Hot Topics and Overarching News
Digital ACC Resources News: Find It on CardioSource.org
Top Science and Quality News
Top Advocacy and Health Policy News
Top Education and Career Growth News
Webinars, Events, Deadlines and More: Mark Your Calendar
Tools and Tips
Kim Eagle Named Editor of ACC.org
The ACC has named Kim A. Eagle, MD, 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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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 discussion on 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Using Social Media to Reach Lawmakers
Throughout the year, [Your State] 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 [Your State] and beyond.