By John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, vice
president-elect and former chair of the Board of Governors
Steering Committee met early this morning to discuss our priorities for the
next year. While new issues will likely arise, the following issues are ones
where the College can proactively lead change or support cardiovascular
professionals as they continue to provide quality care.
ACC Priority Issue #1: Reform
This isn’t a
new priority by any means, but with our health care system in flux under
reform, this is our chance to enact the changes we’ve been pushing for over the
past couple of years. This includes: repealing the sustainable growth rate;
promoting alternatives to radiology benefit managers; providing guidance and
testing for innovative new payment models that reward quality, cost-effective
care; and mitigating the effects of Medicare/Medicaid rules on cardiovascular
ACC Priority Issue #2: Reform the Health
Care Delivery System.
care delivery system is undergoing a much-needed overhaul. It’s us to up to
make sure that whatever happens, the outcome allows for cardiovascular
professionals to continue to provide high-quality care. This means we need to
work with Congress, policymakers and other stakeholders to define what
constitutes an accountable care organization, independent practice association
and the patient-centered medical home. In addition, when it comes to the health
reform law, we’ll need to improve the provisions that negatively impact
cardiology and work with chapters on the state-specific health reform issues.
ACC Priority Issue #3: Tort Reform.
an ongoing issue, although one that is receiving more discussion this Congress
compared to past. We’ll continue to support a bill from Rep.
Phil Gingrey, M.D., an OB-GYN from Georgia, which would implement medical
liability reform that ensure that injured patients are
compensated quickly and fairly; improve provider-patient communications; and
foster an environment for affordable and accessible medical liability
insurance. Separately from this bill, we’ll work with Congress and state
lawmakers to incorporate other reforms, such as health courts, certificates of
merit and adherence to practice guidelines.
ACC Priority Issue #4: Health
lot going on federally with health information technology and we need to make
sure ACC members are ready. For example, to avoid a penalty in 2012, physicians
need to start e-prescribing between now and June. In addition, up to $44,000
per physician is available to providers who can demonstrate meaningful use of
an electronic health record. We have to provide the resources to make sure ACC
members are able to participate in these programs and capitalize on the
ACC Priority Issue #5: Regulatory
changes are underfoot, and we need to get in now to shape the policies so that
they don’t compromise high-quality patient care. Some issues that we’ll need to
stay involved in: the transition to ICD-10 codes for
medical diagnosis and inpatient procedure coding; new imaging lab accreditation requirements for Jan. 1,
2012; coding changes based on bundling trends; and the FDA focus on radiation
safety and medical and device safety.
our work cut out for us. What are your thoughts on these priorities? Are there
any you would add?