Celebrating the Nation’s Landmark Health Care Program This issue of Cardiology takes a look back on 50 years of the Medicare and Medicaid program. While Medicare and Medicaid are not without their critics, there’s no denying the impacts of the programs on the American health care landscape over the last 50 years. As ACC Past President John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, notes, “The programs have transformed health care in the U. S. and have stimulated broad social change including the integration and expansion of hospitals.” However, the growth of both Medicare and Medicaid over the years places them as the nation’s largest insurers and as primary contributors to the country’s increasing health care costs. As we look for solutions to the cost conundrum, no matter what form Medicare and Medicaid take in the future, the ACC is well positioned to play a role. In this issue we also learn more about the editors of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology’s (JACC) family of journals, which continues to grow in both size and influence. Now with five sister journals, the newest member of the JACC family, JACC: Basic Translational Research, will begin publication in December 2015 with Douglas L. Mann, MD, FACC, at the helm. We hear from Robert A. Shor, MD, FACC, chair of the ACC’s Board of Governors, about the ACC Virginia Chapter’s partnership with the Virginia Cardiac Services Quality Initiative, which aims to improve cardiac surgery programs through the use of outcomes analysis and process improvement. We get a closer look at one of the many successful quality improvement programs led by the College – the Door to Balloon (D2B) initiative. As John E. Brush Jr., MD, FACC, past ACC Governor of Virginia, explains, “We have fixed the D2B problem, and our next step is to look for other challenges.” Building on the D2B initiative’s success, last year the ACC launched Surviving MI, a quality initiative to help hospitals reduce 30-day mortality rates for heart attack patients through organizational culture change and the creation of a hospital learning network. The issue looks at what’s next on ACC’s Legislative Agenda, provides a deep-dive into the proposed 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Hospital Outpatient Rules, includes a recap of the College’s Population Health retreat, and more. Lastly, it includes important updates on ACC’s efforts in working with the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) on their Maintenance of Certification process. Several changes have taken place over the past few months, and rest assured that the College is continually engaged with ABIM with a goal of engendering a constant dialogue and an atmosphere of change for the benefit of our members and their patients! Kim Allan Williams Sr., MD, FACC ACC President
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