Shor Named New BOG Chair-Elect
Robert Shor MD, FACC has been selected as the new ACC Board of Governors (BOG) Chair-Elect. “Selected from robust slate of outstanding nominees, Bob brings a breadth of knowledge and experience to the position that will serve the Chapters and Governors as well as the more general ACC family well,” said ACC BOG Chair David May, MD, PhD, FACC, following the announcement.
Shor is in private practice in Northern Virginia with Virginia Heart and while trained as an invasive cardiologist, Shor now spends most of his time on preventative cardiology and quality measures. He has held several positions in the ACC Virginia Chapter and is the current Governor of the Chapter. In addition, he has been a member of the NCQA Clinical Programs Committee for several years, has been devoted to advocacy for many years and participated in multiple clinical trials. He is interested in enhancing and expanding member value, pursuing excellence through quality metrics and cost analysis and optimizing communication.
ACC Releases New Multimodality Imaging AUC for Treatment of SIHD Patients
New “Multimodality Imaging Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) for the Detection and Risk Assessment of Stable Ischemic Heart Disease (SIHD)” for the first time integrates the ratings of a variety of imaging procedures ranging from exercise ECG to the diagnostic coronary angiogram. The new AUC, released by the ACC and nine other key cardiovascular specialty societies, update previous criteria for radionuclide imaging, stress echocardiography, calcium scoring, coronary computed tomography angiography, stress cardiac magnetic resonance and invasive coronary angiography. The criteria address 80 different clinical scenarios for treating SIHD patients using various imaging modalities and rates these scenarios as appropriate, may be appropriate and rarely appropriate. Get the details on the new criteria.
New Recommendations for Hypertension Management Released
New recommendations on hypertension management were published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) this morning. The recommendations, written by panel members appointed to the Eighth Joint National Committee, specifically focus on when medication should be started in patients, the best choices for medications to begin treatment; and communicating achievable blood pressure goals to patients. Highlights from the report, which includes nine recommendations and an accompanying algorithm, can be found on CardioSource.org.
First Hospitals Join ACC’s Patient Navigator Program
With increased penalties in effect for hospitals with excessive readmissions for heart attack and heart failure, the ACC kicked off the Patient Navigator Program earlier this year. The program is intended to support a team of caregivers at selected hospitals to help patients overcome challenges during their hospital stay and in the weeks following discharge when they are at most risk for readmission. AstraZeneca is the founding sponsor of the ACC Patient Navigator Program. The first 11 participating hospitals, which were chosen because of their commitment to quality demonstrated by participation in the National Cardiovascular Data Registry and Hospital to Home initiative, include:
- Advocate Sherman Hospital, Elgin, IL
- Christiana Care Health Services, Wilmington, DE.
- Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, PA
- Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital, IN
- MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC
- Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Portland, OR
- Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, CA
- St. Mary’s Hospital, Waterbury, CT
- Trident Health, Charleston, SC
- Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute, Nashville, TN
- WakeMed Health and Hospital, Raleigh, NC
New Societal Overview of Transcatheter Therapies for Mitral Regurgitation Released
A new societal overview of transcatheter therapies for mitral regurgitation (MR) was released in late November by the ACC, the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS), the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), and the Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) Foundation. The societal overview, which is the first of what is expected to be several documents on this topic, contains recommendations for appropriate integration. Among the highlights:
- Further research involving a wider spectrum of patients and devices.
- Continued development of regional heart valve referral centers of excellence that consist of a dedicated, multidisciplinary heart team and dedicated care pathways.
- Required participation of all centers in the ongoing TVT Registry, with limitation of new devices and reimbursement for their application to those centers that meet national criteria.
- Establishment of operator training and credentialing criteria for mitral valve procedures.
- Creation of guidelines, performance measures and appropriate use criteria for transcatheter MR interventions.
CMS Releases Final 2014 Physician Fee Schedule
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the final 2014 Physician Fee Schedule. Although the release of the rule was delayed due to the government shutdown, the provisions of the rule will be implemented starting Jan. 1, 2014. Overall, the rule reflects a payment reduction of 24.1 percent as mandated by the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. Additionally, CMS estimates an overall 1 percent increase in payments to cardiologists as a result of the implementation of this rule, but the effect will be very different on practices depending on their ownership and mix of services. In the way of quality provisions, physicians who do not participate in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2014 will receive a 2 percent penalty in 2016. In addition, CMS has expanded the Value-Based Modifier program so that it affects all groups with ten or more billing providers (MD/DO, PA, NP). This pay-for-performance program is built up on the basis of the PQRS program and not participating in PQRS will result in even more penalties beyond the 2 percent. Get the details on the 2014 Fee Schedule. CMS has also released the 2014 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS). Take a closer look at the HOPPS rule and what it means for cardiology.
To help you navigate the 2014 Physician Fee Schedule
ACC has developed several resources tailored specifically to cardiovascular professionals:
- Review a webinar on 2014 cardiovascular coding changes.
- Review a webinar on navigating PQRS and the Value-Based Modifier in 2014 and beyond.
- Reserve your copy of the 2014 CPT Guide for Cardiovascular Coding, your one-stop resource for efficiently and accurately reporting cardiovascular services and procedures. A 2014 Express Reference Card for Cardiology is also available.
- Attend ACC's Cardiovascular Summit, Jan. 16-18, 2014 in Las Vegas, which will feature several sessions related to changes in the final rule.
Congressional Committees Unanimously Vote to Repeal SGR
SGR Cuts Delayed as Part of Congress’ Budget Plan
On Dec. 12, the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee both voted unanimously (39-0 and by voice vote respectively) to repeal the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and reform physician payment. This development came just a day after the ACC sent a letter to the Committees thanking them for working to repeal the SGR and urging them to finalize legislation. While a permanent fix will not happen in 2013, the foundation for repealing the formula in 2014 has been laid. Just before going on recess, the House and Senate passed a budget agreement that delays for three months the 24 percent SGR cut scheduled for Jan. 1, 2014 and replaces it with a 0.5 percent payment update. This will give the House and Senate time in early 2014 to reconcile their differences for the bill and tackle the challenging task of finding offsets. Stay tuned to CardioSource.org for developments.
Important Billing Update
Effective Jan. 1, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is mandating submission of a clinical trial number to report claims for items and services in clinical trials, clinical studies, or registries. Submission of this number was previously voluntary. Affected items and services include those provided under coverage with evidence development (CED), the Medicare Clinical Trial Policy, or a CMS-approved investigational device exemption study. Get the details. Those who participate in trials or coverage-mandated registries (TVT, ICD) can locate relevant clinical trial numbers at clinicaltrials.gov. CED TAVR procedures in the STS/ACC TVT Registry™ will use clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT01737528. An identifier is being obtained for CED ICD procedures in the ICD Registry™. You can find other trial or study identifiers at clinicaltrials.gov.
ACC Awarded Highest Accreditation by ACCME
The ACC has once again been awarded Accreditation with Commendation by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). ACCME accreditation seeks to assure both physicians and the public that continuing medical education activities sponsored by ACC meet the highest educational quality standards. Accreditation with Commendation is the highest recognition that an organization can merit and extends ACC’s status as an elite accredited provider of Continuing Medical Education for a six year term. Congratulations to the Accreditation Committee Members, led by Committee Chair Carole Warnes, MD, FACC who contributed to the eighteen month re-accreditation process.
Beginning January 2014, ABIM will implement changes to their Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. These changes apply to all certified physicians, including those certified prior to 1990 (grandparents) and are both daunting and extensive. In an effort to make the new MOC program easier for members, ACC is asking for your support in getting the message out to our colleagues and constituents. Please join us either Monday, Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. EST or Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. EST for a fast-paced educational webinar which will offer you the tools and resources to effectively educate colleagues and constituents on MOC.
ACC.14 Hotel Rooms Going Fast
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.
Register for Snowmass 2014
Registration is closing soon for Snowmass 2014, held Jan. 11 – 15, 2014. Get cutting-edge interventions and therapies for cardiovascular disease. Learn more here.
Women’s Heart Health Course in Washington, DC
Learn the best treatment for your female patients in the ongoing battle against heart disease. Click here for more information on the Jan. 24 and 25, 2014 event
CV Summit Heads to Vegas in January
The Cardiovascular Summit: Solutions for Thriving in a Time of Change course will be held Jan. 16 – 18, 2014 at the Aria Casino and Resort Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. Staff and member volunteers developed finance, data, leadership and the service line content for the meeting. Registration and lodging information is available here. Contact Jackie Massey with questions.
ACC Launches New Community on Dyslipidemia
The ACC has launched its newest community focused on dyslipidemia. The Dyslipidemia CardioSource Clinical Community led by Roger S. Blumenthal, MD, FACC, and Seth S. Martin, MD, is designed provide new information on the science of lipid management, and drive awareness of the importance of lipid control. Additionally, the site is designed to educate clinicians on important topics such as atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), which is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality. While much progress has been made in this disease state, there remains considerable risk of ASCVD. Learn more at LDL.CardioSource.org. Also check out a video introducing the new community.
Help Us Get to 5,000 Downloads on the CardioSmart Explorer App!
Looking for an easy way to effectively review and discuss common heart problems and treatment options with your patients? The CardioSmart Explorer app uses high resolution cardiac graphics and animations and is designed to enhance the clinician/patient relationship at the point of care. ACC members can download it for free here!
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:
- Clarifying the Basis of the New Prevention Guidelines:
In a Dec. 6 post, ACC President John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC discusses the new prevention guidelines and outlines ACC’s and AHA’s firm stance behind them.
- Practice Changing Trials from the Last Decade:
CardioSource Science and Quality editors come together to list some of the most influential clinical trials from ACC Scientific Sessions dating back to 2001 in a Dec. 5 post.
- Why Medicine is Messy:
Board of Governors Chair David May, MD, PhD, FACC reflects on appropriate use criteria and the complicated process of medical decision making in a Nov. 21 post." See what else he had to say on the Blog.
- Practice Changing Trials from the Last Decade:
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 incardiovascular 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 mediachannels 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-centeredcardiovascular news available through Facebook, Twitter @CardioSmart, and YouTube. For more information about ACC’s social media channels, visit CardioSource.org/ACCinTouch.