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
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.