This post was authored by Rachel Lampert, MD, FACC, associate professor of medicine, Section of Cardiology/Electrophysiology at Yale University School of Medicine, and member of the ACC’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology section leadership council.
ACC.14 is almost here, and there will be a lot of exciting presentations for the sports-and-exercise-minded. While sports and exercise is not a “pathway” this year as it was last year, an itinerary of sports and exercise programming can be found through the sports “practice focus” topic on the ACC.14 eMeeting Planner App and online program planner. Continue reading
“…and where would I hear the murmur?” – Anonymous participant at a recent Championing Care meeting
All of us, having alternately taught and been taught all of our lives, are educators, reveling in that never-ending cycle of falling behind and catching up again, reproduced the world over.
Tactically, our post-graduate continuing medical education has been structured as “onion-skinning,” our substantial pre-existing knowledge base repetitively veneered with a thin layer of highly specific new content applied intermittently. In practical terms, a group of interventionists come together and receive late-breaking information about interventional cardiology, echocardiographers gaining similar information regarding their imaging modality, that content being tailored specifically to what is a highly select audience, a horizontally homogenous group consuming specific information updates in a periodic fashion. Continue reading
This post was authored by Joe Selby, MD, MPH, executive director of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.
Dedicated to improving decision making around common, burdensome health care issues, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) views cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke, as a critically important topic for research. CVD is the leading cause of deaths in the US, accounting for approximately one third of all deaths. Not surprisingly, it is the single most commonly studied topic in PCORI’s research portfolio. Continue reading
This post was authored by Gerard R. Martin, MD, FACC, a past chair of the ACC’s Adult Congenital and Pediatric Cardiology Council and senior vice president, Center for Heart, Lung and Kidney Disease, Children’s National Health System.
Congenital heart disease (CHD), the number one birth defect is a growing problem in the U.S. due to excellent childhood treatments. As such, the number of adults living with CHD has exceeded the number of children with CHD, and it has become more important than ever to ensure that Congress understands that CHD is a life-long disease.
The cardiovascular community as a whole naturally tends to lapse into an egocentric, self-centered world view in which the issues we face are the “important issues,” “the “most significant” concepts and constructs being those that affect us. We talk to cardiovascular medicine colleagues, lament our not-too-dissimilar problems and perceive the subspecialties in cardiology as vastly different from each other, the imager and the interventionist having nothing in common save a tax ID number and perhaps distaste for the sustainable growth rate. Continue reading
John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, president of the ACC attends the launch of the Patient Navigator Program at UCLA Medical Center.
The rollout of the ACC’s Patient Navigator Program continues with program launches this week at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA, and Christiana Care Health Services in Wilmington, DE.
“The ACC Patient Navigator Program will serve as a test for innovative, patient-centered solutions to address issues that impact patient health and patient readmissions,” said ACC President John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC. “The [first participating] hospitals will serve as pioneers in a new approach to heart disease treatment and care that puts emphasis on meeting patients’ ongoing needs and helping patients make a seamless transition from the hospital to the home.” Continue reading
This post was authored by Alfred A. Bove, MD, PhD, MACC, member of the ACC’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology section leadership council.
Within the spectrum of sports and exercise cardiology is sports scuba diving. There are unique and interesting cardiology issues related to undersea exposures. Examples include when a female sport diver develops a Takotsubo syndrome after being stung by a toxic jelly fish, or when a commercial diver is shocked by an electric ray and develops atrial fibrillation. Others examples include when a healthy 30-year-old female diver develops dyspnea, cough and blood tinged frothy sputum while diving and is found to be in pulmonary edema. These are a few of the disorders that occur in sport divers in which a cardiologist is often consulted. Recently, my institution (Temple University School of Medicine) sponsored a one-week continuing medical education program in undersea medicine. This was our 40th consecutive program, and this year we covered topics on the physics and physiology of diving and underwater exposure, hazardous marine life, breath hold diving, submarine escape and rescue, cardiac fitness to dive, and sudden death in diving. Continue reading
This post was authored by Lee Goldberg, MD, MPH, FACC, heart failure and transplant section chair.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) made a number of important changes to the national coverage determination (NCD) for ventricular assist devices (VAD) in October 2013. DNV Healthcare Inc. requested review of the NCD to consider the position held by the Joint Commission as the only entity approved to accredit VAD programs. In response to this request, CMS will create standards any entity must meet in order to accredit VAD programs.
CMS made other important changes to the NCD that impact VAD programs. First, CMS decided to keep the bridge to transplant and destination therapy coverage categories. This decision rejected the suggestion made by the ACC and a number of other stakeholders that these categories reflect neither the way programs select patients nor the medical uncertainty that is often present when a VAD is implanted. Continue reading
This post was authored by Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, FACC, vice president of the ACC.
Greetings from Washington, DC! Today, leaders from the ACC, the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology and the American Society of Echocardiography have united on Capitol Hill to meet directly with lawmakers and underscore the importance of permanently repealing the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) payment formula. After more than a decade battling the flawed formula that has threatened patient access and physician stability, a viable proposal for permanently repealing the SGR and establishing a framework for a new Medicare payment system that would reward high quality, evidence-based care is on the table.
Immediately following the release of a bipartisan legislative proposal last week, the ACC and wider medical community jumped into action. A Grassroots Action Alert has been activated so ACC members can easily contact their lawmakers. The ACC expressed support for this legislation, which is largely consistent with our longstanding healthcare policy goals, in a letter to congressional leaders. The College also joined other specialty societies by signing onto an American Medical Association (AMA) letter calling for Congress to continue the momentum and finalize legislation. Continue reading
With increased penalties in effect for hospitals with excessive readmissions for heart attack and heart failure, last year the ACC launched a program that applies a team approach to keeping patients at home and healthy after discharge.
The ACC created the Patient Navigator Program 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. Hospitals have been given funding to establish a program that supports a culture of patient-centered care that can potentially be implemented in other hospitals in the future. Continue reading