, and the In-Office Ancillary Services Exception, and encouraged cardiovascular professionals to engage with lawmakers year round. "We would profit considerably by having more doctors being politically active...in the process of government," said Grassley. Visit the FITs on the Go video blog for additional coverage of Legislative Conference.

Voicing Support for Medicaid Payment Parity
The ACC joined with twenty other medical societies to send a letter of support to Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for introducing the Ensuring Access to Primary Care for Women and Children Act (S. 2694). This legislation would extend current-law payment rates under Medicaid for certain services to at least the level of Medicare through 2016. The bill ensures that physicians practicing in the specialties of family medicine, pediatrics, and internal medicine as well as related internal medicine and pediatric subspecialists continue to receive Medicare-level reimbursement rates for providing primary care and related subspecialty services to patients enrolled in Medicaid. A House version of the bill has been introduced by Rep. John Lewis (D-GA).

Addressing Impending Medical Isotope Shortage
The ACC signed-on to a coalition letter of support to the Department of Energy (DOE) to address the impending shortage of molybdenum 99 (Mo-99), a critical medical isotope used in over 20 million nuclear medicine procedures per year in the U.S. to help diagnose heart disease and cancer. We are currently two years away from a patient access crisis due to a scheduled stop in the production of Mo-99 at Canada's National Research Universal reactor in October 2016. With a shelf-life of only 66 hours, Mo-99 cannot be stockpiled, and therefore reliable production is considered critical medical infrastructure. New U.S.-based technologies have demonstrated strong progress toward filling the supply gap, while solving nuclear proliferation issues, but additional support is still needed to get these technologies to the market. The American Medical Isotope Production Act of 2012 calls for the DOE to support commercialization of a reliable domestic source of Mo-99 as soon as possible. The DOE has an existing program with funding to do so and at this point, no new funding or legislation is required. However, changes to how the DOE is operating the current program are necessary to reduce the time it takes for any of the current promising initiatives to reach the commercialization stage and begin to put Mo-99 into the market. Those who signed the letter include organizations of patients, health care providers, medical imaging companies, radiopharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors.

Investing in the Future of Cardiology with ACCPAC
ACC must have a seat at the table as Congress continues to debate and potentially enact laws affecting the practice of cardiovascular medicine. Through the bipartisan ACC Political Action Committee (ACCPAC), ranked among the top 10 medical specialty PACs in the U.S., the College is able to support members of Congress and candidates who are supporters of the cardiovascular community. Becoming a member of ACCPAC by making a contribution is a direct investment in the future and preservation of our profession. No contribution is too small to further ACCPAC's efforts. You can make a single contribution or sign-up for a periodic contribution on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis by visiting ACCPACweb.org.

Top Education and Career Growth News

ACC’s MOC Hub
The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) implemented changes to its Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program for board-certified internists on January 1, 2014. The ACC and other members of the internal medicine community received a letter from the ABIM Board of Directors responding to a number of the concerns previously outlined by ACC and other professional organizations regarding the revised requirements for the ABIM Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program. In this letter ABIM committed to further to changes in the MOC process to address these concerns — read the ACC in Touch blog to learn more. The College is continuing our efforts to educate our members about the new requirements and provide them the tools and resources necessary to help them meet these requirements as efficiently as possible. The ACC has created an MOC Hub with details about ABIM's current MOC program to inform and help ACC members navigate the changes. Learn more here.

ACC’s International Exchange Database: Building a Resource with Your Help
The ACC Early Career Section Leadership Council’s International Working Group is building a network of international exchange programs. The goal is to provide a resource for ACC members interested in gaining new knowledge and skills in cardiovascular disease that could not be done locally. If you’ve participated in an observership, mini-sabbatical, or similar international opportunity, please take a moment to help us generate this resource by answering a few quick questions here.

Find a Mentor, Be a Mentor: Register for ACC’s New Mentoring Program
The College’s new online mentoring program, developed through the efforts of the Early Career Professionals Leadership Council and Section, is designed to help create and foster mutually beneficial mentor/mentee relationships. The program connects experienced cardiovascular professionals with younger professionals based on areas of interest, specialty and expertise. Register online and find out more at CardioSource.org/Mentoring. 

Webinars, Events, Deadlines and More: Mark Your Calendar

ICD-10 Webinar
The Department of Health and Human Services issued a rule finalizing Oct. 1, 2015, as the new compliance date for the conversion from ICD-9 to ICD-10. Will your practice be ready? Join the ACC on Oct. 1 at 4 p.m. ET, one year ahead of implementation, for a webinar that will go over updated timelines and cardiology specific ICD-10 information to ensure your practice is prepared. The webinar will delve into guideline changes and discuss how your office should be preparing for modifications that will begin on Oct. 1, 2015. Register now. The webinar will be archived here for those unable to attend. To ensure that the transition to ICD-10 is running smoothly, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will be conducting end-to-end testing Jan. 26-30, 2015. Providers who are interested in participating in the testing should complete a volunteer form, available through their Medicare Administrative Contractor, by Oct. 3.

For Your Patients: I Am CardioSmart Contest
CardioSmart is in search of six inspiring individuals who are living well with one of these conditions Heart Attack, High Blood Pressure, Heart Failure, Atrial Fibrillation, Congenital Heart Defect, or Coronary Artery Disease. Share your story with us. If your story is selected, you'll be featured on our website to inspire others like you to partner with their care team and take charge of their heart health. You'll also win a $100 Amazon gift card. Excerpts from the winning stories will be posted to CardioSmart's Facebook page. CardioSmart’s Facebook friends (and yours!) will vote on who will win the grand prize—a trip for two to San Diego, CA in March 2015. Contest entry deadline is October 31, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. See Official Contest Rules for details.

Publications

ACC Chapters Key to Achieving College's Strategic Goals
"ACC chapters offer a uniquely personal touch point for members," writes ACC CEO Shalom Jacobovitz in a recent Leadership Page in JACC. The piece provides specific examples of ways ACC Chapters are providing rich member experiences from residency to retirement, whether its tailored educational programming, unique, local networking opportunities, or on-the-ground advocacy efforts. Jacobovitz notes that the continued success of ACC chapters is paramount to the success of the College. "It is by harnessing the power of these local organizations to advocate for and engage members and to strive for action-oriented, results-driven performance in the states that the ACC can make a difference," he says. "I look forward to seeing big things in the states over the coming year."

Snake Eyes: Even Smart Science Doesn't Always Win
The cover story in the latest issue of CardioSource WorldNews discusses some of the highlights from the 2014 meeting of the European Society of Cardiology including the CONFIRM-HF trail, SOLID-TIMI 52 trail, PARADIGM-HF trail, and more. The article explains that “results do not always unfold as expected and can sometimes seem like the a roll of the dice, which makes clinical trials necessary and investigators essential to the news cycle of any major meeting.” Other highlights from the issue include a straight talk column on coronary vasospasm, a health teach column on a new tool for cardiologists, and more. Check out the full issue at CardioSource.org/CSWN.


Important Digital ACC Resources

Stay In Touch with the ACC via Social Media
Stay in touch with the ACC and the latest clinical and advocacy news through ACCinTouch.  ACCinTouch connects ACC members and those interested in cardiovascular news through popular social networking channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Join each of these networks to connect with ACC members and those interested in cardiology. In addition to the ACC's main Twitter profile @ACCinTouch, the College also has a profile dedicated to advocacy-related news (@Cardiology). CardioSmart, the ACC's patient education and support program, also has patient-centered cardiovascular news available through Facebook, Twitter (@CardioSmart), and YouTube. For more information about ACC’s social media channels, visit CardioSource.org/ACCinTouch.

ACC Archived Webinars
Did you know that you can find archived webinars from throughout the years from the ACC on CardioSource.org? As a member, you have access to this wealth of information here. To access them, you must have a CardioSource.org log-in and use the confirmation code and webinar access link emailed to you once you. Questions? Contact ACC’s Resource Center at Phone: 202-375-6000, ext. 5603 or 800-253-4636, ext. 5603 or resource@acc.org.

Download ACC’s New Advocacy Action Mobile App
Be sure to download the new ACC Advocacy Action mobile app to get easy access to ACC's advocacy priorities and timely talking points to share during congressional visits. The app was designed to help members engage with lawmakers and influence health policy. Download it today on iTunes (iPhone, iPad) and Google Play (Android devices).

ACC Launches Public Hospital Profiles and Hospital Search Tool
The ACC has launched a public-facing hospital database and search tool that enables patients to find and compare hospitals in their area based on the cardiac services they provide and important information related to the care they give. Now, all hospitals participating in the NCDR have a Hospital Profile on CardioSmart.org, the ACC’s patient education and empowerment website. Through these profiles, patients, caregivers and other stakeholders are able to search hospitals based on specific criteria (location, hospital name, services provided) and learn about every participating hospital's quality measurement efforts through the NCDR. The establishment of Hospital Profiles ensures that patients receive credible information about hospitals participating in the NCDR. For more information about this effort, visit NCDR.com. To find your hospital’s profile, visit CardioSmart.org/FindaHospital.

August 2014

Hot Topics and Overarching News

Vote for Your State's BOG and Cardiovascular Team State Liaison

Elections for the 2014 Board of Governors (BOG) and Cardiovascular Team State Liaisons will be held Oct. 22 – Nov. 17. Elected representatives will bring local needs to national attention, create new initiatives, develop quality, advocacy, and educational opportunities, and expand the value of membership. To learn which states will be holding elections and for more information about the election process, visit CardioSource.org/Elections. Official results will be announced after the Board of Trustees meeting on Dec. 8.

 

ACC Launches New and Enhanced Disclosure Management Portal

The ACC is pleased to announce the launch of the new and enhanced web portal to streamline the disclosure management process. The new system allows users to disclose all cardiovascular and health care-related relationships, and sign off on all appropriate user agreements, such as confidentially, embargo, attestation, and ongoing obligation, in one place. Users will be able to capture all data on one page relevant to the ACC activity in which they participate, and enter and exit the system as needed with single sign-on. Additionally, the system has been fully modernized and optimized for use on computer, tablet, or smartphone. Compliance with this process is mandatory for participation in College activities. Update your records and check out the new portal at disclosures.acc.org.

Publications

ACC Achieves #1 Impact Factor Ranking for all CV Journals
Recently announced Journal Impact Factor results list the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) as the number one cardiovascular journal in the world! While JACC has held the top position in readership and revenue for many years, it now ranks as the number one journal in scientific impact as well. The results also showed impact factor and ranking improvements across the entire portfolio of JACC journals. Out of 122 other cardiovascular journals, the ACC publishes three of the top 10 in the world. The following are impact factors and rank for 2013: 

  • JACC Impact Factor: 15.343; #1 cardiovascular journal
  • JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions Impact Factor: 7.440; #6 cardiovascular journal
  • JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging Impact Factor: 6.986; #7 cardiovascular journal

Latest Issue of Cardiology Looks at Origins of Framingham and Its Continued Legacy

The cover story in the latest issue of Cardiology magazine discusses the origins of the Framingham Heart Study and its continued legacy. Other topics include three distinguished individuals and how they have been successful at fostering relationships with the next generation of cardiologists and members of the cardiovascular care team. Get to know Debra Ness, MS, the first public member on the ACC’s Board of Trustees, and the opportunities to help strengthen the physician and patient relationship. Also learn more about how the College is expanding its partnerships worldwide. Catch up on the latest issue at CardioSource.org/Cardiology.

Digital ACC Resources News: Find It on CardioSource.org

Stay In Touch with the ACC via Social Media
Stay in touch with the ACC and the latest clinical and advocacy news through ACCinTouch.  ACCinTouch connects ACC members and those interested in cardiovascular news through popular social networking channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Join each of these networks to connect with ACC members and those interested in cardiology. In addition to the ACC's main Twitter profile @ACCinTouch, the College also has a profile dedicated to advocacy-related news (@Cardiology). CardioSmart, the ACC's patient education and support program, also has patient-centered cardiovascular news available through Facebook, Twitter (@CardioSmart), and YouTube. For more information about ACC’s social media channels, visit CardioSource.org/ACCinTouch.

 

ACC Archived Webinars

Did you know that you can find archived webinars from throughout the years from the ACC on CardioSource.org? As a member, you have access to this wealth of information here. To access them, you must have a CardioSource.org log-in and use the confirmation code and webinar access link emailed to you once you. Questions? Contact ACC’s Resource Center at Phone: 202-375-6000, ext. 5603 or 800-253-4636, ext. 5603 or resource@acc.org.

Top Science and Quality News:

 

Coverage from ESC Congress 2014
Get highlights from ACC’s coverage of the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2014 on CardioSource.org. Coverage from the event, held Aug. 30 to Sept. 3 in Barcelona, Spain, includes wrap up videos from each day, presentation slides and more. Additionally, ACC’s FITS on the GO were on site in Barcelona and produced a wrap up video here.

 

Discover Strategies for Enhancing Patient Recognition of Signs and Symptoms
Hospital to Home (H2H), a quality initiative under the ACC’s Quality Improvement for Institutions program, is offering a new webinar on tools and strategies for signs and symptoms of heart failure (HF) and acute myocardial infarction (AMI) on Thursday, Sept. 11 at 1 p.m. ET. Designed for all members of the cardiac care team, the program addresses ways in which hospitals and care team members can improve transitions of care for patients hospitalized with HF and AMI by enabling patients to recognize early warning signs and develop a plan to address them. During the webinar, participants will learn how to achieve success through the use of specific tools and resources available through H2H. Register for the webinar.

New Perioperative CV Guideline Released
The ACC and the American Heart Association (AHA) have released a new, updated guideline for minimizing the risk of cardiovascular complications before, during and after a patient undergoes non-cardiac surgery. The "2014 ACC/AHA Guideline on Perioperative Cardiovascular Evaluation and Management of Patients Undergoing Noncardiac Surgery," was published Aug. 1 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and was accompanied by a systematic review of the guideline on perioperative beta blockade in non-cardiac surgery. Read more about the new guideline on CardioSource.org.

Top Advocacy and Health Policy News:

Download ACC’s New Advocacy Action Mobile App
Be sure to download the new ACC Advocacy Action mobile app to get easy access to ACC's advocacy priorities and timely talking points to share during congressional visits. The app was designed to help members engage with lawmakers and influence health policy during Legislative Conference and throughout the year. Download it today on iTunes (iPhone, iPad) and Google Play (Android devices).

 

ACC Launches Public Hospital Profiles and Hospital Search Tool
The ACC has launched a public-facing hospital database and search tool that enables patients to find and compare hospitals in their area based on the cardiac services they provide and important information related to the care they give. Now, all hospitals participating in the NCDR have a Hospital Profile on CardioSmart.org, the ACC’s patient education and empowerment website. Through these profiles, patients, caregivers and other stakeholders are able to search hospitals based on specific criteria (location, hospital name, services provided) and learn about every participating hospital's quality measurement efforts through the NCDR. The establishment of Hospital Profiles ensures that patients receive credible information about hospitals participating in the NCDR. For more information about this effort, visit NCDR.com. To find your hospital’s profile, visit CardioSmart.org/FindaHospital.

Get Up-to-Speed on ACC's Advocacy Priorities
The ACC has developed a talking points document that outlines how the College is leading the transformation of care by advocating for a quality driven health care system, practice stability and the future of cardiovascular care. Given the wide range of issues facing cardiovascular professionals, this document enables members to bring the issues they care about most to their legislators.

 

ACC Supports ACE Kids Act
The ACC recently sent a letter of support for H.R. 4930, the “Advancing Care for Exceptional (ACE) Kids Act of 2014”, legislation that would create nationally designated networks of physicians, children's hospitals and other providers to care for children with medical complexity under a Medicaid Children's Care Coordination program. The legislation, introduced by Reps. Joe Barton (R-TX) and Kathy Castor (D-FL), would facilitate more seamless care for children insured by Medicaid who see multiple providers across state lines. Co-sponsors are being sought for the bill, and the ACC has developed a model grassroots letter that members can use to ask their House Representatives to co-sponsor. To send a letter to your member of Congress, click here. A Senate version of the bill is being crafted but has not yet been introduced. The program, if passed by Congress and signed by the president, would be voluntary with state Medicaid agencies and providers "opting in" to reduce costs and paperwork burdens. Read more about this legislation.

Investing in the Future of Cardiology with ACCPAC
ACC must have a seat at the table as Congress continues to debate and potentially enact laws affecting the practice of cardiovascular medicine. Through the bipartisan ACC Political Action Committee (ACCPAC), ranked among the top 10 medical specialty PACs in the U.S., the College is able to support members of Congress and candidates who are supporters of the cardiovascular community. Becoming a member of ACCPAC by making a contribution is a direct investment in the future and preservation of our profession. No contribution is too small to further ACCPAC's efforts. You can make a single contribution or sign-up for a periodic contribution on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis by visiting ACCPACweb.org.

CMS Test of Claims-Based Measures
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is conducting a national test for four new claims-based measures over the course of the next month. The test of coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) mortality and readmission measures will take place Sept. 2 to Oct. 1. A Hospital-Specific Report (HSR) for the measures will be available to hospitals and Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) by Sept. 2. CMS will conduct a test of the heart failure and pneumonia payment measures from Sept. 8 to Oct. 7, 2014. An HSR for the measures will be available to hospitals and QIOs by Sept. 8. CMS will hold two national provider calls to present the measures' methodology and address questions related to these measures on Sept. 9 at 3 p.m. ET for the CABG measures and Sept. 16 at 3 p.m. ET for the payment measures. Read more on CardioSource.org.

New Interventional Cardiology Specialty Designation
CMS has developed a new specialty code (C3) for interventional cardiology to reflect its distinction from other specialties. Your ACC supported a request from the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions to obtain the new designation, which allows CMS to distinguish an interventional cardiologist from a clinical cardiologist when billing for Medicare services. Previously, no mechanism existed for CMS to accurately report on this category of physician, and some local Medicare carriers have denied claims, citing duplicate billing, when a cardiologist and an interventionalist from the same group practice have billed for patient evaluation services. The new code allows for the reporting of the involvement of two specialty physicians providing distinct services to an individual patient. Members can change their designation through updated enrollment using PECOS.

TMVR Coverage Finalized
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted the final national coverage decision for transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR). The ACC joined with the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery to request coverage in November 2013 and commented on the proposed coverage in June recommending several revisions. The ACC is pleased that CMS responded positively to comments recommending deletion of its proposal to require joint intraoperative participation by both an interventional cardiologist and cardiac surgeon. TMVR will be covered when performed with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved device for the treatment of significant symptomatic degenerative mitral regurgitation when furnished according to an FDA-approved indication. The patient must be evaluated by an experienced cardiac surgeon and interventional cardiologist and remain under the care of a heart team at a high quality facility that reports data to a national registry. Either the interventional cardiologist or the cardiac surgeon may perform the procedure.

Curbing Smoking and Regulating E-Cigarettes
The American Heart Association (AHA) recently released a policy statement on electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). In response, ACC President Patrick T. O'Gara, MD, FACC, took to the ACC in Touch Blog to commend the AHA for addressing this hot topic and stress the importance of expanding regulative authority over e-cigarettes. O'Gara stressed: "No well-controlled peer-reviewed studies support the claim that e-cigarettes are safe, that they have fewer long-term negative health effects than cigarettes, or that they are effective aids for smoking cessation." The ACC strongly believes that the FDA should regulate e-cigarettes to the full extent of the authority granted to it by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009, including requiring manufacturers to submit applications for approval that contain rigorous scientific evidence of product safety. The College submitted comments to the FDA in August regarding the need for increased regulation of e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah and other similar products that are currently not under the Agency's regulatory purview.

CMS Issues Final Rule Allowing Greater Flexibility in EHR Incentive Program Reporting for 2014
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued a final rule allowing health care providers more flexibility in how they use certified electronic health record (EHR) technology (CEHRT) to meet meaningful use requirements under the EHR Incentive Program reporting period for 2014. Under the final rule, eligible providers can use the 2011 Edition CEHRT or a combination of 2011 and 2014 Edition CEHRT for an EHR reporting period in 2014 for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. All eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals are required to use the 2014 Edition CEHRT in 2015. The rule also finalizes the extension of Meaningful Use Stage 2 through 2016 for certain providers and announces the Stage 3 timeline, which will begin in 2017 for providers who first became meaningful EHR users in 2011 or 2012. Read more on CardioSource.org.

ICD-10 Update
The latest CardioSurve newsletter delves into the looming transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10. According to ACC's research, nearly 65 percent of cardiologists are unclear about the new requirements, suggesting that greater provider education is needed. The transition deadline, which was initially slated for October of this year, has been delayed until Oct. 1, 2015. The switchover, which does not affect CPT coding for outpatient procedures and physician services, will affect diagnosis and inpatient procedure coding for everyone covered by the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act, not just those who submit Medicare or Medicaid claims.  . Will your practice be ready? On Oct. 1, 2014, one year ahead of implementation, the ACC will hold a webinar to go over updated timelines and cardiology-specific ICD-10 information to ensure your practice is prepared. The webinar will delve into guideline changes and discuss how your office should be preparing for modifications that may actually come to fruition on Oct. 1, 2015. Register today.

Stepping up to the Plate to Help Veterans
Grave concerns regarding veterans' access to care emerged last month after inexcusable wait times for care were brought to light. In August 2014, Congress overwhelmingly passed the "Veteran's Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014" and the president signed the bill into law in August. This legislation funnels $17 billion to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) – the largest integrated health care system in the country – to reform the way health care is delivered to veterans. In addition to increasing the oversight of VA facilities, the funding will help veterans access to health care outside of the VA system. ACC's Florida Chapter has already started taking action. A resolution proposed by the chapter calling for the Florida Medical Association (FMA) to immediately establish an ad hoc committee to address the VA crisis has been adopted by the FMA's House of Delegates. "From coast to coast, we fight every day to ensure that our patients receive the highest quality care possible," said BOG Chair Michael Mansour, MD, FACC, on the ACC in Touch Blog. "Now, we have will have even greater opportunities to serve veterans in more settings."

Top Education and Career Growth News:

Earn MOC Part II Credits With ACC’s Free New Patient Safety Module
The ACC recently launched a new Patient Safety Maintenance of Certification (MOC) module that helps physicians earn points toward the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) MOC program while learning valuable information about patient safety. Free to both ACC members and nonmembers, the new module offers the opportunity to earn 10 MOC Part II Points, complete ABIM’s Patient Safety requirement, earn 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 CME CreditsTM, identify common errors that result in reduced patient safety, and learn tactics to prevent future errors from occurring. The online format provides feedback on questions as the user moves through the module and allows users to easily submit scores to the ABIM for MOC credit. The Patient Safety MOC module is among the first patient safety module developed by a specialty society to be approved by the ABIM. The ABIM recently committed to streamlining the process for recognizing products produced by specialty societies and other organizations for medical knowledge (Part II) credit.  To get started, login or register.

 

ACC’s International Exchange Database: Building a Resource with Your Help
The ACC Early Career Section Leadership Council’s International Working Group is building a network of international exchange programs. The goal is to provide a resource for ACC members interested in gaining new knowledge and skills in cardiovascular disease that could not be done locally. If you’ve participated in an observership, mini-sabbatical, or similar international opportunity, please take a moment to help us generate this resource by answering a few quick questions here.  

 

Find a Mentor, Be a Mentor: Register for ACC’s New Mentoring Program
The College’s new online mentoring program, developed through the efforts of the Early Career Professionals Leadership Council and Section, is designed to help create and foster mutually beneficial mentor/mentee relationships. The program connects experienced cardiovascular professionals with younger professionals based on areas of interest, specialty and expertise. Register online and find out more at CardioSource.org/Mentoring. 

Webinars, Events, Deadlines and More: Mark Your Calendar

Register for the Next Surviving MI Webinar
The next webinar in the Surviving MI series will take place on Friday, Sept. 26 at 1 p.m. ET. Webinar participants will learn about the evidence-based strategies associated with lower 30-day Risk Standardized Mortality Rates for patients with acute myocardial infarction. Register today. To get started with Surviving MI and view archived webinars, visit CVQuality.acc.org/SurvivingMI. Surviving MI is a quality initiative offered under the ACC's Quality Improvement for Institutions program.

Apply for FACC by Oct. 1 for Free
The ACC is waiving the $150 FACC application fee between now and Oct. 1 for those who completed their cardiovascular training in 2012 or 2013. Gain recognition as a cardiovascular professional who has reached the pinnacle of their career and is committed to providing only the highest standards of care: Advance to FACC. Advancing is easy and your annual dues will not increase. If your current membership is up-to-date, you’ll owe nothing at the time of application—just send us two sponsorship letters from current Fellows and your application. Download an application and find out more about how you can advance at CardioSource.org/ApplyforFree.

Apply for the 2015 Research and Career Development Awards
In a time when both public and private research grants have markedly decreased for early career researchers, the ACCF’s award program continues to support these young investigators. The 2014 ACC/ACCF awards program will present awards to support the training and development of young cardiovascular investigators in several categories. The Committee annually invites applications for the awards below on a broad range of research topics from cardiovascular professionals currently enrolled in accredited training programs to those in their early career years. Deadlines are mid-to-late September. Apply here.
 

July 2014

Hot Topics and Overarching News

Kim Eagle Named Editor of ACC.org

The ACC has named Kim A. Eagle, MC, MACC, as the editor of ACC.org. Eagle has served on the editorial board of CardioSource.org, the College’s web portal, for the past six years as an associate editor of the Journal Scan feature. He will take the helm of ACC.org, the College’s revamped web platform which will launch later this year.  Read more on CardioSource.org.

 

Vote for Your State’s BOG and Cardiovascular Team State Liaison

Elections for the 2014 Board of Governors (BOG) and Cardiovascular Team State Liaisons will be held Oct. 22 – Nov. 17. Elected representatives will bring local needs to national attention, create new initiatives, develop quality, advocacy, and educational opportunities, and expand the value of membership. To learn which states will be holding elections and for more information about the election process, visit CardioSource.org/Elections. Official results will be announced after the Board of Trustees meeting on Dec. 8.

 

In Memoriam: Suzanne B. Knoebel, MD, MACC

Past President of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Suzanne B. Knoebel, MD, MACC, of Indianapolis, Indiana passed away quietly with in-home hospice on Wednesday, July 2.  Knoebel joined the College as a member in 1970, and eventually became the first woman to serve as ACC president, taking on the role from 1982 to 1983. She also served as editor-in-chief of ACC Current Journal Review. Knoebel received the Distinguished Fellow Award from the ACC in 1986 for her service to the College and actions as a quality role model for others.  Read more about Knoebel’s life and accomplishments on CardioSource.org.

Publications

First Issue of JACC Debuts Under Dr. Valentin Fuster
The first issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) under the guidance of its new Editor-in-Chief Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC, debuted this week with several changes designed to better meet the changing ways cardiovascular professionals consume medical literature. Among the changes, every original science paper, state-of-the-art review, or review topic will be accompanied by a central illustration summarizing the overarching theme or major section of the paper. Every original science paper will also end with a perspective summary outlining the core clinical competencies and translational outlook that were produced as a result of the research. Finally, each issue will be accompanied by an audio recording, available as a downloadable podcast, to describe the thrust of the overall issue. Read more. 

JACC Leadership Page: The ACC’s Response to New ABIM MOC Requirements

Over the last several months, the ACC has continued to solicit and receive feedback from its members about the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM’s) new Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements. In a recent Leadership Page in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, ACC President Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, FACC, along with William J. Oetgen, MD, MBA, FACC, executive vice president of Science, Education and Quality for the ACC, summarize the ACC’s response to the ABIM, citing the results of a spring 2014 member survey commissioned by the ACC, in which nearly 90 percent of respondents opposed the changes to MOC. “The ACC is an educational organization in which the ongoing learning of our members is accorded strategic priority. Educational activities must be designed and delivered in ways that enhance provider performance and improve patient outcomes,” they write. O’Gara and Oetgen go to discuss the ACC’s ongoing efforts to with the ABIM to recalibrate the process and plans for supporting its membership in the interim. Read more in the latest Leadership Page.

 

ACC CEO Discusses Direction of the ACC

In a recent Leadership Page in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, ACC CEO Shalom Jacobovitz discusses where the College is heading, and explains how the PINNACLE Registry is a model program, embodying the College's strategic objectives centering on the triple aim of high-quality, appropriate and cost-effective care. Jacobovitz notes that implementation of the College's Strategic Plan includes "careful and thoughtful looks at the products we build and the programs and activities we undertake in order to ensure that they are: providing the greatest member value; supporting purposeful education; moving us toward transformation of care; positioning us as effective advocates; contributing to improvements in population health; and maximizing data to inform research and opportunities to improve outcomes." Read more here.

 

Coronary Artery Calcium: Score? or No More?

The cover story in the latest issue of CardioSource WorldNews discusses coronary artery calcium (CAC) scoring and its role in current practice. The article notes that “in short, no matter which way you slice it, most agree that CAC offers the best discrimination of all the second-tier assessment techniques available – an opinion that is echoed in the recent guidelines. In several studies, CAC provided additional risk stratification when added to traditional risk scores, testing better than C-reactive protein and carotid intima-media thickness.” However, the article explains that “coronary calcium scanning draws naysayers as well.” Other highlights from the issue include a straight talk column by Andrew Freeman, MD, FACC, about being more honest with patients about the true underlying causes of their disease, and encouraging conversations on the importance of eating well, living well, diet and exercise. Check out the full issue at CardioSource.org/CSWN.

 

Digital ACC Resources News: Find It on CardioSource.org

Stay In Touch with the ACC via Social Media
Stay in touch with the ACC and the latest clinical and advocacy news through ACCinTouch.  ACCinTouch connects ACC members and those interested in cardiovascular news through popular social networking channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Look for the ACCinTouch logo for the official ACC presence on these social media channels in order to connect with ACC members and those interested in cardiology. In addition to the ACC's main Twitter profile @ACCinTouch, the College also has profiles dedicated to news from the Advocacy team @Cardiology. CardioSmart, the ACC's patient education and support program, also has patient-centered cardiovascular news available through Facebook, Twitter @CardioSmart, and YouTube. For more information about ACC’s social media channels, visit CardioSource.org/ACCinTouch.

 

ACC Archived Webinars

Did you know that you can find archived webinars from throughout the years from the ACC on CardioSource.org? As a member, you have access to this wealth of information here. To access them, you must have a CardioSource.org log-in and use the confirmation code and webinar access link emailed to you once you. Questions? Contact ACC’s Resource Center at Phone: 202-375-6000, ext. 5603 or 800-253-4636, ext. 5603 or resource@acc.org.

 

Top Science and Quality News:

 

NCDR Seeks Comments on Proposed For Diabetes Collaborative Registry

The ACC, in partnership with the American Diabetes Association, American College of Physicians, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and the Joslin Diabetes Center, is launching a diabetes collaborative registry – the first clinical registry aimed at tracking and improving the quality of diabetes and cardiometabolic care across the primary and specialty care continuum. The new registry will allow for the longitudinal study of diabetes presentation, progression, management and outcomes, even as patients receive treatment from multidisciplinary care teams. To ensure that the most meaningful and applicable data is collected, the ACC is providing an open comment period on the proposed diabetes collaborative registry data collection forms, data dictionary and performance measures. The comment period will end on Friday, August 1. Please contact the NCDR at comment@acc.org or 800-257-4737 with any questions. CardioSource.org

 

Quality Improvement Meets Patient Engagement With CardioSmart.org Hospital Profiles

ACC’s dedication to quality improvement and patient-centered care has long been at the center of the College’s mission to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. Through its suite of NCDR clinical data registries and quality improvement programs, the ACC is helping institutions bridge gaps between science and practice and improve the quality of cardiovascular care they deliver. Additionally, ACC’s patient education and empowerment initiative, CardioSmart, is helping individuals prevent, treat and manage cardiovascular disease.  This year, the College is taking quality improvement and patient engagement to the next level. Starting in August, all hospitals participating in NCDR will have a Hospital Profile established on CardioSmart.org. Through these profiles, patients, caregivers and other stakeholders will be able to search hospitals based on specific criteria (location, hospital name, services provided) and learn about every participating hospital’s quality measurement efforts through the NCDR. As part of the College’s digital strategy, the Hospital Profiles have been developed using responsive design to ensure optimal viewing experience on computer, tablet and phone. Soon after the Hospital Profiles are established, voluntary hospital public reporting for select measures will be made available for the CathPCI Registry and ICD Registry. Eligible hospitals who voluntarily agree to report their data from these registries will have their measure results posted on their profile, demonstrating a further commitment to quality improvement. By having these measures available on CardioSmart.org, patients will be able to review hospitals based on their demographics and publicly reported data in order to understand the quality of care being provided in their area and make more informed care choices.

 

Top Advocacy and Health Policy News:

ACC President Takes Part in Congressional Roundtable

ACC President Patrick O’Gara, MD, FACC, was recently on Capitol Hill sharing his perspective on personalized medicine. The House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over public health, biomedical research, Medicare and Medicaid, the Department of Health and Human Services, and other health care-related issues, brought a diverse group of stakeholders together for a roundtable discussionon how personalized medicine can advance cures and treatments in the 21st Century. The roundtable provided an opportunity for key players in health care to have an open discussion about the advancements and pitfalls of personalized medicine and discuss its role in improving patient care moving forward. Read more here.

 

Physician Fee Schedule and Hospital Outpatient Rules

The recently released proposed rules for Medicare payment and quality provisions for physicians and hospital outpatient services in 2015 will have important ramifications for cardiovascular professionals. Get an overview of issues of critical importance to cardiologists during an ACC webinar on Aug. 5 at 2:30 p.m. ET (11:30 a.m. PT). Your input during the webinar will help shape ACC's comments, which will be submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) later this summer. In recent weeks, ACC Advocacy staff members have carefully reviewed both proposed rules and have developed detailed summaries highlighting important provisions for cardiology. Read the Proposed 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Summary and the Proposed 2015 Hospital Outpatient Summary. The final rules are expected in November.

 

Sunshine Act Report Preview Period Opens

Physicians and teaching hospitals can now review reports of the payments they received from industry between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31, 2013, before the reports are made public on Sept. 30. Under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act (Open Payments Program), payments to physicians and teaching hospitals must be reported by manufacturers and distributers of Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved products prescribed to patients and paid for by one of the federal health care programs. Physicians and teaching hospitals will have until Aug. 27 to preview and dispute information contained within the reports. After the close of the 45-day period, there is an additional 15-day period that physicians and teaching hospitals can use to continue to work with industry to resolve disputes. To preview your report, you must first create an account through the CMS Enterprise Portal, a system designed to verify your identity. You must then register specifically with the Open Payments System. Learn more and get tips for successfully registering on CardioSource.org. Join CMS for a Sunshine Act call on July 22 at 2:30 p.m. to get details on next steps and how the program will impact you.

 

Fighting for Stricter FDA Regulation of E-Cigarettes and Tobacco Products

Earlier this year, the FDA proposed a new rule that would extend its authority to cover electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) and additional tobacco products. The extension is part of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act passed in 2009, which granted the FDA authority to regulate tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. According to the proposal, the additional tobacco products that would be "deemed" to be subject to FDA regulation are those that meet the statutory definition of a tobacco product, including currently unregulated marketed products, such e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, nicotine gels, waterpipe (or hookah) tobacco, and dissolvables not already under the FDA's authority. While this is a step in the right direction, the ACC and its allies do not believe that the proposal extends far enough and could undo any gains made at the federal and state level. In a fight to reduce tobacco-related deaths, the ACC plans to submit comments to the FDA in the coming weeks. In addition to the College's comments, a number of ACC chapters have submitted letters calling for the FDA to strictly regulate e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. You can submit individual comments through Aug. 8 via a webpage created by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.

Top Education and Career Growth News:

Recalibrating the MOC Process

The ACC has continued to engage the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) in advocating for modifications to the revised requirements for Maintenance of Certification (MOC). Since our last ACC member communication, ABIM President Richard Baron, MD, has shared with the ACC and other professional societies preliminary process changes adopted by the ABIM Board during their June retreat. Learn more about the MOC changes and ACC resources.

 

Video Highlights ACC Resources to Help Members Meet MOC Part IV Requirements

As part of the ACC’s continued response to helping members navigate the new American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Requirements, the College has developed a short video outlining the ACC resources available to help members meet MOC Part IV requirements. The video is designed to quickly brief ACC members on how to get started with Part IV and highlight the College’s resources that are currently available in the ACC’s MOC hub. In addition to the video, the College has also developed a comprehensive listing of the free MOC Part II offerings currently available. New modules will be posted as they are available.

 

ACC’s International Exchange Database: Building a Resource with Your Help

The ACC Early Career Section Leadership Council’s International Working Group is building a network of international exchange programs. The goal is to provide a resource for ACC members interested in gaining new knowledge and skills in cardiovascular disease that could not be done locally. If you’ve participated in an observership, mini-sabbatical, or similar international opportunity, please take a moment to help us generate this resource by answering a few quick questions here.  

 

Find a Mentor, Be a Mentor: Register for ACC’s New Mentoring Program

The College’s new online mentoring program, developed through the efforts of the Early Career Professionals Leadership Council and Section, is designed to help create and foster mutually beneficial mentor/mentee relationships. The program connects experienced cardiovascular professionals with younger professionals based on areas of interest, specialty and expertise. Register online and find out more at CardioSource.org/Mentoring.  

Webinars, Events, Deadlines and More: Mark Your Calendar

Surviving MI Webinar

If you missed the introductory Surviving MI webinar, join us on August 6 for another webinar highlighting the Quality Improvement for Institutions’ new quality initiative. Learn more about this hospital learning network and ways in which you can lower 30-day risk standardized mortality rates (RSMR) for patients hospitalized with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) by adopting proven evidence-based strategies. Webinar participants will learn about program benefits and be introduced to features of the network. Click here to register.

 

ACC/SCAI Premier Interventional Cardiology Overview and Board Preparatory

Physicians preparing to certify or recertify for the American Board of Internal Medicine’s Interventional Board Exam or looking for the most comprehensive review of interventional cardiology are invited to attend the ACC/Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions’ Premier Interventional Cardiology Overview and Board Preparatory course in Amelia Island, FL from August 22 – 24. Providing the most up-to-date, evidence-based review of interventional cardiology available, this course offers the best opportunity to review a full range of knowledge in interventional cardiology and will identify and fill any gaps or weaknesses. Learn more on CardioSource.org.

 

Be Heard on the Hill: ACC’s Legislative Conference
You're invited to attend the ACC's 2014 Legislative Conference that will take place Sept. 14-16 in Washington, DC. This year's conference will provide the inside scoop on regulatory changes, legislative action and the state of cardiology to empower members to become effective advocates for patients and cardiovascular professionals. Don't miss the opportunity to hear first-hand from members of Congress, Capitol Hill staff and other policymakers who will provide an insider's view of Washington. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet directly with congressional leaders to ensure the voice of cardiology is heard on the Hill. Reserve your spot now.

ACCPAC Presents an Evening With James Carville and Mary Matalin

ACC Political Action Committee (PAC) is pleased to announce that political power couple, James Carville and Mary Matalin, will headline the annual ACCPAC dinner to kick off the 2014 Legislative Conference. Carville, America's best-known political consultant, and Matalin, one of the foremost conservative voices in America, will be the centerpiece of a fascinating and thought-provoking evening you don't want to miss. This headline event is open to all ACC members and will sell out. To reserve your tickets, contact ACCPAC Manager Kendra Adams at kadams@acc.org.

 

Apply for FACC by Oct. 1 for Free

The ACC is waiving the $150 FACC application fee between now and Oct. 1 for those who completed their cardiovascular training in 2012 or 2013. Gain recognition as a cardiovascular professional who has reached the pinnacle of their career and is committed to providing only the highest standards of care: Advance to FACC. Advancing is easy and your annual dues will not increase. If your current membership is up-to-date, you’ll owe nothing at the time of application—just send us two sponsorship letters from current Fellows and your application. Download an application and find out more about how you can advance at CardioSource.org/ApplyforFree.

 

Apply for the 2015 Research and Career Development Awards

In a time when both public and private research grants have markedly decreased for early career researchers, the ACCF’s award program continues to support these young investigators. The 2014 ACC/ACCF awards program will present awards to support the training and development of young cardiovascular investigators in the categories listed below. The Committee annually invites applications for the awards below on a broad range of research topics from cardiovascular professionals currently enrolled in accredited training programs to those in their early career years. Apply here.

Tools and Tips:

Using Social Media to Reach Lawmakers

Throughout the year, Wisconsin Chapter members take part in grassroots efforts such as legislator practice visits, the annual ACC Legislative Conference, fundraisers and more to ensure that lawmakers understand how their decisions impact the cardiovascular community and patients. Meeting face-to-face with legislators is crucial to ensuring the voice of cardiology is heard and using social media as an extension of the meeting can amplify the message. Currently, all 100 members of the Senate and nearly all members of the House of Representatives are on Twitter, as are many state lawmakers. Never before has it been so easy to reach decision makers. If you’re meeting with state or federal representatives, engaging with them via Twitter before and after the meeting is an easy way to reinforce your key points and thank them for their time. Be sure to share pictures and tweets about your meetings with ACC by tagging @Cardiology and using the hashtag #ACCGrassroots. Here are some sample messages:

 

  • Showed [@Legislator’s Twitter account] around [your practice/hospital name] today [photo]. @Cardiology  #ACCGrassroots  
  • Had a productive discussion about [issues discussed] w/ [@Legislator’s Twitter account] today. @Cardiology #ACCGrassroots
  • Thanks [@Legislator’s Twitter account] for visiting [your practice/hospital name] & hearing about how we’re advancing patient care. @Cardiology   
  • Thanks [@Legislator’s Twitter account]for taking the time to see to how policies decided on the Hill impact physicians & patients @Cardiology

Not on Twitter yet? Here’s a helpful guide to help you get started.

 

Together, we can help shape health policy in Wisconsin and beyond.
 

June 2014

Hot Topics and Overarching News

First Clinical Diabetes Registry to Provide Seamless View of Diabetes Patients Across Specialties
The ACC, in partnership with the American Diabetes Association, the American College of Physicians and Joslin Diabetes Center, has announced the launch of the Diabetes Collaborative Registry, the first clinical registry aimed at tracking and improving the quality of diabetes and cardiometabolic care across the primary and specialty care continuum. The Diabetes Collaborative Registry is made possible through support from founding sponsor AstraZeneca. Additional partners are expected to join the registry in the coming months. Learn more here.
 
Two ACC Chapters Receive CMMI Awards Grant for Innovative Health Care Delivery Pilot
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) on May 22 announced the award of a $15.8 million grant to support SMARTCare pilot projects designed by the ACC's Florida and Wisconsin chapters. The innovative pilots aim to reduce health care costs by providing tools to help doctors and patients communicate about options for their care while helping physicians apply the latest guidelines to the decision-making process. The tools include the ACC's FOCUS program to support imaging decisions, shared decision-making resources, PRISM individualized patient consent for stent procedures, INDIGO individualized patient cardiac risk profile and the ACC's hospital-based CathPCI Registry and outpatient-based PINNACLE Registry. Read more on CardioSource.org.
 
ACC Response to ABIM's MOC Requirements
As part of the ACC's ongoing efforts to address the American Board of Internal Medicine's new Maintenance of Certification requirements, the ACC has developed a response that takes into account member feedback over the last several months and outlines the College's commitment to improving the process moving forward. As stated in the document, the ACC's commitment to its members and their patients remains steadfast. Advocating for our members to assist them in the provision of professional, knowledgeable and compassionate care, coupled with demonstration of ongoing competence, will continue to guide our actions and fulfill our obligations to society.
 
Nominate Your Next ACC Leaders
Submit your recommendations for the slate of Officers and Trustees for the ACC by July 31, 2014. Recommendations are invited for the positions of Vice President, President-Elect, and Trustees. The Vice President will serve a one-year term and traditionally advances to the office of President-Elect. Each Trustee will serve a five-year term. Officers and Trustees can serve in both organizations for the duration of their terms. The elections will take place at the Annual Business Meeting in March 2015 in San Diego. To learn more about nomination guidelines and see who is on the Nominating committee, head to CardioSource.org/Leadership. Questions? Contact Carissa Maguire at 202-375-6246.
 
CardioSmart at Upcoming Chapter Meetings
Keep your eyes peeled for representatives from ACC’s CardioSmart patient initiative at your upcoming Chapter meetings. Designed to be an extension of you and your cardiac care team, CardioSmart delivers a network of tools and resources intended to engage, inform and empower your patients and their caregivers. Be a CardioSmart practice by using any of these tools and resources that work best for your practice, including our new CardioSmart Infographic Poster on Finding Your Energy Balance or our electronic Clinician/Patient Toolkit.  Already a CardioSmart Practice? Share your story at cardiologyeditor@acc.org.
 
 

Publications

Latest Issue of Cardiology Looks at Globally Transforming Cardiovascular Care
The latest issue of Cardiology magazine explores the College’s global reach and how the College is thinking globally to transform cardiovascular care. Read about the ACC’s efforts to improve population health in China, building programs to increase purposeful education in India, expanding data information and knowledge globally, and more. Get to know ACC leaders including Michael Mansour, MD, FACC, chair of the Board of Governors, and learn more about a ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) Initiative in Louisiana. Catch up on the latest issue at CardioSource.org/Cardiology.
 
JACC President’s Page: Letting Data Do the Talking
Over the last several years, the subject of how best to measure outcomes, improve care and lower health care costs has engendered much debate and discussion in the health care community as well as among consumers, industry, and state and local lawmakers. In a recent President’s Page in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, ACC President Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, FACC, along with John S. Rumsfeld, MD, PhD, FACC, and Frederick A. Masoudi, MD, MSPH, FACC, write about the ways “clinical data registries – like those that fall under the umbrella of the NCDR – are an important part of these discussions.” In particular, they note that registries can track and assess the quality of care and outcomes, perform cutting-edge research, identify gaps in care and uncover areas where the profession can continue to improve. “An overarching strategic goal of the ACC is to be the preeminent source of cardiovascular clinical data that can help physicians and hospitals deliver high-quality and affordable patient care. The challenge lies in continuing to engage physicians, nurses, administrators, hospitals and other stakeholders in the registry programs in a manner that ensures the highest level of data quality, broader use and interpretation of data reports, and ongoing commitments to improving the delivery of care,” they write. Read more in the latest President’s Page column.
 
PCSK9: Blockbuster or Sideshow?
The cover story in the latest issue of CardioSource WorldNews highlights the PCSK9 inhibitor studies presented at ACC.14 and notes that evolocumab (formerly called AMG 145; Amgen) garnered the most attention with five phase III studies presented – including two Late-Breaking Clinical Trials. Other highlights from the issue include a straight talk column with Spencer B. King, III, MD, MACC, editor-in-chief of JACC Cardiovascular Interventions, who compares the Good Samaritan parable to hospitals who face severe financial problems, a clinical innovators interview with Devi Shetty, MD, FACC, on making cardiac surgery affordable, and more. Check out the full issue at CardioSource.org/CSWN.

Digital ACC Resources News: Find It on CardioSource.org

Stay In Touch with the ACC via Social Media
Stay in touch with the ACC and the latest clinical and advocacy news through ACCinTouch.  ACCinTouch connects ACC members and those interested in cardiovascular news through popular social networking channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Look for the ACCinTouch logo for the official ACC presence on these social media channels in order to connect with ACC members and those interested in cardiology. In addition to the ACC's main Twitter profile @ACCinTouch, the College also has profiles dedicated to news from the Advocacy team @Cardiology. CardioSmart, the ACC's patient education and support program, also has patient-centered cardiovascular news available through Facebook, Twitter @CardioSmart, and YouTube. For more information about ACC’s social media channels, visit CardioSource.org/ACCinTouch.
 
New Medical Mobile App Reviews Help You Enhance Patient Care
With a plethora of medical mobile apps on the market, it can often be challenging to know which ones to implement in clinical practice. To solve this problem, the ACC’s Informatics Task Force has developed a series of Mobile App Reviews to help providers adopt tools that optimize patient care. Current categories include Patient Education apps, Manuscript Writing Assistance apps, Protected Health Information Sharing and HIPAA Compliance apps, and Recording Patient Data for Patients apps. Read the reviews to decide which apps are the right fit for you and be sure to check back often for updates. Do you have an app to recommend? Please email reviewsubmissions@acc.org to submit a review.
 
ACC Archived Webinars
Did you know that you can find archived webinars from throughout the years from the ACC on CardioSource.org? As a member, you have access to this wealth of information here. To access them, you must have a CardioSource.org log-in and use the confirmation code and webinar access link emailed to you once you. Questions? Contact ACC’s Resource Center at Phone: 202-375-6000, ext. 5603 or 800-253-4636, ext. 5603 or resource@acc.org.
 

Top Science and Quality News:

NQF Opens Public Comment Period for Cardiovascular Measures
The National Quality Forum (NQF) is seeking public comments between now and June 25 at 6 p.m. ET on 12 cardiovascular measures submitted by the ACC for endorsement. Many of these 12 measures were developed through the joint ACC/American Heart Association (AHA) Task Force on Performance Measures. The public comment period provides an opportunity for the cardiovascular community and other stakeholders to play an active role in the development of performance measures that could potentially have a direct impact on hospitals and facilities. ACC has committed significant resources over the years in both developing and testing cardiovascular measures. The measures submitted meet key attributes of measurement and can be found here. Following the comment period, the NQF expert panel will review the comments and make their final recommendations to the NQF Board. Official endorsement from NQF would better ensure ACC and AHA developed measures would be included in key national public reporting and payment programs. While this process is lengthy, your support and comments are critical to ensuring ACC’s continued success at NQF. To this end we encourage you to submit comments via the NQF website by June 25. In order to comment on the measures, you must have an NQF log on. If you do not have one, you can set one up here.
 
ACC President Offers Perspective on Recent Release of Physician Payment Data
On April 9, then Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the release of privacy-protected data on services provided to Medicare Fee-For-Service beneficiaries in 2012 by individual physicians and other healthcare professionals. In the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, ACC President Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, FACC provides a perspective on this unprecedented release.
 
ACC/HRS/AHA Statement on ICDs in Patients Not Included or Well Represented in Clinical Trials
The ACC, the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have released an expert consensus statement on the use of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) in patients who are not included or not well represented in clinical trials. The statement, released during Heart Rhythm 2014, and simultaneously published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, provides a first-of-its-kind direction on ICD therapy since the patient populations are not specifically included in existing guidelines. The statement includes a series of recommendations, providing an explanation of the reasoning and research used to make each one. Key among these recommendations are situations for which ICD therapy might be beneficial in selected populations: in patients with an abnormal troponin that is not due to a myocardial infarction, within 40 days after a myocardial infarction, within the first 90 days after revascularization, and in the first nine months after initial diagnosis of nonischemic cardiomyopathy. In addition to these new treatment guidelines, the statement also evaluates the utility of an atrial lead in a patient requiring ICD therapy without cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), providing recommendations for specific scenarios where CRT is not indicated or not desired and a physician must choose between a single or dual-chamber ICD. Meanwhile, ACC coverage of select trials being presented at Heart Rhythm 2014 will be posted on CardioSource.
 

Top Advocacy and Health Policy News:

CMS Assigns Interventional Cardiology Specialty Designation
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) developed a new specialty code in interventional cardiology to reflect its distinction from other specialties. Your ACC supported a request from the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions to obtain the new designation, which allows CMS to distinguish an interventional cardiologist from a clinical cardiologist when billing for Medicare services. Previously, no mechanism existed for CMS to accurately report on this category of physician and some local Medicare carriers have denied claims, citing duplicate billing, when a cardiologist and an interventionalist from the same group practice have billed for patient evaluation services. The new code allows for the reporting of the involvement of two specialty physicians providing distinct services to an individual patient. Members can change the designation through updated enrollment using the Medicare Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System.
 
Success in the States on CPR/AED Graduation Requirements
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn recently signed similar pieces of legislation requiring all students to complete instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an automated external defibrillator in order to graduate from a public high school. Both laws will be effective for the 2014-2015 school year. The ACC State Team is working closely with the American Heart Association to support the passage of these laws in the states. Now 18 states have laws that require CPR training for high school graduation and 16 states have similar bills pending.
 
ACC Advocates MOC Changes at AMA Meeting
Representatives from the ACC were at the American Medical Association's (AMA's) annual House of Delegates meeting in Chicago this week advocating for a number of policies, including maintenance of certification changes and increased involvement of younger physicians in the AMA. ACC's delegates joined the House of Medicine in commending CVS/Caremark for taking tobacco off shelves and urged others to implement similar policies. Additionally, ACC delegates expressed support for public health initiatives regarding scholastic athlete safety and the prevention of sudden cardiac arrest. Other hot topics included clinical registries and the Choosing Wisely program; tobacco regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and nutritional labeling and education; and the appropriate use criteria mandate included in the Sustainable Growth Rate patch.
 
Are You Ready for the Sunshine Act?
The ACC strongly encourages physicians to register to preview reports of industry payments made to them before the reports are made public on Sept. 30 as required by the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. The registration system opened on June 1 and is now available at portal.cms.gov. Tips for successfully registering:
 
  • Review these slides for step-by-step instructions (starting on slide 14)
  • Physicians must register themselves – staff will not be able to register for you
  • Have a copy of your credit report next to you while registering
  • Designate a member of your staff to be given access to your report during the preview period
  • You do not need to create a new CMS Enterprise Identity Management system (EIDM) account if you use the Health Insurance Oversight System, the Medicaid and CHIP Program System or other CMS systems
  • PECOS, the National Provider Identifier enumeration system and the Surrogate User Program are not connected to the EIDM system, so you cannot use existing accounts on those systems for Sunshine Act purposes
  • Contact openpayments@cms.hhs.gov with any problems with registration
  • Contact Experian Proofing Support Services for assistance with identity proofing concerns
 
Last Chance to Avoid EHR Incentive Program Penalties
Physicians and hospitals that have not implemented electronic health records (EHRs) and did not participate in the EHR Incentive Program in 2013 have until July 1, 2014, to begin participating in the program in order to avoid a penalty in 2015. This deadline for avoiding the penalty is unaffected by the proposed delay of Stage 2 implementation. Previous program participants who do not participate in 2014 face a penalty in 2016. For those who face participation difficulties as a result of vendor issues, there is a pertinent hardship exemption that is available. Applications for hardship exemptions must be submitted by July 1, 2014, to avoid the 2015 payment penalty.
 
New Data Sets Released
Following the release of Medicare physician payment data in May 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the new data sets recently, including 2012 Medicare hospital charge data, Medicare chronic conditions data and geographic variation data. Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched its new open data initiative, openFDA. As part of its first data release, the FDA has made available data on drug adverse events and medication errors submitted to the FDA from 2004 to 2013. Also released was a research cohort estimate tool that will help researchers estimate the number of Medicare beneficiaries with certain demographic profiles or health conditions. The release of the Medicare hospital charge data is described as the first annual update of hospital inpatient and outpatient data. The first release of hospital data was last spring. Data include information comparing the average charges for services that may be provided in connection with the 100 most common Medicare inpatient stays in all 50 states and Washington, DC. HHS is encouraging application developers to create tools to help patients, physicians and researchers make decisions regarding health care choices and for other purposes by sponsoring various challenges to developers.
 

Top Education and Career Growth News:

ACC Responds to ABIM’s MOC Requirements
As part of the College’s ongoing efforts to address the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM’s) new Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements, the ACC has developed the following response that takes into account member feedback over the last several months and outlines the College’s commitment to improving the process moving forward. This response was unanimously approved by the ACC’s Executive Committee and Board of Trustees. As stated in the document, the ACC’s commitment to its members and their patients remains steadfast. Advocating for our members to assist them in the provision of professional, knowledgeable and compassionate care, coupled with demonstration of ongoing competence, will continue to guide our actions and fulfill our obligations to society. Read ACC’s response on the ACC in Touch Blog here. Also, be sure to take a look at JACC commentary by Steven Lloyd, MD, PhD, FACC and ACC President Patrick O’Gara, MD, FACC, which illustrates ACC’s promise and plan on mastering MOC changes. For more MOC resources from the ACC, visit these:
 
ACC’s International Exchange Database: Building a Resource with Your Help
The ACC Early Career Section Leadership Council’s International Working Group is building a network of international exchange programs. The goal is to provide a resource for ACC members interested in gaining new knowledge and skills in cardiovascular disease that could not be done locally. If you’ve participated in an observership, mini-sabbatical, or similar international opportunity, please take a moment to help us generate this resource by answering a few quick questions here.  
 
Find a Mentor, Be a Mentor: Register for ACC’s New Mentoring Program
The College’s new online mentoring program, developed through the efforts of the Early Career Professionals Leadership Council and Section, is designed to help create and foster mutually beneficial mentor/mentee relationships. The program connects experienced cardiovascular professionals with younger professionals based on areas of interest, specialty and expertise. Register online and find out more at CardioSource.org/Mentoring.  
 

Webinars, Events, Deadlines and More: Mark Your Calendar

ACC’s June Journal Club Date Change
The ACC will hold its next Journal Club web-based session at 8 p.m. ET on June 25. The new online educational series is hosted by Dipti Itchhaporia, MD, FACC, Robert Harrington, MD, FACC, and Harlan Krumholz, MD, SM, FACC, and features live webinars on CardioSource.org. ACC members signed up for the webinar presentations have the opportunity to interact with the speakers and fellow audience members, and post questions and comments to a discussion board. For those unable to join online, the option to call-in and listen to an audio version is also available. A unique feature of the Journal Club program is the opportunity for Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part II points.  At the end of each monthly Journal Club, participants have the opportunity to answer three MOC questions, earning up to a total of 30 points by the end of the year. This opportunity will be available for archived Journal Club articles as well. Learn more about the Journal Club. Also, take part in the Journal Club discussion page and tweet using #ACCJournalClub.
 
Be Heard on the Hill: ACC’s Legislative Conference
You're invited to attend the ACC's 2014 Legislative Conference that will take place Sept. 14-16 in Washington, DC. This year's conference will provide the inside scoop on regulatory changes, legislative action and the state of cardiology to empower members to become effective advocates for patients and cardiovascular professionals. Don't miss the opportunity to hear first-hand from members of Congress, Capitol Hill staff and other policymakers who will provide an insider's view of Washington. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet directly with congressional leaders to ensure the voice of cardiology is heard on the Hill. Reserve your spot now.
 
ACCPAC Presents an Evening With James Carville and Mary Matalin
ACC Political Action Committee (PAC) is pleased to announce that political power couple, James Carville and Mary Matalin, will headline the annual ACCPAC dinner to kick off the 2014 Legislative Conference. Carville, America's best-known political consultant, and Matalin, one of the foremost conservative voices in America, will be the centerpiece of a fascinating and thought-provoking evening you don't want to miss. This headline event is open to all ACC members and will sell out. To reserve your tickets, contact ACCPAC Manager Kendra Adams at kadams@acc.org.
 

Tools and Tips


 
How to be a Resource to Local and State Media: A Guide for ACC Chapter Governors
Here are some top tips from ACC’s Media Relations staff on how to serve as a resource for media in your state. Questions? Contact Stephanie Abraham, ACC Media Relations Associate at sabraham@acc.org or 202-375-6296.
 
  1. Follow health issues in the local media and become familiar with the work of state and local health reporters.
    1. Begin developing relationships with those reporters by sending personal positive comments to the individual journalists and offering comment when cardiovascular issues are in the news.
    2. ACC Media Relations staff can help you find contact information for specific journalists.
  2. When you see something written in a local paper that you are interested in and could benefit from ACC perspective, contact the ACC media relations office for advice.
    1. Act quickly and try to anticipate cardiovascular issues in the news.
    2. We can assist you with drafting letters to the editor and review your drafts.
    3. Also feel empowered to write positive comments on the story itself.
  3. Work with the ACC media relations team to develop key messages that could be used for an interview on the topic at hand.
    1. ACC media relations can help you evaluate and manage challenging interview requests.
  4. Consider leading heart healthy events like “Walk with a Doc” and participating in health fairs.
    1. Offer to be the on-site expert.
 
Using Social Media to Reach Lawmakers
Throughout the year, Wisconsin Chapter members take part in grassroots efforts such as legislator practice visits, the annual ACC Legislative Conference, fundraisers and more to ensure that lawmakers understand how their decisions impact the cardiovascular community and patients. Meeting face-to-face with legislators is crucial to ensuring the voice of cardiology is heard and using social media as an extension of the meeting can amplify the message. Currently, all 100 members of the Senate and nearly all members of the House of Representatives are on Twitter, as are many state lawmakers. Never before has it been so easy to reach decision makers. If you’re meeting with state or federal representatives, engaging with them via Twitter before and after the meeting is an easy way to reinforce your key points and thank them for their time. Be sure to share pictures and tweets about your meetings with ACC by tagging @Cardiology and using the hashtag #ACCGrassroots. Here are some sample messages:  
  • Showed [@Legislator’s Twitter account] around [your practice/hospital name] today [photo]. @Cardiology  #ACCGrassroots  
  • Had a productive discussion about [issues discussed] w/ [@Legislator’s Twitter account] today. @Cardiology #ACCGrassroots
  • Thanks [@Legislator’s Twitter account] for visiting [your practice/hospital name] & hearing about how we’re advancing patient care. @Cardiology   
  • Thanks [@Legislator’s Twitter account] for taking the time to see to how policies decided on the Hill impact physicians & patients @Cardiology

Not on Twitter yet? Here’s a helpful guide to help you get started.
 
Together, we can help shape health policy in Wisconsin and beyond.
 

May 2014

Hot Topics

Grassroots Efforts Help Protect Patient Access 
California Senate Bill 1215 (S.B 1215), which sought to remove the in-office ancillary exception for advanced modality imaging (including PET, CT and MRI) and many other services performed outside cardiology, was successfully defeated on April 28 when a Senate committee voted against advancing the legislation. Through a CA-ACC grassroots campaign, chapter members met face-to-face with lawmakers to educate them on the bill’s consequences. During the committee hearing, Norman E. Lepor, MD, FACC, governor-elect of the CA-ACC (Southern), and one of his patients underscored how this legislation would diminish patient care by limiting access to life-saving cardiovascular services and raise the cost to Medicare and patients. Because California lawmakers were convinced that S.B. 1215 could negatively impact access to cardiovascular services in California, other states do not have the legislative precedent or political momentum to justify similar proposals. Nevertheless, ACC and its chapters will remain vigilant in tracking such proposals and educating state lawmakers on why cardiac imaging is a cost-efficient, life-saving procedure. Grassroots efforts such as these are imperative to ensuring that lawmakers understand how their decisions impact the cardiovascular community and patients. Get involved in ACC’s Advocacy efforts by inviting state and congressional legislators to tour your office or meeting with them in their home offices. Contact Elizabeth Shaw at eshaw@acc.org to set up a visit. Also, be sure to mark your calendar for ACC’s annual Legislative Conference, Sept. 14-16, 2014 in Washington, DC.  

CMS Releases Physician Payment Data
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released data on the health care services delivered by individual physicians in 2012 and how much Medicare paid for these services. As of April 9, Medicare Part B Fee-For-Service data are available on more than 880,000 health care professionals across all 50 states and will include 6,000 types of services and procedures. Data is available in Excel by provider last name here.

ACC Launches New PVI Registry
The ACC’s suite of data registries has been expanded to provide data collection and reporting on lower extremity peripheral arterial catheter-based procedures. Part of the ACC’s NCDR, the new Peripheral Vascular Intervention (PVI) Registry was created to address the need for more information on the use and outcomes of interventional procedures for the treatment of peripheral vascular patients. Like other ACC registries, the PVI Registry provides physicians and hospitals with quarterly risk-adjusted benchmark reports and executive summary dashboards that allow for detailed comparisons. Data can be used to assess guideline adherence, for performance improvement efforts, and to meet new ABIM Maintenance of Certification Part IV requirements. Learn more on CardioSource.org
 

Overarching News

In Memoriam: Past California Governor George Smith, Jr., MD, FACC
The ACC family mourns the loss of Past California Governor George Smith, Jr., MD, FACC. Smith was active in the ACC, serving as Chair of the ACC Political Action Committee for a time, and served as a member of the College’s Ethics and Discipline Committee. Learn more about the incredible life of Dr. Smith in his hometown newspaper, The Press Democrat.

ACC’s Strategic Plan Goes to Implementation Phase
ACC staff and member leaders are now in the implementation phase of the College’s five-year Strategic Plan, as drawn out over the last year and was approved at the December ACC Board of Trustees meeting. The Strategic Plan is intended to direct the College’s activities and ensure the ACC’s strategic priorities are mission-focused. Learn more about the direction of the ACC online here.

CardioSmart at Upcoming Chapter Meetings
Keep your eyes peeled for representatives from ACC’s CardioSmart patient initiative at your upcoming Chapter meetings. Designed to be an extension of you and your cardiac care team, CardioSmart delivers a network of tools and resources intended to engage, inform and empower your patients and their caregivers. Be a CardioSmart practice by using any of these tools and resources that work best for your practice, including our new CardioSmart Infographic Poster on Finding Your Energy Balance or our electronic Clinician/Patient Toolkit.  Already a CardioSmart Practice? Share your story at cardiologyeditor@acc.org.
 

Digital ACC Resources News: Find It on CardioSource.org

Stay In Touch with the ACC via Social Media
Stay in touch with the ACC and the latest clinical and advocacy news through ACCinTouch.  ACCinTouch connects ACC members and those interested in cardiovascular news through popular social networking channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Look for the ACCinTouch logo for the official ACC presence on these social media channels in order to connect with ACC members and those interested in cardiology. In addition to the ACC's main Twitter profile @ACCinTouch, the College also has profiles dedicated to news from the Advocacy team @Cardiology. CardioSmart, the ACC's patient education and support program, also has patient-centered cardiovascular news available through Facebook, Twitter @CardioSmart, and YouTube. For more information about ACC’s social media channels, visit CardioSource.org/ACCinTouch.

New Medical Mobile App Reviews Help You Enhance Patient Care
With a plethora of medical mobile apps on the market, it can often be challenging to know which ones to implement in clinical practice. To solve this problem, the ACC’s Informatics Task Force has developed a series of Mobile App Reviews to help providers adopt tools that optimize patient care. Current categories include Patient Education apps, Manuscript Writing Assistance apps, Protected Health Information Sharing and HIPAA Compliance apps, and Recording Patient Data for Patients apps. Read the reviews to decide which apps are the right fit for you and be sure to check back often for updates. Do you have an app to recommend? Please email reviewsubmissions@acc.org to submit a review.

ACC Archived Webinars
Did you know that you can find archived webinars from throughout the years from the ACC on CardioSource.org? As a member, you have access to this wealth of information here. To access them, you must have a CardioSource.org log-in and use the confirmation code and webinar access link emailed to you once you. Questions? Contact ACC’s Resource Center at Phone: (202) 375-6000, ext. 5603 or (800) 253-4636, ext. 5603 or resource@acc.org.
 

Top Science and Quality News:

NCDR Study Looks at Trends of Clopidogrel vs. Prasugrel in STEMI and NSTEMI Patients
Based on current guidelines by the ACC and the American Heart Association, administering dual antiplatelet therapy as soon as possible for all eligible myocardial infarction (MI) is a recommended course of action regardless of a physician's impending revascularization strategy. Multiple randomized trials have shown that a P2Y12 antagonist, alongside aspirin, can significantly improve cardiovascular outcomes in ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and non-STEMI (NSTEMI) patients. Most of this data however, is based on the P2Y12 antagonist clopidogrel. Meanwhile, second-generation antagonists, such as prasugrel, have demonstrated a more rapid, potent and consistent antiplatelet effect than clopidogrel. In a study published April 14 in Journal of the American Heart Association  , Matthew Sherwood, MD, Duke Clinical Research Institute, and his colleagues sought to understand the appropriateness of using either of these drugs and assess changes in antiplatelet management practices. They found that prasugrel use increased significantly from 2009-2012, jumping from three percent to 18 percent (five percent to 30 percent in STEMI and two to 10 percent in NSTEMI), as well as "concerning evidence of inappropriate use of prasugrel, and inadequate targeting of this more potent therapy to maximize the benefit/risk ratio." Read more on the study that used data from the ACTION Registry-GWTG on CardioSource.org.

NCDR Study Examines First Medical Contact to PCI Time in STEMI Patients
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), 250,000 people in the U.S. suffer from a ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) every year. For these patients, a lack of timely access from first medical contact (FMC) to percutaneous coronary intervention (FMC2B) is associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Current guidelines from the ACC and AHA recommend that STEMI patients are treated in 90 minutes or less from FMC, but unfortunately only a minority of patients meet this goal. In a study published April 7 in the American Heart Journal , a team led by Bryn E. Mumma, MD, MAS, sought to better understand the relationship between the use of prehospital electrocardiograms (ECG) and patient home distance from the percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) center on reperfusion time in STEMI patients. The authors established that patients with a prehospital ECG had a 10 minute reduction in their FMC2B time, however, "patient home distance from a PCI center does not substantially change this association." Read more on the study that used data from the ACTION Registry-GWTG on CardioSource.org.

FDA Approves Expanded Uses of Dabigatran
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the anticoagulant dabigatran (Pradaxa) "for the treatment of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) in patients who have been treated with a parenteral anticoagulant for five to 10 days, and to reduce the risk of recurrent DVT and PE in patients who have been previously treated," according to a press release from Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Read more. 
 

Top Advocacy and Health Policy News:

ICD-10 Delayed: What to do Next?
In addition to delaying the Sustainable Growth Rate formula for 12 months, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 set back the ICD-10 implementation date until at least Oct. 1, 2015. While the revised implementation date has yet to be set, the ACC urges members to continue cultivating their ICD-10 program. If your practice has not taken actions to implement ICD-10, you now have time to get your office ready for the new implementation date. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) , the American Health Information Management Association , and the American Medical Association have checklists that can help you prepare your office for the change. If your practice is ready for implementation, ACC advises you to keep up the impressive strides you have already taken. Don't forget to verify that your vendors are ready or will be on-time getting their systems in order. If you have already trained your staff and coders, have your coders start to review charts to see if your documentation satisfies the requirements of the ICD-10 code set. You're encouraged to use this delay as a reminder that the switchover is coming soon and use the time to pursue your implementation goals.

Using Social Media to Reach Lawmakers
Throughout the year, Wisconsin Chapter members take part in grassroots efforts such as legislator practice visits, the annual ACC Legislative Conference, fundraisers and more to ensure that lawmakers understand how their decisions impact the cardiovascular community and patients. Meeting face-to-face with legislators is crucial to ensuring the voice of cardiology is heard and using social media as an extension of the meeting can amplify the message. Currently, all 100 members of the Senate and nearly all members of the House of Representatives are on Twitter, as are many state lawmakers. Never before has it been so easy to reach decision makers. If you’re meeting with state or federal representatives, engaging with them via Twitter before and after the meeting is an easy way to reinforce your key points and thank them for their time. Be sure to share pictures and tweets about your meetings with ACC by tagging @Cardiology and using the hashtag #ACCGrassroots. Here are some sample messages:
  • Showed [@Legislator’s Twitter account] around [your practice/hospital name] today [photo]. @Cardiology  #ACCGrassroots  
  • Had a productive discussion about [issues discussed] w/ [@Legislator’s Twitter account] today. @Cardiology #ACCGrassroots
  • Thanks [@Legislator’s Twitter account] for visiting [your practice/hospital name] & hearing about how we’re advancing patient care. @Cardiology   
  • Thanks [@Legislator’s Twitter account] for taking the time to see to how policies decided on the Hill impact physicians & patients @Cardiology
Not on Twitter yet? Here’s a helpful guide to help you get started.
 
Together, we can help shape health policy in Wisconsin and beyond.
 
Study Examines the Evidentiary Rationales of Choosing Wisely’s Top 5 Lists
Choosing Wisely is an initiative of the ABIM Foundation to help physicians and patients engage in conversations to reduce overuse of tests and procedures, and support physician efforts to help patients make smart and effective care choices. As of August 2013, 25 participating specialty societies, including the ACC, had produced one or more Top 5 lists containing a total of 135 services. A new research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association evaluates the evidentiary rationales used by specialty societies to create the lists. Learn more about the results of this evaluation here. Head to ACC in Touch Blog to read a post by William A. Zoghbi, MD, MACC, Joseph P. Drozda, Jr., MD, FACC, Joseph M. Allen, MA, and William J. Oetgen, MD, MBA, is in response to the JAMA perspective piece on Choosing Wisely. The ACC continues to work with Choosing Wisely to develop patient and provider tools that help facilitate discussions about appropriate tests and procedures. Already, physician/patient communication modules and patient fact sheets have been developed. Learn more at www.choosingwisely.org.. For more an ACC’s appropriate use tools and clinical documents go to CardioSource.org/FOCUS.

AMA Releases Coding Update
The American Medical Association has released its Category III CPT coding update. These updated codes have an effective date of Jan. 1, 2014 although they are not in the 2014 HCPCS book. Cardiovascular codes to note are the Category III codes for Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair Percutaneous. Read more on the AMA website.

PQRS Group Registration Now Open
As of April 1, group practices can self-nominate and select the Group Practice Reporting Option (GPRO) web interface, registry reporting mechanism, or the CMS-calculated administrative claims reporting method for the 2014 PQRS reporting period. Practices already submitting data to the ACC's PINNACLE Registry can learn more about PQRS opportunities, here.

EHR Deadline Ahead
In order to avoid a penalty in 2015, physicians must begin participating in the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program by July 1, 2014 and must attest to 2014 participation by Oct. 1, 2014. Physicians struggling to meet the requirements for the program must submit hardship exception applications by July 1, 2014 at midnight (ET). View a newly expanded list of exceptions. Navigate the EHR Incentive Program based on your level of participation.

CMS’ ‘Two Midnight’ Rule Reminder
CMS has notified hospitals that Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) have been conducting prepayment patient status probe reviews on a sample of 10 claims for the majority of hospitals (25 claims for large hospitals) with admission dates on or after Oct. 1, 2013 as part of the "two midnight" rule. While the education component of the process has begun, MACs have been directed to wait 45 days before requesting additional documentation from providers. 
 

Top Education and Career Growth News:

Everything You Need to Know About ABIM’s MOC Changes The ACC supports Maintenance of Certification (MOC).  We believe that it engages physicians in lifelong learning and continued performance improvement.  However, we are acutely aware of our members’ misunderstanding of and dissatisfaction and frustration with the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) new MOC process. We are working with ABIM and the larger internal medicine community to 1) educate cardiovascular professionals about the new requirements; 2) provide tools and resources to help physicians meet the requirements in the most efficient way possible; and 3) provide feedback to ABIM on ways to evolve and refine and program so that it is more transparent, involves greater integration with medical societies, and minimizes the impacts of monetary costs and physician time necessary to meet the requirements – particularly for those physicians with multiple board certifications.
 
In response to these requirement changes, the ACC’s Education Quality Review Board (EQRB) released a special report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) outlining the changes and EQRB efforts to help ACC members both understand and meet the new requirements. The new MOC requirements, which became effective on Jan. 1, apply to all certified physicians and require specific proactive steps on the part of physicians between now and the end of March, as well as over the next two years. Also, be sure to take a look at JACC commentary by Steven Lloyd, MD, PhD, FACC and ACC President Patrick O’Gara, MD, FACC, which illustrates ACC’s promise and plan on mastering MOC changes. For more MOC resources from the ACC, visit these:

ACC’s International Exchange Database: Building a Resource with Your Help
The ACC Early Career Section Leadership Council’s International Working Group is building a network of international exchange programs. The goal is to provide a resource for ACC members interested in gaining new knowledge and skills in cardiovascular disease that could not be done locally. If you’ve participated in an observership, mini-sabbatical, or similar international opportunity, please take a moment to help us generate this resource by answering a few quick questions here.  
 
Find a Mentor, Be a Mentor: Register for ACC’s New Mentoring Program
The College’s new online mentoring program, developed through the efforts of the Early Career Professionals Leadership Council and Section, is designed to help create and foster mutually beneficial mentor/mentee relationships. The program connects experienced cardiovascular professionals with younger professionals based on areas of interest, specialty and expertise. Register online and find out more at CardioSource.org/Mentoring. 
 

Webinars, Events, Deadlines and More: Mark Your Calendar

ACC Journal Club Dates Announced
The ACC will hold web-based sessions at 8 p.m. EST on May 21 and June 18 for its innovative new monthly Journal Club series hosted by Dipti Itchhaporia, MD, FACC, Robert Harrington, MD, FACC, and Harlan Krumholz, MD, SM, FACC. The new online educational series, which debuted at ACC.14, features live webinars on CardioSource.org. ACC members signed up for the webinar presentations have the opportunity to interact with the speakers and fellow audience members, and post questions and comments to a discussion board. For those unable to join online, the option to call-in and listen to an audio version is also available. A unique feature of the Journal Club program is the opportunity for Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part II points.  At the end of each monthly Journal Club, participants have the opportunity to answer three MOC questions, earning up to a total of 30 points by the end of the year. This opportunity will be available for archived Journal Club articles as well. Learn more about the Journal Club.
 
Practice Management Webinar Series Begins May 15
Attend a webinar series focused on helping you best manage your practice! The first webinar on May 15, Public Reporting: What You Need to Know, focuses on helping you identify key sources for publicly reported data. Upcoming webinars will also focus on integrating quality programs into your service line, preparing your practice for an audit, compensation models and more.  Register for Public Reporting: What You Need to Know at cardiosource.org/webinars today.
 
ACC.14 Continues Beyond Washington, DC!
Want more from ACC.14? Couldn’t make it to DC? Best of ACC.14: Take Home Messages for the Clinician is your solution! Join world-class faculty in one of two locations — Los Angeles from April 25 – 26 or Chicago from May 9 – 10 — and get all the highlights presented at ACC.14. Learn how to implement new recommendations from the latest guidelines and late-breaking clinical trials into your practice! Examine hot topics from ACC.14 with leading experts in the field and leave with a fresh perspective and new ideas that will prepare you to provide even better care for your patients. Space is limited! Learn more and register today to join us in Los Angeles or Chicago!

ACC Product and Membership Savings for Nurses in May

The American College of Cardiology would like to take this opportunity to say Thank You for all that you do, and recognize you for your contributions to the cardiovascular team.
 
The ACC feels that you deserve the utmost appreciation for your membership loyalty and commitment to the highest standards of cardiovascular care. We are grateful to have you as a part of the American College of Cardiology.

To celebrate, the ACC will be offering specials for our care team colleagues throughout the month, including a special 15% savings offer on educational products purchased during May using code NURSESAVE.  Stay tuned to CardioSource.org/CVT for special news, profiles and discounts honoring our nurse colleagues throughout the month.

 

May is nurse appreciation month at ACC! With all the contributions they bring to the cardiovascular team, our nurse colleagues deserve the utmost gratitude and appreciation.
 
Be sure to say ‘Thank You’ to your nurse colleagues this month, as the ACC says thank you in our own way. We’ll be releasing special news, member profiles and special discounts throughout the month of May. Now, we’re offering a special 15% savings offer for nurse members purchasing educational products using code NURSESAVE.
 
And for your colleagues who aren’t ACC members, there’s no better way to recognize them for their contributions to the cardiovascular team than by offering them benefits of membership! From May 1 – May 31, we’re offering $50 off the price of membership.  Your nurse colleagues can experience all the benefits of membership for just $75 using code LOVENURSES!
 
Stay tuned to CardioSource.org/CVT for the latest.

Finishing CV Training This Year? Apply to Become an FACC for Free
Completing your cardiovascular training this year? Apply for Fellowship in the ACC (FACC) now—for FREE—even before passing your Board exams. The ACC is waiving the $150 application fee for all applications received before June 15 – which means you’ll owe nothing when you apply. Advancing now still means you’ll receive your year of reduced dues for 2015. Find out more about taking this next step in your career here.

Special Edition: ACC.14

ACC News You Can Use

Special Edition: ACC.14

Get Full Coverage of ACC.14
From trial summaries to presentation slides, videos and news articles, get all of the hot clinical news from ACC.14 on CardioSource.org here. Also, read more in depth pieces about sessions throughout the meeting here and get perspectives from leaders on the ACC in Touch Blog. You can find wrap up videos from each day of the annual scientific sessions and hot trial videos on YouTube.
 
Coverage of the most significant trials from ACC.14 (click to access):
 
  • CoreValve US Pivotal Trial: TAVR with a Self-Expanding Prosthesis Shows Lower Mortality Than Surgery
  • SYMPLICITY HTN-3: Renal Artery Denervation Fails for Resistant HTN
  • STABILITY: Stabilization of Atherosclerotic Plaque by Initiation of Darapladib Therapy
  • AleCardio: Aleglitazar to Reduce CV Events in Patients With ACS and Diabetes
  • CHOICE: Self-Expandable vs. Balloon Expandable Prostheses in Transfemoral TAVR Patients
  • POISE-2 Trials: Evaluation of Low-Dose Clonidine and Aspirin in Patients at Risk For ASCVD
 
Convocation Recognizes Past, Present and Future ACC Leaders
ACC’s 63rd Annual Convocation recognizes ACC leaders, welcomed new Fellows and Associates and acknowledged the traditions and legacy of the institution of the American College of Cardiology. Read speeches from Convocation in their entirety from Immediate Past President John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC and newly minted ACC President Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, FACC here. Also, read O’Gara’s first JACC President’s Page and learn more about O’Gara mission in this Q&A.
 
FITs on the Go Videos
Check out the ACC.14 videos from FITs on the GO, the roving reporters who also happen to be ACC Fellows-in-Training. All of the videos are archived here. These ones in particular may be of interest:
       
  • FITs on the GO talk with ACC President Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, FACC, about research development awards and the ACC’s focus on improving patient care, as well as other topics of interest to the care team and FIT/early career members.
 
  • Incoming Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) Editor-in-Chief, Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC talks about new opportunities for FITs in JACC that will give contributors a global voice, and other bits of wisdom for those early in their cardiology career.
 
MOC Deadline Extended Through April 30
The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has extended the enrollment deadline for anyone choosing to participate in MOC through April 30.  Those enrolled by this date will be reported as “Meeting MOC Requirements.”  Otherwise, physician choosing not to enroll will be reported as “Certified, Not Meeting MOC Requirements.”  The original deadline was March 31. The ABIM’s MOC changes, which took effect as of Jan. 1, apply to all certified physicians – including those originally certified prior to 1990 (grandparents) – and require specific proactive steps on the part of physicians over the next two years. ACC.14 hosted several sessions dedicated to helping cardiologists understand and meet the new requirements, as well as featured an MOC Complex to help with questions. In addition, the College is using an ongoing three-pronged strategy to help members not only understand, but meet, the new requirements. In addition to communicating with and answering questions from members, the College is also gathering and providing feedback to ABIM on the concerns of the cardiovascular community. Learn more about the MOC changes and ACC resources at CardioSource.org/MOC. Also read an ACC.14 guest blog post from ABIM President and CEO Richard J. Baron, MD, here.
 
FDA Issues Clarification on Sildenafil Use in Children with PAH
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is clarifying its previous recommendation related to prescribing sildenafil (Revatio) for children with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Sildenafil is FDA-approved only to treat PAH in adults, not in children; however, the FDA says health care professionals must consider whether the benefits of treatment with the drug are likely to outweigh its potential risks for each patient. FDA revised the sildenafil drug label in August 2012, adding a warning stating that “use of [sildenafil], particularly chronic use, is not recommended in children.” This recommendation was based on an observation of increasing mortality with increasing sildenafil doses in a long-term clinical trial in pediatric patients with PAH. FDA also issued a Drug Safety Communication at that time. Learn more here.
 
Congress Passes 12-Month SGR Patch
Despite a last ditch effort by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden to permanently repeal and replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, the Senate passed the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (H.R. 4302) on March 31 in a vote of 64-35. The legislation, which delays for 12 months a 24 percent Medicare physician payment cut that was set to kick in April 1, is the 17th patch that Congress has enacted since 1997. Last week, the House passed the bill by voice vote. Get more details on the provisions included here.
 
Clinical Documents, Statements Released Immediately Prior to ACC.14
  • ACC/AHA/HRS Guideline for the Management of Patients With AFib
The ACC, American Heart Association (AHA) and the Heart Rhythm Society, in collaboration with the Society of Thoracic Surgery, have released a new 2014 Guideline for the Management of Patients With Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) that incorporates new and existing knowledge derived from published clinical trials, basic science, and comprehensive review articles, along with evolving treatment strategies and new drugs. The guideline, which supersedes the "2006 ACC/AHA/ESC Guideline for the Management of Patients With Atrial Fibrillation" and two subsequent focused updates from 2011, contains the most updated consensus of clinicians with broad expertise related to AFib and its treatment, including adult cardiology, electrophysiology, cardiothoracic surgery, and heart failure.
 
  • ACC/AHA/SCAI Health Policy Statement on Clinical Standards For Cardiac Cath Lab Structured Reporting
The ACC, AHA and Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, in collaboration with 14 other professional societies, on March 28 released a health policy statement  in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that defines the clinical standards for structured reporting in the cardiac catheterization suite. The goal of the statement is to provide a standardized means for how to report a variety of cardiac catheterization procedures and improve patient care by making clinical data more timely, accessible, consistent and usable. Learn more here.
 
  • ACC/AHA Statement on Cost/Value Methodology in Guidelines and Performance Measures
The ACC and the AHA will begin to include value assessments when developing guidelines and performance measures, in recognition of accelerating health care costs and the need for care to be of value to patients. The ACC/AHA Statement on Cost/Value Methodology in Guidelines and Performance Measures released March 27, states a key goal of achieving the best possible health outcomes with finite health care resources. Historically, value consideration and resource utilization were explicitly excluded from practice guidelines and performance measures formulations, though they were often implicitly considered. Learn more here.
March 2014

ACC News You Can Use

March 2014

Overarching News
 
Latest Issue of Cardiology Celebrates ACC History and Looks to Future

The latest issue of Cardiology magazine celebrates the ACC’s rich 65-year history, while also providing a look ahead at the future as the College continues to grow and serve as the primary home for the entire cardiovascular community. Get to know ACC leaders past and present, learn more about the new strategic plan, find out what’s in store at ACC.14 in Washington, DC, and more! Read more on CardioSource.org.
 

CardioSmart at Upcoming Chapter Meetings

Keep your eyes peeled for representatives from ACC’s CardioSmart patient initiative at your upcoming Chapter meetings. CardioSmart has many new patient-friendly tools and resources plus an updated CardioSmart.org website available that can help ACC members help patients become more educated and heart healthy. Learn more here.

 
Top Science and Quality News:

Note: We anticipate a few significant guidelines and clinical documents out later this week. Stay tuned to CardioSource.org for more information regarding these important items. 

New Guideline for the Management of Patients with Valvular Heart Disease

New practice guidelines for the management of patients with valvular heart disease (VHD) were released March 3 by the ACC and the American Heart Association. The first focused update on the condition and its treatment since 2008, the new guideline includes restructured definitions of disease severity, and provides a more complex evaluation of interventional risk and indications for newer catheter-based therapies. Read more on CardioSource.org.

 
Dissin' DAT: Extended DAT is Common, But Data Prompt the Question, “Why?”

The cover story in the March issue of CardioSource WorldNews looks at the length of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAT) noting that there remains the Goldilocks question “when is DAT duration ‘just right?’” According to a recently presented study looking at "very, very late" stent thrombosis occurring more than five years after DES placement, the investigators concluded that “There appears to be no definable 'safe' time when antiplatelet therapy may be discontinued without potential stent thrombosis." The article also notes that “conversely, FAST MI found that use of DAT at one year was not a predictor of five-year mortality and PRODIGY suggests that 24 months of DAT is no better than six months.” The article concludes that two trials are due to wrap up in 2014 that will shed some light on this question of prolonged DAT. Read the full article and catch up on the entire issue at CardioSource.org/CSWN.

 
Top Advocacy and Health Policy News:
 
Advocacy in Action at ACC.14

Mark Your Calendars! Health policy will be in the spotlight during ACC.14 in Washington, DC. Don't miss the unique opportunity to interact with health policy decision-makers during these sessions:

  • Affordable Care Act Implementation: Impact on Patients and Providers (#615)
  • Not Just for Coders: How ICD-10 Will Affect Clinicians and the Practice of Medicine (#639)
  • What Makes the Device Approval Process Tick? Making Sense of Methods, Timing and Effects (#649)
  • Device Approval Processes Around the World: Which Is Better? (#656)
  • Drug and Device Safety for 2014 and Beyond (#662)
  • Impact of the Evolving Health Care Landscape on the Academic Mission (#718)
  • Let the Sunshine in: Research and Education in an Era of the 24-Hour News Cycle (#731)
Learn more about these sessions with the ACC.14 eMeeting Planner App or the ACC.14 Online Program Planner.
 

Advocacy Meet and Greet at ACC.14

Visit ACC Central (booth #838) during ACC.14 to meet Advocacy staff and learn about how the College is shaping health policy to meet the triple aim of better health, better outcomes and lower cost. Also be sure to stop by the ACC Political Action Committee (ACCPAC) Lounge in the Grand Lobby to speak with ACCPAC staff and members and learn more about hot button issues. Fellows in Training and Early Career Physicians are invited to join the ACC Board of Governors for an ACCPAC-sponsored reception at City Tap House, 901 I St. NW, Washington, DC, on March 30 from 6 - 8 p.m. Please RSVP to Lucas Sanders at lsanders@acc.org.
 

Win for CCHD Screening in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is the latest state to pass legislation requiring that newborns be screened for critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) before being discharged from a birthing facility or hospital. S.B. 1919 directs the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) to develop regulations for pulse oximetry testing for CCHD. The law also provides future flexibility by permitting the department to approve another test for CCHD screening if that test is at least as accurate, widely available and cost-effective as pulse oximetry screening. The MDPH regulations must consider evidence-based guidance, including recommendations issued by the federal Health and Human Services Discretionary Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children. Should the parent or guardian object to having their newborn screened based upon "sincerely held religious beliefs" pulse oximetry testing will not be performed. The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2015 or earlier depending upon issuance of the regulations. Finally, the MDPH must review the protocols required by S.B. 1919 and the implementation of these protocols as part of its hospital licensure and birthing facility licensure review processes. Read up on Arizona and Hawaii that have recently passed CCHD screening legislation.
 

ACCPAC Invites Chapters to Participate in March Madness

ACC Political Action Committee (PAC) has created a March Madness campaign to coincide with the widely popular March Madness college basketball tournament. ACCPAC will donate a $1,000 Legislative Conference scholarship to the chapter that wins its “division.” Check out the rules of the competition. Please spread the word about this initiative and get your chapter engaged! Contributions can be made at www.ACCPACWeb.org. The winner of each division will be announced on March 30 at the BOG/FIT/ECP reception during ACC.14. The reception will take place at City Tap House, 901 I St. NW, from 6 – 8 p.m.
 
Thank you to the more than 1,300 contributors who helped ensure the voice of cardiology was heard last year. With a grand total of $513,441 in contributions, your ACC Political Action Committee (ACCPAC) is on target to surpass $1 million for the 2013-2014 cycle. Ranking among the top 10 medical specialty PACs in the United States, ACCPAC continues to be the voice on Capitol Hill for cardiovascular issues, with 100 percent of personal contributions used to support the campaigns of congressional members who impact the College's mission. Watch this video and visit ACCPACWeb.org to learn more and see your PAC in action.
 

New EHR Hardship Exceptions Released

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced new hardship exceptions for physicians struggling to meet the requirements for the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program. Physicians who have not participated in the EHR Incentive Program yet and do not attest to 2014 participation by Oct. 1, 2014 will face a penalty in 2015. Applications for hardship exceptions must be submitted by July 1, 2014 at midnight (ET). The newly expanded list of exceptions includes:
  • Lack of Internet access
  • Unforeseen or uncontrollable circumstances
  • Lack of control over availability of certified EHR
  • Lack of face-to-face interactions with patients, including telemedicine and follow-up
  • EHR vendor issues leading to an inability to implement a 2014 certified EHR
  • Physicians practicing for less than two years
Physicians who successfully participated in the EHR Incentive Program in 2013 have met the requirements for avoiding the 2015 payment adjustment. Those participating successfully in 2014 will avoid the 2016 payment adjustment.

Complete Surveys to Support RVU Recommendations

Physician work surveys are being distributed related to a variety of cardiovascular services. This includes imaging, structural heart interventions, EP procedures and more. If you are randomly selected and receive a survey, please take 15 to 20 minutes to thoughtfully complete it. Please contact James Vavricek at 202-375-6421 or jvavricek@acc.org if you have questions. Annual updates to the physician work relative values are based on recommendations from a committee involving the American Medical Association (AMA) and national medical specialty societies, called the RUC. The RUC is an expert panel of the AMA and specialty societies charged with developing relative value recommendations to Medicare. A key part of the RUC process is the completion of relative value surveys. Data from these surveys are used to establish the physician work that determines Medicare payment.
 

Get Going with Grassroots Chapter Efforts!

Grassroots efforts play an equally important role in fostering effective relationships with lawmakers on both the state and federal level. When ACC members meet with legislators during practice visits or on Capitol Hill, lawmakers see first-hand how their decisions impact thousands of cardiovascular professionals and millions of patients nationwide. In 2013, 1,174 ACC participants had more than 1,296 interactions with legislators between face-to-face visits and correspondence. The ACC needs your help to make sure every member of Congress hears from ACC. Legislator practice visits are a crucial opportunity to meet first-hand with lawmakers throughout the year. Contact Elizabeth Shaw at eshaw@acc.org to set up a visit.
 

Top Education News:

New Research from CardioSurve Focuses on the Future of Learning

A compilation of research results from ACC’s market intelligence arm, CardioSurve, is now available in a new issue of the CardioSurve newsletter. The issue focuses on the future of learning, MOC changes, cholesterol guidelines and the College’s strategic plan. CardioSurve is a panel of more than 350 invited American College of Cardiology (ACC) members who participate in monthly research surveys. It was created in response to a need to obtain continuous feedback from U.S. cardiologists about all areas of their practice. Read the newest issue of the CardioSurve newsletter here.
 

Everything You Need to Know About ABIM’s MOC Changes

In response to new and significant changes to the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements, the ACC’s Education Quality Review Board (EQRB) released a special report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) outlining the changes and EQRB efforts to help ACC members both understand and meet the new requirements. The new MOC requirements, which became effective on Jan. 1, apply to all certified physicians and require specific proactive steps on the part of physicians between now and the end of March, as well as over the next two years. Also, be sure to take a look at JACC commentary by Steven Lloyd, MD, PhD, FACC and ACC President-Elect, Patrick O’Gara, MD, FACC which illustrates ACC’s promise and plan on mastering MOC changes. For more MOC resources from the ACC, visit these:
 
 
  

Webinars, Events, Deadlines and More: Mark Your Calendar

Open House at Heart House on March 29

Visit the American College of Cardiology’s headquarters, Heart House, during ACC.14. ACC will host a Heart House Open House on Saturday, March 29 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 2400 N Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037. Come by and visit, see the building, take pictures and take a walk through our lobby, Knowledge Exchange Area and conference center.  Come visit the heart of the ACC in Washington, DC! Please note that tours of Heart House will be self-guided.
 

Experience the Latest Registry-Based Research at ACC.14

The latest research from the ACC’s National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR) will be presented in Washington, D.C March 29 to 31, 2014, as part of ACC.14. Twenty abstracts will be presented, highlighting data from five hospital-based registries and the PINNACLE Registry, the ACC’s outpatient registry. Research topics include proximal versus distal embolic protection for carotid artery stenting, the association of interventional cardiology board certification and in-hospital outcomes of patients undergoing percutaneous coronary interventions, and length of hospital stay and associated clinical outcomes in elderly patients following primary percutaneous coronary intervention. Among the abstracts are a Late-Breaking Clinical Trial from the STS/ACC TVT Registry and a nominee for Young Investigator Awards Competition from the PINNACLE Registry. The range of research presented highlights the versatility of the registries and their availability to answer complex scientific questions. For a complete list of abstract dates and times, visit NCDR.com/ACC14Abstracts. Learn more about the ACC’s data registries on CardioSource.org.

Special Session at ACC.14 for Military/Public Health Members

Are you a United States Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs or Public Health Service member? Attend a special breakout session just for you hosted by the ACC Board of Governors at ACC.14 on March 30 from 12 – 2 p.m. Topics will include The HAIMS Project, Million Hearts initiative, and a panel discussion covering the different sections of federal cardiology from administration to research.  The meeting will include lunch and will be held at the Renaissance Downtown Washington, D.C. hotel in room West A. RSVP here or contact Ashton Futral with questions.
 

Best of ACC.14: Take Home Messages for the Clinician

Join the ACC in Chicago or Los Angeles to review the top science presented at ACC.14 and how this new information will affect your practice and patients. Head to Sofitel Los Angeles in Beverly Hills on April 25 and 26, or the Radisson Blu Aqua in Chicago on May 9 and 10. Learn more here.
 

Social Media:
Stay Connected at ACC.14

Don’t miss a beat at ACC.14! See what people are saying about the meeting and share your experiences via social media. Follow @ACC_2014 on Twitter to receive instant updates on late-breakers, hot sessions, and more and join the discussion by using the hashtag #ACC14. Be sure to take your photo in front of the ACC logo sculpture in the Grand Lobby and tweet the photo using the hashtag #ACC14 for a chance to appear in the next issue of Cardiology magazine. “Like” the ACC’s Facebook page to check out highlights from the meeting including photos and top news. Visit the ACC in Touch Blog to get the inside scoop from ACC’s leaders. Tune into the ACC’s YouTube channel to get video coverage of the meeting straight from the experts. Learn more about staying connected during ACC.14 at accscientificsession.org/SocialNetworking.
 

New on the ACC in Touch Blog

Check out the newly revamped ACC in Touch Blog at blog.cardiosource.org for multiple posts each week on hot topics. Here are some of the hottest recent posts:
  • A March 18 post by BOG Chair David May, MD, PhD, FACC touches on two studies that both concerned the effect of the ratio of dietary protein to carbohydrate on health and longevity. Both received plenty of press – but little scientific dialog. 
  • Rachel Lampert of ACC’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology section leadership council shares interesting, not-to-miss sessions at ACC.14 in a March 7 post.
  • BOG Chair David May, MD, PhD, FACC talks Championing Care and education in a March 6 blog post.

This is just a sampling of what is happening on the blog. There are many more posts available and the blog will be updated regularly throughout ACC.14 with the hottest news and most interesting insights from ACC leaderscheck them out here and be sure to comment.

February 2014

ACC News You Can Use

February 2014

ACC President Says Being Heart Healthy is a ‘Lifestyle’

ACC President John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, discusses why men and women of all backgrounds are at risk for heart disease and stresses the importance of an active lifestyle in a foreward in USA Today as part of a cardiovascular wellness campaign. "Heart health should be practiced by everyone 365 days a year," says Harold. "It is more than a visit to the doctor or a daily pill — it is a lifestyle.” Read more here.

 
JACC President’s Page (March): Back to the Future

The latest President’s Page in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology examines the strides the College has made in developing and implementing a digital strategy over the past year. ACC President John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, discusses how recent accomplishments meet the primary objectives of the digital strategy: 1) improving how we communicate; 2) encouraging patient education; and 3) enhancing the ability to obtain continuing education at the point of care. He describes efforts currently underway to transform CardioSource.org, enhanced mobile application offerings, the increasing effectiveness and reach of the College’s social media efforts, improvements to CardioSmart.org and exciting additions to the College's Lifelong Learning Portfolio. Read more about these valuable advances in technology and the next big phase for the College – implementing a new, 5-year strategic plan. 

 
JACC President’s Page (February): A Lesson in Partnerships, Member Values, and Patient Education

In a recent President's Page in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, ACC President John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, discusses how the ACC is working with other societies, federal agencies, international health groups and patient organizations on a number of fronts to highlight the importance of prevention and the need for public health policies and programs at the state, national and global levels. Harold also highlights how the College continues to fight for policies at both the state and national level that improve patient access to cost-effective, evidence-based cardiovascular care. Read about these efforts and more.
 

CardioSmart at Upcoming Chapter Meetings

Keep your eyes peeled for representatives from ACC’s CardioSmart patient initiative at your upcoming Chapter meetings. CardioSmart has many new patient-friendly tools and resources plus an updated CardioSmart.org website available that can help ACC members help patients become more educated and heart healthy. Learn more here.

Top Science and Quality News: 

ASCVD Risk Estimator Now Available

The ACC and the AHA recently released the ASCVD Risk Estimator, a mobile app to help health care providers and patients estimate 10-year and lifetime risks for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) using the Pooled Cohort Equations and lifetime risk prediction tools. This app was designed as a companion tool to the 2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Assessment of Cardiovascular Risk and the 2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults. The ASCVD Risk Estimator provides easy access to recommendations specific to calculated risk estimates. Additionally, the app includes readily accessible guideline reference information for both providers and patients related to therapy, monitoring and lifestyle. To download the app on iTunes (iPhone, iPad), click here. To download the app on Google Play (Galaxy, Nexus, other Android devices), click here. A desktop version of the tool is also available here. To explore other ACC apps that can help you optimize patient care, visit CardioSource.org/Apps.

 
ACC Celebrates Launch of Patient Navigator Program

The ACC has welcomed 15 hospitals into the Patient Navigator Program, an initiative that aims to reduce avoidable hospital readmissions by providing personalized support to patients diagnosed with Acute Coronary Syndrome, heart attack, and heart failure. ACC leaders and representatives from AstraZeneca, the founding sponsor of the program, have attended launch events at hospitals across the country in recent months. The most recent hospital launches include Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Christiana Care Health System and Saint Mary's Hospital.  Visit CardioSource.org for more information about the ACC Patient Navigator Program.

Top Advocacy and Health Policy News:

Virginia Passes CCHD Screening Legislation  

On Feb. 20, Virginia became the latest state to pass critical congenital heart defect (CCHD) screening legislation when Governor Terry McAuliffe signed HB 387 into law. The bill requires all hospitals in Virginia that have a newborn nursery to perform a CCHD screening test on every newborn in its care when the child is at least 24 hours old but no more than 48 hours old. The bill also directs the Board of Health to convene a workgroup of all stakeholders, including the Virginia Chapter of the ACC, to provide information and recommendations for the development of regulations to implement the act within 280 days of enactment. This news was a huge win for CHD advocates who gathered in Washington, DC, just days after the legislation passed to educate members of Congress about CHD as part of Congenital Heart Advocacy Day 2014. Read more on the ACC in Touch Blog.

 
ACCPAC Invites Chapters to Participate in March Madness

ACC Political Action Committee (PAC) has created a March Madness campaign to coincide with the widely popular March Madness college basketball tournament. ACCPAC will donate a $1,000 Legislative Conference scholarship to the chapter that wins its “division.” Check out the rules of the competition. Please spread the word about this initiative and get your chapter engaged! Contributions can be made at www.ACCPACWeb.org. The winner of each division will be announced on March 30 at the BOG/FIT/ECP reception during ACC.14. The reception will take place at City Tap House, 901 I St. NW, from 6 – 8 p.m.

 
SGR Battle Continues, Contact Congress

After 11 years since the first sustainable growth rate (SGR) patch was passed into law, the medical community continues to battle to permanently repeal the flawed formula and replace it with a new Medicare payment system that rewards high quality, evidence-based care. With the House and Senate recently advancing a bill that would eliminate the SGR, a permanent solution is closer than ever. However, passage of the legislation is not a done deal and another temporary patch is still a possibility. Contact your members of Congress and urge them to complete work on permanent SGR repeal.

 
Medicare Cardiac Rehab Coverage Expansion

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently expanded coverage of cardiac rehabilitation services to chronic heart failure patients. The decision memo finalized changes to the national coverage determination (NCD) for cardiac rehabilitation. Specifically, this includes "beneficiaries with stable, chronic heart failure defined as patients with left ventricular ejection fraction of 35 percent or less and New York Heart Association (NYHA) class II to IV symptoms despite being on optimal heart failure therapy for at least six weeks." The ACC worked with the American Heart Association (AHA), American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Heart Failure Society of America last year to request this expansion. The change takes place immediately. CMS will publish additional guidance in the coming months.

 
CMS Issues Guidance for New Pacemaker Coverage

Directions for coding and documenting the implantation of permanent cardiac pacemakers under the NCD that was updated last year are now available from CMS. The article highlights the covered indications (documented non-reversible symptomatic bradycardia due to sinus node dysfunction, second degree atrioventricular block, and/or third degree atrioventricular block), notes that Medicare Administrative Contractors will determine coverage for any other indications not specifically addressed in the NCD, and that use of the KX modifier will be used to attest that documentation is on file verifying the patient has non-reversible symptomatic bradycardia. View the complete article for other key billing notes.

 
ICD-10 Update

CMS recently announced that it will conduct end-to-end ICD-10 testing for select providers. This news comes after the AMA urged CMS to "reconsider the mandated adoption of the new code set" as a result of new cost estimates for physician implementation of the new ICD-10 code set that far exceed previous estimates. Find out what you need to know about the ICD-10 transition on CardioSource.org.

 
New Statement on CV Imaging Examines Efficiency of Quality, Patient Outcomes and Costs

A new health policy statement on the use of noninvasive cardiovascular imaging, released by the ACC and endorsed by 14 other medical societies, discusses the current understanding about the patterns and drivers of imaging use, along with patient safety and test quality. It also notes that a more patient-centric approach to guiding appropriate use is needed versus payer-driven reimbursement reductions and prior authorization requirements. The statement identifies the role physician groups play in promoting appropriate imaging use.  For example, the ACC’s Imaging in FOCUS initiative pairs local chapters with health plans to reduce geographic variation in imaging use and lower the rate of “rarely appropriate” tests.  Get full coverage on CardioSource.org.

 
Health IT Reaches Milestone

The five year anniversary of the enactment of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act and the creation of the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program was in February 2014. The HITECH Act and EHR Incentive Program propelled the adoption and "meaningful use" of health information technology. Stage 2 of the EHR Incentive Program has launched, and eligible professionals (EPs) who began participating before 2013 should now be moving onto stage 2. Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that the deadline for EPs to register and attest to demonstrating "meaningful use" for the 2013 EHR Incentive Program in order to quality for an incentive payment for 2013 participation and avoid a 2015 payment adjustment has been delayed from Feb. 28 to March 31. Review this participation guide for more details and take advantage of these tools to help you and your practice implement EHRs.

 
ACC and AHA Teaming Up Against Trans Fats

The ACC and the American Heart Association (AHA) expressed support of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) tentative determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) no longer be considered generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for any use in food. A letter to the FDA underscored the significant health risks associated with consumption of PHOs, or industrially-produced trans fat, including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The ACC and AHA urged the FDA to finalize its determination, revoke the GRAS status, and require food manufacturers to remove PHOs from their products as quickly and efficiently as possible. "Taking industrially-produced trans fat out of foods will help Americans reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease and avoid other negative health effects," the organizations stressed. "AHA and ACC stand ready to support the FDA in its work to eliminate this unsafe ingredient from our food supply." Read the full comments here . 

Top Education News:

Everything You Need to Know About ABIM’s MOC Changes
In response to new and significant changes to the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements, the ACC’s Education Quality Review Board (EQRB) released a special report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) outlining the changes and EQRB efforts to help ACC members both understand and meet the new requirements. The new MOC requirements, which became effective on Jan. 1, apply to all certified physicians and require specific proactive steps on the part of physicians between now and the end of March, as well as over the next two years. Also, be sure to take a look at JACC commentary by Steven Lloyd, MD, PhD, FACC and ACC President-Elect, Patrick O’Gara, MD, FACC which illustrates ACC’s promise and plan on mastering MOC changes. For more MOC resources from the ACC, visit these:
 
 

Webinars, Events, Deadlines and More: Mark Your Calendar

NCDR.14 to Feature Educational Sessions for Physicians and Administrators

The NCDR’s Annual Conference, taking place immediately prior to ACC.14 on March 27 – 28, will offer CME and CE credit for physicians and hospital administrators looking for ways to leverage their registry participation. Topics will include understanding and using NCDR data for quality improvement, payers and maintenance of certification credit; leveraging health information technology to enhance NCDR data quality and public reporting; and building an effective cardiovascular quality team. Visit NCDR.com to learn more and register.


Special Session at ACC.14 for Military/Public Health Members

Are you a United States Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs or Public Health Service member? Attend a special breakout session just for you hosted by the ACC Board of Governors at ACC.14 on March 30 from 12 – 2 p.m. Topics will include The HAIMS Project, Million Hearts initiative, and a panel discussion covering the different sections of federal cardiology from administration to research.  The meeting will include lunch and will be held at the Renaissance Downtown Washington, D.C. hotel in room West A. RSVP here or contact Ashton Futral with questions. 

Social Media:

New on the ACC in Touch Blog
Check out the newly revamped ACC in Touch Blog at blog.cardiosource.org for multiple posts each week on hot topics. Here are some of the hottest recent posts:
  • A Feb. 25 blog post by Board of Governors Chair David May, MD, PhD, MACC touches on “Professionalism in the World of Cardiology and the Greater Good.”
  • The ACC Patient Navigator Program was recently launched and received attention in a Feb. 20 blog post.
  • ACC Past President and now member of the College’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology section leadership council Alfred A. Bove, MD, PhD, MACC talks about the intersections of cardiology and undersea medicine in a Feb. 19 post. 
  • February was American Heart Month and a Feb. 7 post by ACC President John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC touches on cardiovascular disease and prevention, and shares a photo of ACC staff decked out in red for Wear Red Day.
 
This is just a sampling of what is happening on the blog. There are many more posts available – check them out here and be sure to comment.


 
Stay In Touch with the ACC via Social Media
Stay in touch with the ACC and the latest clinical and advocacy news through ACCinTouch.  ACCinTouch connects ACC members and those interested in cardiovascular news through popular social networking channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Look for the ACCinTouch logo for the official ACC presence on these social media channels in order to connect with ACC members and those interested in cardiology. In addition to the ACC's main Twitter profile @ACCinTouch, the College also has profiles dedicated to news from the Advocacy team @Cardiology. CardioSmart, the ACC's patient education and support program, also has patient-centered cardiovascular news available through Facebook, Twitter @CardioSmart, and YouTube. For more information about ACC’s social media channels, visit CardioSource.org/ACCinTouch.

January 2014

ACC News You Can USe

January 2014

New Slate of Recommended ACC Officers and Trustees Announced

The ACC's Board of Trustees (BOT) have recommended the Fellows to be the 2014-2015 officers and trustees of the College for a five-year term (2014-2019), with the exception of a Public Member Trustee who holds the position for one year with the possibility of being renewed for up to four additional years. Election of the 2014-2015 ACC Officers and BOT will occur during ACC.14 in Washington, DC. Learn more about each of the recommended future ACC leaders here.

 
CardioSmart Contest Winner

David Wang, a heart attack survivor from Boston, was named the winner of the 2nd Annual “I am CardioSmart” contest which looks to find people living well with heart disease. Their stories are highlighted to help motivate and inspire other patients. David racked up more than 300 votes and 43 shares on CardioSmart's Facebook page to claim the top prize. He won a trip for two to Washington, DC, and will be honored during a CardioSmart workshop and reception at ACC.14.  Stay tuned during the month of February when the four other heart disease condition winners from the “I am CardioSmart” contest will be announced to bring awareness to heart disease during Heart Month. Learn more at CardioSmart.org.
 

Top Science and Quality News: 

Introducing ACC’s Quality Improvement for Institutions Program
The ACC recently launched its innovative new Quality Improvement for Institutions program, bringing together under one umbrella all of ACC’s proven hospital quality improvement offerings. This program unites the National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR®) and established quality initiatives including Hospital to Home (H2H) and the Door to Balloon (D2B) Alliance, and new initiatives such as Surviving MI. Quality Improvement for Institutions allows hospitals and their care teams to access a comprehensive suite of cardiovascular registries and quality improvement tools that support quality clinical care, deliver improved patient outcomes, and offer national recognition for participating in ACC quality initiatives. Find out if your hospital is participating and activate your account at cvquality.acc.org.

SCVD Risk Estimator App Launch Approaching
The ASCVD Risk Estimator is a mobile app developed by the ACC and the American Heart Association to help health care providers and patients estimate 10-year and lifetime risks for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). The app is intended as a companion tool to the 2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Assessment of Cardiovascular Risk and the 2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults. In addition to being a calculator, the app should help providers and patients access information readily (at their fingertips) in order to determine A) whether statin therapy is appropriate, B) what intensity of statin therapy is needed, C) how to address safety concerns of statin therapy, and D) what lifestyle changes should be made. Stay tuned to CardioSource.org/mobileresources for more information. More information on the prevention guidelines is also available at CardioSource.org/Prevention.

Top Advocacy and Health Policy News:

ACC Weighs in on 2014 Physician Fee Schedule
The ACC submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding aspects of the 2014 physician fee schedule final rule. Critiques were made of changes CMS made to work and practice expense submissions for several services. The comments recommend restoration of work values for transcatheter aortic valve replacement, patent ductus arteriosus closure, and certain intravascular stent services, as well as practice expense values for selective catheter placement, intravascular stents, and extracranial duplex ultrasound studies. Any changes to these inputs will be reflected in the 2015 final rule this November. Comments were also provided supporting ongoing proposals to pay for non-face-to-face chronic care management services and opposing further efforts to cap practice expense for services provided in the nonfacility setting at facility rates. More information on these proposals is expected in the proposed rule this July.

ACC Congratulates New National Coordinator for Health IT
The College issued a letter congratulating Karen DeSalvo, MD, on her appointment as National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (IT). The College has worked closely with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT over the last several years to help ensure patients receive the highest quality of care. "The ACC strongly supports continued nationwide adoption of health IT and eagerly awaits the anticipated improvements in patient care," said ACC President John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, in the letter. DeSalvo replaces former National Coordinator Farzad Mostashari, MD.
 
CCHIT Halts EHR Certification and Testing
The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) will no longer test and certify electronic health record (EHR) systems. CCHIT is a key player in the industry, having tested and certified nearly 50 percent of EHR systems on the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s Certified Health IT Product list. There are currently five other accredited testing labs and three other authorized certification bodies doing the same work as CCHIT.

ACC Updates Calculations for Commonly Provided Services
The budget bill signed by President Obama on Dec. 27, 2013 averted a 24-percent cut to Medicare physician fees for three months. The bill increases payment for Medicare physician services by 0.5 percent from 2013. The ACC has updated its calculations for commonly provided services to assist members.
 
Health Care Expenditures Slow-Growth Trend Continues
Overall national health expenditures grew at an annual rate of 3.7 percent in 2012, marking the fourth consecutive year of low growth, according to a report released by the CMS Office of the Actuary. Health spending as a share of gross domestic product fell slightly from 17.3 percent in 2011 to 17.2 percent in 2012. The report found that the continued low growth in 2012 was driven by slower growth in prescription drug, nursing home, private health insurance, and Medicare expenditures. The report also found that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contributed to the slow growth for the Medicare program in 2012, but had a limited impact on overall spending as reforms were still being implemented in 2012. Read the full report.
 
National Clinical Trial (NCT) Number Hardship Update
Under the new NCT requirement, providers must report a clinical trial number as of Jan. 1 on claims for items and services provided in clinical trials that are qualified for coverage as specified in the "Medicare National Coverage Determination (NCD) Manual," Section 310.1. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, however, has acknowledged that compliance with the new NCT requirement could be problematic for some, and will now allow eligible providers to report a generic 8-digit code to comply with the requirement through Dec. 31, 2014. For those participating in trials or coverage-mandated registries like the STS/ACC TVT Registry and the ACC’s ICD Registry relevant clinical trial numbers can be found at clinicaltrials.gov. CED ICD procedures in the ICD Registry will use newly obtained clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT01999140. CED TAVR procedures in the STS/ACC TVT Registry will use clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCD01737528.
 
Safe Harbor and Physician Self-Referral Law Changes
CMS has released the final rule extending the exception to the physician self-referral (Stark) law that allows physician practices to receive donations related to electronic health records (EHRs). In addition, the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) has also released the related safe harbor to the antikickback statute. Both rules, which were published in late December 2013, extend the exception and safe harbor through 2021 to correspond with the end of the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. Read more about the changes.
 
Navigating the Health Insurance Marketplace
With the launch of Health Exchanges in the New Year, it is important for practices to verify patient insurance coverage at their first visit or as soon as possible. In states with their own health exchanges, office staff should contact the state directly using the state website on healthcare.gov. In states where the Federal government is running the marketplace, office staff should call the plan’s customer service line. A list of all plans and customer service numbers is available here. Please consult CMS’s fact sheet for navigating the QHP databank. You can also contact the Marketplace call center for all queries at 1-800-318-2596. The ACC encourages practices to remind uninsured patients that they can apply for coverage and may be eligible for subsidies through the Marketplace until March 31, 2014. Also, advise them to save their receipts and other paperwork for their insurers.


FDA Advisory Panel Votes Against Approving Rivaroxaban for Patients With ACS

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee has voted unanimously against approving rivaroxaban (XARELTO®) for patients with acute coronary syndromes due to a lack of sufficient evidence. The same committee voted against the drug’s expanded use in 2012. While the FDA is not required to adhere to the advisory panel’s recommendation, it often does. For more on this, visit CardioSource.org.

Top Education News:

Report Outlines ACC’s Strategy for Helping Members Meet New MOC Changes
In response to new and significant changes to the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements, the ACC’s Education Quality Review Board (EQRB) released a special report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology outlining the changes and EQRB efforts to help ACC members both understand and meet the new requirements. The new MOC requirements, which became effective on Jan. 1, apply to all certified physicians and require specific proactive steps on the part of physicians between now and the end of March, as well as over the next two years. For more MOC resources, visit these:

Webinars, Events, Deadlines and More: Mark Your Calendar

NCDR.14 to Feature Educational Sessions for Physicians and Administrators
The NCDR’s Annual Conference, taking place immediately prior to ACC.14 on March 27 – 28, will offer CME and CE credit for physicians and hospital administrators looking for ways to leverage their registry participation. Topics will include understanding and using NCDR data for quality improvement, payers and maintenance of certification credit; leveraging health information technology to enhance NCDR data quality and public reporting; and building an effective cardiovascular quality team. Visit NCDR.com to learn more and register.
 
Webinar on Advancing Care Models for Children with Medical Complexity
Join the ACC’s Adult Congenital and Pediatric Cardiology Section and the Children’s Hospital Association for a webinar on Tuesday, Feb. 11 from 6 – 7 p.m. (ET). The Children’s Hospital Association is proposing a Medicaid reform initiative to enhance continuity of care, improve regional access to care across state lines for children with medical complexity and create a national Medicaid claims database that would link across states and settings of care to inform best practices and support quality improvement activities. The presenters will review the current Medicaid policy environment and its implications for pediatric congenital heart disease (CHD) patients, along with the Children’s Hospital’s Association Medicaid proposal to improve care for children with medical complexity. Register here.
 
Book Your Room for ACC.14 and Make Time for ACC Central
ACC.14 hotel rooms are going fast during this busy and exciting time of year in Washington, DC! Register before Feb. 19 to save.  Learn more here. While you’re at ACC.14, be sure to make time to stop by ACC Central at booth 838 to learn more about ACC programs and products from members of the College’s staff.
 
Special Session at ACC.14 for Military/Public Health Members
Are you a United States Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs or Public Health member? Attend a special breakout session just for you hosted by the ACC Board of Governors at ACC.14 on March 30 from 12 – 2 p.m. Topics will include The HAIMS Project, Million Hearts initiative, and a panel discussion concerning the pros and cons of team based care in both the public and private sectors.  The meeting will include lunch and will be held at the Renaissance Downtown Washington, D.C. hotel in room West A. RSVP here or contact Ashton Futral with questions.

Social Media:

New on the ACC in Touch Blog
Check out the newly revamped ACC in Touch Blog at blog.cardiosource.org for multiple posts each week on hot topics. Here are some of the hottest recent posts:

This is just a sampling of what is happening on the blog. There are many more posts available – check them out here and be sure to comment.
 
Stay In Touch with the ACC via Social Media
Stay in touch with the ACC and the latest clinical and advocacy news through ACCinTouch.  ACCinTouch connects ACC members and those interested in cardiovascular news through popular social networking channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Look for the ACCinTouch logo for the official ACC presence on these social media channels in order to connect with ACC members and those interested in cardiology. In addition to the ACC's main Twitter profile @ACCinTouch, the College also has profiles dedicated to news from the Advocacy team @Cardiology. CardioSmart, the ACC's patient education and support program, also has patient-centered cardiovascular news available through Facebook, Twitter @CardioSmart, and YouTube. For more information about ACC’s social media channels, visit CardioSource.org/ACCinTouch.

 

Cardiologist for a Day Visit – Patrick J. Withrow, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.S.C.A.I.

U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Kentucky, First District) participated recently in the “Cardiologist for a Day” program at Western Baptist Hospital in Paducah, Ky., with cardiologists from The Heart Group.

On a tour of the Baptist Heart Center, he observed nuclear and echocardiography, as well as a cardiac catheterization to determine a re-vascularization strategy.

The cardiologists also discussed current challenges in their practice, specifically dwindling resources for adequate patient care related to the Gonzales bill and the Sustainable Growth Rate.

His hosts included cardiologists Patrick Withrow, M.D., Western Baptist’s chief medical officer and vice president; James Gwinn, M.D., and Kenneth Ford., M.D., from The Heart Group; as well as hospital president and CEO Larry Barton. The Heart Group’s Bradley McElroy, M.D., performed the catheterization.

Rep. Whitfield was attentive and engaged during his visit.

 

Cardiologist for a Day Visit – Jesse Adams III M.D., F.A.C.C.

Through the ACC's "Cardiologist for a Day" program I recently had the opportunity to visit again with Rep. John Yarmuth, who represents the 3rd Congressional district of Kentucky (including Louisville).  We started out by talking briefly about the current political climate, then we explored in great detail the dramatic changes in cardiology practice patterns that are occurring in Louisville.

By the end of the 1st quarter of next year, it appears highly likely that a majority of cardiologists in Louisville will be employed either by hospitals or by an academic institution, a significant alteration from the predominantly private practice model that has been in existence up until now.  We reviewed the data from the most recent ACC census, demonstrating that what we were seeing locally was mirrored across the Commonwealth and indeed across the nation, and talked about the "perfect storm" of economic stressors imposed on private practice physicians, with many of these stressors of governmental or insurance origin.

I reviewed the number of staff that were no longer with our group (18 providers) due to downsizing.  We expanded to talking about staff cuts that are occurring in private practice due to the above economic problems, and also occurring in groups that are acquired due to elimination of positions.  We then talked about the potential catastrophic cuts via the SGR if no congressional action is taken, and asked him to support the Gonzales bill.  Finally, we spent some time talking about the insidious growth of Radiology Benefit Managers, particularly the recent addition by Anthem BC/BS of pre-certification of echocardiographic procedures, and the increased costs and impaired efficiency this causes, and how this ends up costing our patients- both in terms of time and money.