New in ACC Clinical Documents New Measure Set Focuses on SCD Prevention A new report released Dec. 19 by the ACC and the American Heart Association presents 10 quality and performance measures that are intended to help stakeholders – including health systems, legislative bodies, and nongovernmental organizations, as well as health care practitioners, patients, families and communities – in the effort to prevent sudden cardiac death (SCD). The joint report, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, “is the first comprehensive measure set in the area of SCD prevention,” according to Sana Al-Khatib, MD, FACC, co-chair of the writing committee. Updated AUC For Coronary Revascularization For ACS The ACC, along with several partnering organizations, released updated appropriate use criteria (AUC) for performing coronary revascularization in patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS). The document, published Dec. 21 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, includes clinical scenarios developed to mimic patient presentations that may be encountered in everyday practice. It also provides information on symptom status, presence of clinical instability or ongoing ischemic symptoms, prior reperfusion therapy, risk level as assessed by noninvasive testing, fractional flow reserve testing, and coronary anatomy. “The primary objective of the AUC is to provide a framework for the assessment of practice patterns that will hopefully improve physician decision making and ultimately lead to better patient outcomes,” said Manesh R. Patel, MD, FACC, chair of the writing committee. New Expert Guidance Released For TAVR A new expert consensus decision pathway will assist clinicians and hospitals in assessing patients’ eligibility for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), successfully performing the procedure and providing appropriate follow-up. The 2017 ACC Expert Consensus Decision Pathway for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement in the Management of Adults with Aortic Stenosis builds on recommendations set forth in the 2014 AHA/ ACC Guidelines for Management of Patients with Valvular Heart Disease, and was published Jan. 4 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. In order to develop practice tools that could readily help centers improve their TAVR processes, patient safety and outcomes, the writing committee developed checklists that serve as a starting point for managing patients who are being considered for TAVR. The document also takes clinicians through the steps that are needed to successfully perform the procedure, including what imaging tests are needed and how to ensure continuity of care when patients transition back to their treating physicians. Notable News MOC Update: ACC Exploring Society Pathway Option The ACC, along with the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Clinical Oncology, is working with the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) to explore a “Society Maintenance Pathway” that would be an alternative to ABIM’s 10-year Maintenance of Certification (MOC) exam. For cardiology, this could mean the ACC would provide clinicians with learning material and modular assessments modeled after the lifelong learning self-assessment program (ACCSAP) and report the names of successful diplomates to ABIM. Those diplomates choosing not to participate or who are unsuccessful in completing the Society Maintenance Pathway would have the option of taking the ABIM’s 10-year exam before any action would be taken by the ABIM regarding their certification status. Details about the pilot program and the specifics of professional society pathways for MOC, including a time frame, have yet to be determined and will be discussed with ABIM in the coming weeks. Stay tuned to ACC.org/MOC for continued updates and access to all of the College’s free MOC activities. In Memoriam: Wil Mick, ACC VP of Accreditation Services Wil Mick, vice president of Accreditation Services at the ACC, passed away on Nov. 28. Wil joined the ACC earlier this year as part of the merger between the College and the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care (SCPC), where he had served as CEO since 2011. A former president of Heartbeat International, Mick also served as regional director at U.S. Cardiovascular, as well as administrative director of the Heart Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, FL. Wil had a 20-year history in the cardiovascular field of initiating projects and programs that increased efficiency and productivity while providing service to populations in need. “All of us at the ACC are saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague Wil Mick,” said ACC President Richard A. Chazal, MD, FACC. “Wil’s dedication and passion for saving lives guided his career choices,” stated Raymond Bahr, MD, FACC, SCPC founder and president emeritus. “Wil believed in the mission of the Society and created the processes that were necessary to save more lives. I can’t think of a better person to have led SCPC over the last five years.” ACC, HFSA Efforts Yield New Specialty Designation Thanks to efforts by the ACC and the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently informed both societies that it has approved a new specialty designation for “Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology.” The new designation will allow CMS to distinguish Heart Failure and transplant cardiologists from clinical cardiologists when billing for Medicare services. Previously, no mechanism existed for CMS to accurately identify this category of physician for quality and payment programs. Some local Medicare carriers have denied claims in the past, citing duplicate billing, when a cardiologist and an HF specialist from the same practice have billed for patient evaluation services. Once CMS takes necessary steps to create the new code, which could take up to a year or more, it will allow for the reporting of the involvement of two specialty physicians providing distinct services to an individual patient. “We, the advanced heart failure cardiologists, value and take pride in the care we provide and believe it is a unique practice with specialized training and expertise, as also recognized by other cardiologists referring their patients who seek our care,” says Biykem Bozkurt, MD, PhD, FACC, chair of ACC’s Heart Failure and Transplant Section Leadership Council. ACC Around the World ACC International Regional Conference Dates Set The ACC initiated its inaugural International Regional Conference Program in 2016 with two highly successful events held in Latin America and the Middle East. The conferences leveraged the College’s International Chapter network to convene area cardiovascular societies and construct locally relevant, practical and innovative regional educational programming. Given the success of the 2016 pilot regional conferences, the ACC will continue the Latin America and Middle East conferences in 2017 and also expand the program to include an Asia Pacific conference. The dates and locations are as follows: ACC Latin America Regional Conference June 22 – 24 Mexico City, Mexico ACC Middle East Regional Conference Oct. 19 – 21 Dubai, United Arab Emirates ACC Asia Pacific Regional Conference Dec. 1 – 3 Shanghai, China “The ACC’s international mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease worldwide. In order to achieve that mission, we need to reach people in the regions where they live and practice,” said Richard A. Chazal, MD, FACC, ACC president. “Embodying that mission is the primary purpose of the regional conference program, and we are honored to learn from our partners around the world who make these meetings a success.”
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