These news items provide updates on key ACC initiatives, research or legislative efforts; new or upcoming educational programs, webinars or products; and hot topic ACC in Touch Blog or CardioSource Community discussions that might be of note to Chapter members.
ACC Partners with 1776 to Identify, Support Innovative Health Startups
The ACC is partnering with 1776, the global incubator and investment fund, as an association partner in addition to supporting 1776’s Challenge Cup – a global competition spanning 16 cities in 11 countries to identify the most promising health startups solving some of the health care industry’s biggest challenges. As a key part of 1776’s incubation model, connecting startups with high-level mentors and corporate partners is just as important as connecting startups to capital and venture funds. Association partners like the ACC introduce startups to potential customers, investors and industry leaders that can take their company to the next level. As a Challenge Cup partner, the ACC will provide this year’s regional winners with an unparalleled opportunity to learn about healthcare and pitch their companies: an all-expense paid trip to participate in its 64th Annual Scientific Session in San Diego, CA. Read more about the partnership.
ACC’s Cardiovascular Summit: Solutions for Thriving in a Time of Change
Seeking to improve patient outcomes and experiences through the delivery of high quality, cost effective care? Attend the ACC’s Cardiovascular Summit: Solutions for Thriving in a Time of Change, Jan. 22 – 24, 2015 in Orlando, FL, to develop a customized plan of action and learn about value-based care strategies and tactics, optimization of health care data, and effective leadership skills to ensure your practice thrives during these rapidly changing times. A course for the entire cardiovascular team, the Cardiovascular Summit will utilize dynamic teaching methods and feature small group workshops for all skill levels and practices. Read a recent post on the ACC in Touch Blog by C. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC, co-director of the Cardiovascular Summit on the value of attending. Register today.
Check Out ACC Coverage of the Hottest Science from AHA 2014
The ACC provided full coverage of the latest science from the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions in Chicago, IL. For news coverage, trial summaries, slide presentations, video interviews, and more, visit the AHA Meeting Coverage page on CardioSource.org. Also check out daily video coverage on the ACC in Touch Blog.
ACC Takes Guidelines on the Go With New Guideline Clinical App
The ACC’s new Guideline Clinical App is the mobile home of clinical guideline content and tools for clinicians caring for patients with cardiovascular disease. Now, clinicians can access guideline recommendations, “10 Points” summaries, and tools such as risk scores, calculators and algorithms. Bookmark, note-taking and shareable PDF features make it easy to customize the App on-the-go. The App's first release offers Heart Failure, Assessment of Cardiovascular Risk, and Treatment of Blood Cholesterol guideline content. In December, Atrial Fibrillation and Valvular Heart Disease Guidelines will be added. To download the free App, search “ACC Guidelines” in the iTunes or Google Play app stores. Learn more about the App. Help the ACC find new and better ways to deliver guideline content to clinicians by sharing your feedback.
ACC Names Final Round of Patient Navigator Program Hospitals
The final 20 hospitals have been named as participants in the ACC Patient Navigator Program, bringing the total number of participants to 35. The first of its kind in cardiology, the program supports national efforts to reduce unnecessary patient readmissions related to heart attacks and heart failure. Nearly one in five Medicare patients hospitalized with a heart attack and one in four Medicare patients hospitalized with heart failure are readmitted within 30 days of discharge, often for conditions seemingly unrelated to their original diagnosis. “The Patient Navigator Program is a unique collaboration between the cardiovascular care team, patients and families to manage the stress of hospitalization for complex conditions in a way that allows patients to return home, remain healthy and avoid the need for readmission whenever possible,” said ACC President Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, FACC. Read more on CardioSource.org.
ACC and AHA Issue Report on Clinician-Patient Shared Accountability in Performance Measures
A new report detailing concepts for shared accountability in performance measures between clinicians and patients has been released by the ACC, American Heart Association, American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Nurses Association in collaboration with other professional organizations. The report was published Nov. 3 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and examines the use of performance measures and how their implementation may be improved for care. Read more on CardioSource.org.
Physicians Can Track Care with Confidential CathPCI Physician Dashboard
Did you know that ACC members affiliated with NCDR CathPCI Registry hospitals can use the CathPCI Registry Physician Dashboard to take advantage of registry data to track and improve the quality of care provided to patients? The free dashboard, which can be accessed securely via the ACC’s CardioSource.org website, allows physicians to privately view their registry data including appropriateness of percutaneous coronary interventions, volume of cases treated, observed and expected mortality, door-to-balloon times and vascular complications. It also allows comparisons to other CathPCI Registry physicians in aggregate. In addition to raising awareness of performance, the dashboard can also help physicians earn Maintenance of Certification Part IV credit. Learn more at NCDR.com/CathPCIPhysicianDashboard.
Tell Congress This is Our Best Chance for SGR Repeal
With the 113th Congress drawing to a close, we are faced with our last chance in this Congress to pass a bill to finally repeal the flawed formula for Medicare payments – the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR). The current situation presents an unprecedented opportunity for repeal and momentum toward much-needed Medicare stability and reform will be stalled if this opportunity is missed. You and your colleagues have been integral in pushing the process this far. Join us again in demanding that Congress take this critical opportunity. Send a letter to your lawmakers urging them to tell their leadership to take the “SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014”(H.R. 4015/ S. 2000) to the floor for a vote before the end of the lame duck session. Learn more.
Election Results Are In
Over the course of the 2014 cycle, ACC's Political Action Committee (ACCPAC) supported 109 candidates throughout the country who will be in the position to formulate and control the policies that will impact health care for patients with cardiovascular disease; facilitate the delivery of high-quality, cost-effective cardiovascular services; and fund cardiovascular research and prevention. This week's election results were very much in the College's favor, with over 90 percent (99) of ACCPAC-supported candidates winning their elections. Through the generous support of its members, ACCPAC has established itself as the leading voice of the cardiovascular community on Capitol Hill and has built the relationships necessary to deliver cardiology's message directly to lawmakers. Take a look at examples of what ACC's advocacy efforts have accomplished during the 112th and 113th Congresses (2011-2014).Contributing to ACCPAC is an investment in your practice, your profession and your future. Become a member today. To learn more about ACCPAC, contact Kendra Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regulations Finalized for 2015 Medicare Fee Schedule and Hospital Outpatient Services
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released two final regulations of note to cardiovascular professionals. These rules determine the payment levels and associated policies for services provided under the Physician Fee Schedule and the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System. The rules indicate that physicians will see no change in payment for the first three months of 2015 due to the latest Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) patch. However, the SGR will take effect April 1, 2015, unless Congress again intervenes. At that time physicians would face a 21.2 percent cut as a result of the legally mandated SGR. Hospitals will receive a 2.3 percent increase in payment. The ACC continues to urge Congress to permanently address this issue. Changes unrelated to the SGR result in a flat payment for services provided by cardiologists in 2015. This estimate is based on the entire universe of cardiology services and can vary widely depending on the mix of services provided in a practice. For details on important proposals for cardiology contained in the rules and resources to help you navigate the changes, visit CardioSource.org.
Your Guide to 2015 Cardiovascular Coding
You can breathe a sigh of relief! Changes to existing CPT codes for cardiology were kept to a minimum for 2015. Next year will see CPT codes for newer technology and procedures. Key categories with updated language and new codes in 2015 include subcutaneous implantable defibrillators, transcatheter mitral valve repair, implantable cardiac device evaluations, advanced care planning and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Get a detailed summary of next year's coding changes on CardioSource.org. Your ACC has several resources to help you efficiently and accurately report cardiovascular services and procedures next year. The 2015 CPT Reference Guide for Cardiovascular Coding, co-published by the ACC and the AMA, is designed to help cardiovascular professionals select the appropriate codes for diagnostic and therapeutic radiological and cardiovascular procedures. The CPT Guide also provides a complete overview of the heart structures, vessels and conduction system, including cardiovascular basics and common ailments. Stay ahead of coding changes. Order your copy today. You can also review a recent webinar on CPT changes for cardiology in 2015.
ACC is Advocating for You
ACC Advocacy seeks to advance the College's mission of improving the cardiovascular wellbeing of the nation through interactions with Congress, federal government agencies, state legislative and regulatory bodies, private insurers and other policy making groups. By advocating for a quality driven health care system, provider stability, population health and the future of cardiovascular medicine, the ACC is leading the transformation of care. ACC's Advocacy efforts on both the federal and state level have resulted in numerous notable wins so far this year. Successes include tackling the Sustainable Growth Rate, facilitating alternative payment model participation, testifying during congressional committee hearings, advancing crucial legislation in the states, connecting a record number of ACC members with lawmakers, and having the number one cardiovascular political action committee. Take a closer look at how ACC is advocating for you.
2015 Final Rule Review Webinar
The final rules for the 2015 Physician Fee Schedule and Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System include a number of changes relevant to those who care for cardiovascular patients. Will you be prepared for the changes coming next year? Join ACC on Dec. 4 at 2:30 p.m. ET for a free webinar that will summarize the most important issues included in the 2015 final rules. This is also an opportunity for you to ask questions and share feedback. Register now.
Avoid PQRS Penalty
Physicians who do not report to the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2014 will receive a 2 percent penalty on all 2016 allowable charges. Avoid the penalty by reporting through the ACC's PQRSwizard, an easy to use online tool to help you quickly and easily participate in the program. Similar to online tax preparation software, the wizard guides you through a few easy steps to rapidly collect, validate and submit your results to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). You can select from the Heart Failure or Coronary Artery Disease Measures Group options to report on 20 of your patients seen in 2014, 11 of which must be Medicare Part B Fee-for-Service patients. The price per individual professional is $249. Groups of 10 or more providers are eligible for a group discount. Visit CardioSource.org for more information on navigating PQRS.
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.
Find a Mentor, Be a Mentor: Register for ACC’s Mentoring Program
The College’s 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.
JACC Podcasts Now Available on iTunes!
Stay updated on the latest emerging science in clinical cardiology with FREE audio summaries of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Each week, renowned Editor-in-Chief Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC provides an overview of the latest issue, including commentary and highlights on each of the papers published. Just search JACC Audio Podcasts in your iTunes store to download today! Also download the JACC for iPad app for easy access to articles, slides and to customize your personal folder of JACC content for use in presentations.
JACC Leadership Page: The ACC Looks to Balance Emerging Science and Clinical Practice Guideline Development
In a recent Leadership Page in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), ACC President Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, FACC, discusses recent clinical trials that have caused both physicians and the media to raise questions about the need to change current clinical practice guideline recommendations. In particular, O’Gara discusses three trials released during the 2014 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress – PARADIGM-HF, CvLPRIT and TASTE. “These and other trials underscore the fact that science is not static, but is rather constantly evolving.” says O’Gara. “Moving ahead, the ACC will need to pay continued attention to just how, and how quickly, we can and should implement changes to the guidelines, as well as to develop tools to make these guidelines accessible at the point of care. O’Gara also calls for efforts to harmonize guideline recommendations with international colleagues, particularly the ESC, to reduce confusion about recommendations across borders, minimize duplication and streamline future guideline development efforts across the global community. Read more on the JACC Leadership Page.
Marijuana (Medical and Otherwise)
The cover story in the latest issue of CardioSource WorldNews discusses the benefits of medical marijuana and the increasing use of recreational marijuana. “Of greatest interest to the cardiology community: evidence that inhaled cannabis has adverse cardiovascular consequences. Couple that with its increasing use and decriminalization, we're not just blowing smoke to say that if you haven't already seen a pot-related acute coronary syndrome, you might in the very near future.” However, the article explains that the cardiology community has done little clinical research on the cardiovascular effects of inhaled marijuana. Other articles include a clinical innovators column interview with Rahul C. Deo, MD, PhD, who was awarded the National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Award for his research in the genetics of cardiovascular disease; a straight talk column on promoting exercise vital signs in clinical practice; and more. 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. 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 email@example.com.
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).