Upcoming Events and Deadlines
Sample Tweets
Overarching News
Top Science and Quality News
Top Advocacy and Health Policy News
Top Education and Career Growth News
Top Membership News
Digital ACC Resources

Upcoming Events and Deadlines:

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Overarching News:

Committee Nominations Extended to January 25
In light of increased interest and the availability of the newly formed Interim Blue Ribbon Nominating Committee, Committee Nominations will be extended through Monday, January 25. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to help guide the direction of the College. Members are encouraged to review the open positions and may self-nominate or nominate a colleague. Applicants will be notified of results in February 2016. Click here to review open positions.

ACC Approves Transformational Changes to Its Governance Structure
In a recent post on the ACC in Touch Blog, Kim Allan Williams Sr., MD, FACC, president of the ACC, discusses changes to the College’s governance structure that were recently approved during the ACC Board of Trustees’ meeting. “At a high level, the changes allow for a centralized Board that is strategically focused and dedicated to the ACC’s mission to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health,” explains Williams. “The new structure is modeled around the concepts of centralized authority and decentralized decision-making. Practically, this places tactical, operational, and management decision-making at staff and committee levels and makes room for a more diverse group of members to take on leadership opportunities at the College.” Read more on the ACC in Touch Blog.

ACC, SCPC Merger to Improve CV Accreditation, Quality Improvement Services
The ACC and the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC) have completed a merger that will provide a comprehensive quality improvement solution for hospitals and other facilities that combines SCPC accreditation and ACC’s registry services, quality initiatives and education. As the merger is implemented in 2016, hospitals and other facilities will be able to take advantage of improved and streamlined quality improvement services, including expanded accreditation services, to improve cardiovascular patient care. SCPC will remain in its current headquarters in Dublin, Ohio. “This is an exciting time for the ACC and SCPC,” said ACC Chief Executive Officer Shal Jacobovitz. “It presents unprecedented new opportunities to continue to reduce the data burden on hospitals, grow the scope and impact of accreditation, and most importantly continue to deliver evidence-based cardiovascular care to patients more effectively than ever before.” Read more.

Rumsfeld Named ACC Chief Innovation Officer
The ACC has named John S. Rumsfeld, MD, PhD, FACC, as Chief Innovation Officer. Rumsfeld, who has been a member of ACC’s Board of Trustees and chief science officer for the NCDR programs, will be responsible for developing and implementing an innovation strategy for the College. “The ACC’s focus on innovation sets us apart as an association,” said ACC Chief Executive Officer Shal Jacobovitz. “Dr. Rumsfeld has played a visionary role in developing the Veterans Administration’s health records and quality management system and in the management of the College’s NCDR registries, ensuring the registries continue to be relevant and successful in today’s health care environment. We look forward to him bringing this vision and passion to bear on broader ACC efforts to transform care and improve heart health.” Read more on ACC.org

ACC Appoints New Annual Scientific Session Vice Chair
The ACC has announced the appointment of Andrew M. Kates, MD, FACC, to the position of vice chair of the ACC Annual Scientific Session. Kates will serve as vice chair during ACC.17 and ACC.18, and will assume the chair position for ACC.19 and ACC.20. The position was developed to ensure consistent leadership and allow for continual improvement of ACC's flagship Annual Scientific Session. "Dr. Kates is an exceptional choice for this critical role at the College," said ACC President Kim Allan Williams Sr., MD, FACC. "His long history of working to expand and improve educational opportunities for the cardiovascular community shows a commitment to innovation and excellence that will not only keep the meeting’s mission on course, but also guide it to new heights in the future." Read more on ACC.org.

JACC Leadership Page: Honing Leadership Skills at the Chapter Level
In a recent Leadership Page published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Robert Shor, MD, FACC, chair of the ACC Board of Governors, discusses how the path to ACC leadership can start at the chapter level. During his time as the BOG chair, Shor has helped to develop a mentorship program for governors and emerging chapter leaders. He also discusses other leadership programs offered by the College, including the Leadership Academy, which launched in January 2014, as well as less-formal leadership pathways. “I am amazed at the energy and innovation of our members who volunteer in the common goal of fostering our profession and transforming care in the interest of our patients,” he writes. Read more.

Latest Issue of CardioSource WorldNews Examines Genetics and the Heart
The cover story of the latest issue of CardioSource WorldNews looks at how gene therapy may combat heart disease and Editor-in-Chief Alfred A. Bove, MD, PhD, MACC also discusses this subject in his Editor’s Corner. ACC President Kim Allan Williams Sr., MD, FACC, outlines the College’s new governance structure. This month’s Health Tech column explores Touch Surgery, an app that enables users to learn and practice surgical techniques. See the full issue at ACC.org/CSWN.

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Top Science and Quality News

2015 Dietary Guidelines Recommend Limited Cholesterol Intake
Physiological and structural functions of the body do not require additional intake of dietary cholesterol according to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines released Jan. 7 by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and of Agriculture (USDA). As such, people should practice healthy eating patterns consuming as little dietary cholesterol as possible in order to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines differ from the previous edition in that the recommendation to limit dietary cholesterol consumption to 300 mg per day has been removed. “This change does not suggest that dietary cholesterol is no longer important to consider when building healthy eating patterns,” state the USDA and HHS in the guidelines. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines also recommend limiting the intake of added sugars, saturated and trans fats, and sodium. “It is more important than ever that Americans have a source of clear science-based information about diet. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans makes a clear step forward in providing Americans with science-based guidelines,” says ACC President Kim Allan Williams Sr., MD, FACC. Read more on ACC.org.

ACC Launches LAAO Registry to Track Use, Results of New Stroke Prevention Technology in AFib Patients
The ACC has launched a new LAAO Registry to capture data on a new class of medical devices used in left atrial appendage occlusion procedures, which will help assess real-world procedural indications and outcomes as well as short- and long-term safety of procedures and devices for closing the left atrial appendage. The registry will serve not only as the formal U.S. Food and Drug Administration-mandated post-approval study for the WATCHMAN device, but it is also expected to serve as a long-term clinical registry for all patients undergoing occlusion of the left atrial appendage, regardless of the device used. Read more on ACC.org. Also check out a CardioSource WorldNews Interventions interview with Paul Varosy, MD, FACC, the lead physician for the data set development work group for the LAAO Registry.

Focused Update of ACC/AHA Lipid Performance Measures Stress Shared Decision-Making
Updated performance measures for lipid management in secondary prevention were released Dec. 14 by the ACC and American Heart Association (AHA), and were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The updated measures place a greater emphasis on shared decision-making, and are based on the secondary prevention recommendations of the 2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Treatment of Blood Cholesterol to Reduce Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Risk in Adults. “These measures respect the wishes of patients regarding the use of statins and do not penalize physicians who may have a patient decline to take medications for personal reasons,” says Joseph P. Drozda Jr., MD, FACC, chair of the writing committee. “Integrating patient values, preferences and personal context with evidence-based medicine and guidelines is novel and changes the focus from recommending and prescribing statins based on evidence to promoting choice by an informed patient.” Read more.

Latest Issue of CardioSource WorldNews Interventions Examines the Focus on Stents at TCT
The cover story of the latest issue of CardioSource WorldNews Interventions examines findings presented at TCT, particularly the focus on stents at this year’s meeting. In an interview, Eric Bates, MD, FACC, discusses the 2015 ACC/AHA/SCAI Focused Update on Primary PCI for STEMI Patients and what it could mean moving forward. Paul Varosy, MD, FACC, was interviewed regarding the upcoming atrial fibrillation and left atrial appendage occlusion registries. The issue’s Peripheral Matters column examines the surgical and pharmacological treatment of peripheral artery disease. See the full issue at ACC.org/CSWNI.

Stakeholder Collaboration Key to Evolving Valve Management Strategies
Clinicians face several challenges in identifying and treating patients with valvular heart disease, particularly aortic stenosis and mitral regurgitation. To help better address these challenges, the College recently hosted a two-day Evolving Heart Valve Management Strategies Roundtable that brought together experts from 28 organizations representing a wide variety of medical specialties, industry, patients, integrated health systems and other stakeholder groups. Roundtable participants were tasked with reviewing existing research regarding the evaluation and management of VHD, identifying gaps in care, and finding ways to integrate current evidence with tools and resources that can improve care and outcomes for VHD patients. Read more on the ACC in Touch Blog.

Learn How to Enhance Quality Improvement at NCDR.16
Practice quality improvement efforts, quality reporting and value-based reimbursement are here to stay, and will play a critical role in provider payment models moving forward. The ACC’s NCDR Annual Conference (NCDR.16) held immediately prior to ACC’s Annual Scientific Session in Chicago, IL, offers a unique opportunity for physicians and other cardiovascular professionals to learn more about the College’s clinical registry programs and how they can be leveraged to meet growing quality improvement requirements. The two-day meeting, held March 31 – April 1, 2016, will offer registry-specific workshops on topics ranging from how to access and interpret outcome reports and dashboard data, to proper input of challenging data elements and understanding registry metrics. Inter-professional workshops will also cover topics such as how to build a quality improvement team and how to implement quality improvement programs. Over 1,000 registry professionals, quality experts, physicians and administrators from across the country are expected to attend. Learn more and register for NCDR.16 at CVQuality.ACC.org/NCDRAnnualConference.

JACC Leadership Page: Medical Research and Innovation Policy
In a recent Leadership Page published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Benjamin Z. Galper, MD, MPH, and ACC Immediate Past President Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, MACC, discuss ACC’s main objectives concerning research funding and policy: increasing the availability of funding for research, removing barriers to clinical research, and developing a learning health system. “Much work lies ahead and the actions of many others will be needed to achieve our aims. The identification of these three objectives is just the first step in the process ... We look forward to achieving the ultimate goal of better outcomes for cardiovascular patients,” they write. Read more.

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Top Advocacy and Health Policy News

Senate HELP Committee Approves Nomination of Robert M. Califf, MD, MACC, For FDA Commissioner
On Jan. 12, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved by voice vote the nomination of Robert M. Califf, MD, MACC, as U.S. Food and Drug Administrator (FDA) commissioner. During the committee voting session, Committee Chair Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) pointed to Califf's extensive clinical trial and research experience. "So you understand how research gets done in the real world, where there are opportunities for the FDA to help address challenges, and where the FDA needs to get out of the way," said Alexander. The committee confirmation hearing, prior to the vote, provided an opportunity for Califf to share his vision for making the FDA a "partner in innovation, rather than a barrier." Califf, who currently serves as the FDA Deputy Commissioner for Medical Products and Tobacco, was nominated for commissioner by President Barack Obama in September 2015. Califf's pending nomination now requires confirmation by the full Senate.

ACC Comments on Common Rule
The ACC submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on proposed changes to the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, also called the Common Rule. In its comments, the College stressed the importance of aligning and harmonizing with other government regulations affecting research; using individually identifiable information for secondary purposes without requiring notice in certain circumstances; requiring the use of a single institutional review board for multi-site research conducted in domestic institutions; extending the application of the Common Rule to all research conducted by institutions receiving federal funding, as well as all clinical trials; and developing a meaningful informed consent program that provides potential subjects the information that they need to make informed decisions. The letter underscored, "it is critical that we continue to push forward and enable research to occur in a manner that allows for innovative examinations but also protects research subjects from potential harms."

Medicare Payment Adjustment
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS), 209,000 eligible professionals will be subject to penalties in 2016 under the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program (Meaningful Use) for failing to demonstrate meaningful use. To avoid the penalties, eligible professionals must demonstrate meaningful use in either the Medicare EHR Incentive Program or the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. The Agency recently released a fact sheet for eligible professionals on the Meaningful Use program with more information on the 2016 payment adjustment.

ACC Advocacy Is Shaping the Future of Cardiology
Through its advocacy efforts, the ACC builds relationships with Congress, federal government agencies, state legislative and regulatory bodies, private insurers and other policy making groups to advance the College's mission of improving heart health. In 2016, the College's advocacy priorities include creating a value-driven health care system; ensuring patient access to care and cardiovascular practice stability; promoting the use of clinical data to improve care; fostering research and innovation in cardiovascular care; and improving population health and preventing cardiovascular disease. Member participation in advocacy efforts is crucial to shaping the future of cardiology. See how ACC members are ensuring cardiology's voice is heard at the local, state and national level. Now is the time to get involved! Find out how you can make a difference by visiting ACC.org/Advocacy or emailing AdvocacyLeg@acc.org.

The Journey to Value-Based Payment Continues
In a new ACC in Touch Blog post, Paul Casale, MD, MPH, FACC, a member of ACC's Board of Trustees and chair of the Partners in Quality Subcommittee, gives an overview of the value-based payment landscape. Casale noted that "2015 was a pivotal year for the transition to value-based payment," given the repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate and introduction of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). "While the value-based payment landscape continues to evolve rapidly, the time is right to determine how ACC can more efficiently and effectively contribute to meet cardiologists' needs as new payment models are implemented," he said. Get a complete summary of "Measuring and Paying for Value in Cardiovascular Care: Past, Present and Future" and read about "Ensuring Value in a Value-Based Health System" and "A Micro View of MACRA" in recent Leadership Pages published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The 2016 Cardiovascular Summit: Solutions for Thriving in a Time of Change, Feb. 18 – 20 in Las Vegas, NV, will provide an important forum for continued discussions on MACRA and new payment models. Register today!

Help Your Patients Make Informed Care Decisions
Patients, caregivers and other stakeholders can now search, compare and select hospitals via Find Your Heart a Home, a CardioSmart tool designed to connect cardiac patients and caregivers with the right hospital. This tool provides patients and caregivers with hospital cardiovascular information and publicly reported data to ensure that they understand the quality of care being provided in their area and help them make informed choices. Patients and caregivers rely on your expertise when making cardiac care decisions. Encourage them to use Find Your Heart a Home before they receive a diagnosis, when they receive a diagnosis, to learn more about your facility, or when they are in need of a cardiovascular service not available at your facility. Get started at FindYourHeartaHome.org.

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Top Education and Career Growth News

ACC Impacts on MOC Process: Success But Still a Partial Victory
In a recent post on the ACC in Touch Blog, ACC’s Presidential Team provides a summary of the recent changes to the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM’s) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process and discusses ACC’s recommendations for further changes. In a recent meeting with the ABIM, ACC’s Presidential Team “clearly communicated [the College’s] needs to ABIM in order to make the MOC process useful and effective for cardiologists, as well as for our patients.” They add that “heading into 2016, the College will continue to press ahead with efforts to turn these recommendations into reality … This remains an utmost priority for the College and we intend to prevail.” Check out ACC’s online MOC hub, as well as the ACC in Touch Blog, for complete information on all of the changes, as well as information on frequently asked questions on recertification. Read more on the ACC in Touch Blog.

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Top Membership News

Is Your ACC Member Profile Up-To-Date?
The ACC wants to make sure it's sending members only the most relevant information. To that end, the College is encouraging all members to update their ACC profile, including contact information, specialty areas, clinical interest areas and practice information. Don’t miss out on the latest cardiovascular research, new clinical guidelines, advocacy updates, ACC news and member benefits. Update your profile online at ACC.org/MyProfile.

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Digital ACC Resources

New Updates For ACC’s Clinical Mobile App Collection
The ACC has recently expanded the mobile clinical content and decision support tools for clinicians with three additions to its Clinical Mobile App Collection. 1) The new STS/ACC TAVR In-Hospital Mortality Risk App built to assist clinicians in determining the predicted in-hospital mortality risk of a patient who is considering TAVR as a treatment option for AVR; 2) The updated AnticoagEvaluator App that helps clinicians make well-informed decisions on antithrombotic therapy for non-valvular AF patients – in addition to an upgraded look, the app features up-to-date therapy options, renal-specific dosing advice, and expanded web access; 3) Content additions to the Guideline Clinical App, including the Executive Summary, 10 Points to Remember, and 19 related tools for the new 2015 Supraventricular Tachycardia Guideline. Find out more and download the apps at ACC.org/Apps.

Stay In Touch with the ACC via Social Media
Stay in touch with the ACC and the latest clinical and advocacy news through ACC in Touch. 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 ACC.org/ACCinTouch.

ACC Archived Webinars
Did you know that you can find archived webinars from throughout the years from the ACC on ACC.org? As a member, you have access to this wealth of information here. To access them, you must have an ACC.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 Advocacy Action Mobile App
Be sure to download the 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).

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