Leading the Transformation of Care

This post was authored by Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, FACC, president-elect of the ACC. – See more at: http://blog.cardiosource.org/post/heard-hill-accs-legislative-conference/#sthash.LfBjowkL.dpuf

This post was authored by Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, FACC, president-elect of the ACC.

Over the past 40 years, the world has seen significant advances in cardiovascular care including a 50 percent decline in cardiovascular-related deaths. A study published in Circulation last month further demonstrated the progress that has been made. The study found that hospitalizations for acute cardiovascular disease and stroke showed rapid decline from 1999 through 2011, compared to other cardiac-related conditions. Additionally, patients achieved improved mortality and readmission outcomes.

Achievements like these serve as evidence that cardiovascular care professionals are capable of successfully combating heart disease – the number one killer of Americans. Yet, in this era of constant change and increasing burdens within the health care system, the challenge lies in sustaining these gains while at the same time reducing costs. Through its advocacy efforts, the ACC is shaping health policy to meet the Triple Aim of better health, better outcomes and lower cost.

Advocacy will be in full swing next week as nearly 400 ACC members gather in Washington, DC, to discuss the changing landscape of health care and advocate for cardiovascular professionals and patients on Capitol Hill during ACC’s Legislative Conference. During congressional meetings, ACC members will share how the College is leading the transformation of care by developing a quality driven health care system, ensuring practice stability and securing the future of cardiovascular care.

Here’s a snapshot of the messages members will underscore while on the Hill:

  • The ACC is a pioneer in the use of clinical data registries and is a leader in the creation of clinical practice guidelines, appropriate use criteria, and established quality initiatives aimed at decreasing unjustified variations in care, reducing hospital readmissions, and reducing unnecessary spending. The ACC is actively working with Congress and other key stakeholders to develop a health care system that puts patients first and rewards cardiovascular professionals for their commitment to quality, evidence-based care.
  • The ACC supports efforts that facilitate practice and provider stability, such as permanent repeal of the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate formula, continued patient access to in-office ancillary services, greater interoperability of health information technology, fair and accurate reimbursement for services, and medical liability reforms. The College also supports the development and implementation of new payment models that reward improved outcomes and prudent use of resources.
  • Ensuring future generations of cardiovascular professionals have the tools and resources to continue the advancement of cardiovascular care is a core strategic objective of the College. The ACC steadfastly advocates for necessary funding of clinical research and support for graduate medical education. The College also supports programs and partnerships that encourage team-based care across specialties, and facilitate approval, adoption and tracking of new drugs and therapies.

Given the wide range of issues facing cardiovascular professionals, a talking points document was designed to enable ACC members to bring the issues they care about most to their legislators. Even if you’re not attending Legislative Conference, you can make a difference. Please send a letter to your lawmakers using the ACC Grassroots System to tell them how the ACC is leading the transformation of care.

Stay tuned for full coverage of ACC’s Legislative Conference on the Blog. You can also follow @Cardiology and use the hashtag #ACCLegConf on Twitter, view photos and join the discussion on Facebook and get the FIT perspective with FITs on the Go videos. 

Working Collaboratively to Help Patients and Clinicians Address LDL Risks

This post was authored by Kim Birtcher, MS, PharmD, AACC, chair of the ACC’s LDL: Address the Risk Oversight Workgroup.

High low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke, yet many patients aren’t taking the medications or making the lifestyle changes needed to lower their risk.  On the provider front, the number of published clinical guidelines with substantially different recommendations also poses confusion for patients and clinicians alike. In an effort to address the significant gaps in care, the ACC launched its LDL: Address the Risk initiative to improve patient outcomes by increasing awareness of the gaps in lipid management, along with the importance of managing LDL-related risks. Continue reading

A Look at Trends in Cardiovascular Hospitalizations and Outcomes

This post was authored by Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, SM, FACC, member of the ACC Board of Trustees.

In cardiology we need to measure our achievements by what we have done for patients and populations. It is not enough to brag about new programs provided or treatments delivered. In the end we need to know the results we have achieved.

Such information, however, is not easy to obtain. We do not have the type of integrated national data that would provide a surveillance system. However, the Medicare Fee-for-Service system does have records stretching back more than a decade that can be accessed and analyzed to determine trends in hospitalization rates and outcomes. Continue reading

Hot Topics from ESC Congress 2014 – Day 4

Check out ACC video coverage of the latest hot topics from ESC Congress 2014. Watch Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, FACC, and Alfred A. Bove, MD, MACC, give a recap of Tuesday’s trials, and the wrap-up video from the FITs on the GO. Also watch additional interviews on PARADIGM-HF and INVEST. Check out full coverage from the meeting at CardioSource.org.

Hot Topics from ESC Congress 2014 – Day 3

Check out ACC video coverage of the latest hot topics from ESC Congress 2014. Watch Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, FACC, and Anthony N. DeMaria, MD, MACC, give a recap of Monday’s trials, and the latest videos from the FITs on the GO including an interview with ACC Incoming President Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, FACC, and ACC Vice President Richard A. Chazal, MD, FACC, on the ACC’s future, and with JACC Editor-in-Chief Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC, on the new Fellows page. Check out full coverage from the meeting at CardioSource.org.

Continue reading

Hot Topics from ESC Congress 2014 – Day 2

Check out ACC video coverage of the latest hot topics from ESC Congress 2014. Watch Deepak L. Bhatt, MD, FACC, and Robert P. Giugliano, MD, FACC, give a recap of Sunday’s trials, and the latest videos from the FITs on the GO on the PARADIGM-HF, POPE-2 and ODYSSEY-COMBO II trials. Check out full coverage from the meeting at CardioSource.org.

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Why Don’t More Female Residents Choose Cardiology as a Career?

This post was authored by LaVone Smith, MD, member of the WIC Section and a second year fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine at The University of Virginia Health System.

While women constitute almost half of graduating internal medicine residents and nearly 40 percent of first year fellows in medicine subspecialties, there remains a large gender gap in cardiovascular training programs, where women represent only 20 percent of fellows entering the specialty.  Continue reading

The Importance of Curbing Smoking and Regulating E-Cigarettes

Today the American Heart Association (AHA) released a policy statement on electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). I commend the AHA for addressing this hot topic, and for shedding light on the importance of expanding regulative authority over the e-cigarette.

Nearly 50 years ago, low-tar cigarettes came on the market with the suggestion that they were safer than regular cigarettes. Smokers either switched brands instead of quitting or even started smoking under the mistaken impression that low-tar cigarettes were a healthier choice. We learned years later that low-tar cigarettes were actually more likely to lead to lung cancer and no better for the heart. Continue reading

In Tribute to Arthur Hollman, MD, FRCP, FLS

This post was authored by John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, immediate past president of the ACC.

Arthur Hollman, MD, the archivist and historian for the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS) and honorary member of the California Chapter of the ACC (CAACC) has died.

Arthur Hollman, MD, Dipti Itchhaporia, MD, FACC, and John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, at the 2013 BCS Meeting in London, England.

Arthur Hollman, MD, Dipti Itchhaporia, MD, FACC, and John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, at the 2013 BCS Meeting in London, England.

Born in 1923, Dr. Hollman graduated from University College Hospital Medical School in 1946 and studied under Sir Thomas Lewis, Paul Wood, MD, and John Goodwin, MD, in London. He was a consultant physician with a long interest in the therapeutic use of medicinal plants. He represented the Royal College of Physicians of London on the Advisory Committee of the Chelsea Physic Garden for 26 years. He was a livery member of the Society of Apothecaries, to whom he gave the Hans Sloane Lecture entitled “Plants in Medicine.” His associated interest in plants and medicine brought him the Fellowship of the Linnean Society (FLS) in 1985. Continue reading