Georgia Chapter of the American College of Cardiology

Post-ACC.14 Chapter News You Can Use

Get Full Coverage of ACC.14
From trial summaries to presentation slides, videos and news articles, get all of the hot clinical news from ACC.14 on here. Also, read more in depth pieces about sessions throughout the meeting here and get perspectives from leaders on the ACC in Touch Blog.You can find wrap up videos from each day of the annual scientific sessions and hot trial videos on YouTube.

Coverage of the most significant trials from ACC.14 (click to access):

  • CoreValve US Pivotal Trial: TAVR with a Self-Expanding Prosthesis Shows Lower Mortality Than Surgery
  • SYMPLICITY HTN-3: Renal Artery Denervation Fails for Resistant HTN
  • STABILITY: Stabilization of Atherosclerotic Plaque by Initiation of Darapladib Therapy
  • AleCardio: Aleglitazar to Reduce CV Events in Patients With ACS and Diabetes
  • CHOICE: Self-Expandable vs. Balloon Expandable Prostheses in Transfemoral TAVR Patients
  • POISE-2 Trials: Evaluation of Low-Dose Clonidine and Aspirin in Patients at Risk For ASCVD


Convocation Recognizes Past, Present and Future ACC Leaders
ACC’s 63rd Annual Convocation recognizes ACC leaders, welcomed new Fellows and Associates and acknowledged the traditions and legacy of the institution of the American College of Cardiology. Read speeches from Convocation in their entirety from Immediate Past President John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC and newly minted ACC President Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, FACC here. Also, read O’Gara’s first JACC President’s Page and learn more about O’Gara mission in this Q&A.


FITs on the Go Videos
Check out the ACC.14 videos from FITs on the GO, the roving reporters who also happen to be ACC Fellows-in-Training. All of the videos are archived here. These ones in particular may be of interest:

  • FITs on the GO talk with ACC President Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, FACC, about research development awards and the ACC’s focus on improving patient care, as well as other topics of interest to the care team and FIT/early career members.
  • Incoming Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) Editor-in-Chief, Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC talks about new opportunities for FITs in JACC that will give contributors a global voice, and other bits of wisdom for those early in their cardiology career.


MOC Deadline Extended Through April 30
The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has extended the enrollment deadline for anyone choosing to participate in MOC through April 30.  Those enrolled by this date will be reported as “Meeting MOC Requirements.”  Otherwise, physician choosing not to enroll will be reported as “Certified, Not Meeting MOC Requirements.”  The original deadline was March 31. The ABIM’s MOC changes, which took effect as of Jan. 1, apply to all certified physicians – including those originally certified prior to 1990 (grandparents) – and require specific proactive steps on the part of physicians over the next two years. ACC.14 hosted several sessions dedicated to helping cardiologists understand and meet the new requirements, as well as featured an MOC Complex to help with questions. In addition, the College is using an ongoing three-pronged strategy to help members not only understand, but meet, the new requirements. In addition to communicating with and answering questions from members, the College is also gathering and providing feedback to ABIM on the concerns of the cardiovascular community. Learn more about the MOC changes and ACC resources at Also read an ACC.14 guest blog post from ABIM President and CEO Richard J. Baron, MD, here.


FDA Issues Clarification on Sildenafil Use in Children with PAH
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is clarifying its previous recommendation related to prescribing sildenafil (Revatio) for children with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Sildenafil is FDA-approved only to treat PAH in adults, not in children; however, the FDA says health care professionals must consider whether the benefits of treatment with the drug are likely to outweigh its potential risks for each patient. FDA revised the sildenafil drug label in August 2012, adding a warning stating that “use of [sildenafil], particularly chronic use, is not recommended in children.” This recommendation was based on an observation of increasing mortality with increasing sildenafil doses in a long-term clinical trial in pediatric patients with PAH. FDA also issued a Drug Safety Communication at that time. Learn more here.


Congress Passes 12-Month SGR Patch
Despite a last ditch effort by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden to permanently repeal and replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, the Senate passed the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (H.R. 4302) on March 31 in a vote of 64-35. The legislation, which delays for 12 months a 24 percent Medicare physician payment cut that was set to kick in April 1, is the 17th patch that Congress has enacted since 1997. Last week, the House passed the bill by voice vote. Get more details on the provisions included here.


Clinical Documents, Statements Released Immediately Prior to ACC.14

  • ACC/AHA/HRS Guideline for the Management of Patients With AFib

The ACC, American Heart Association (AHA) and the Heart Rhythm Society, in collaboration with the Society of Thoracic Surgery, have released a new 2014 Guideline for the Management of Patients With Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) that incorporates new and existing knowledge derived from published clinical trials, basic science, and comprehensive review articles, along with evolving treatment strategies and new drugs. The guideline, which supersedes the "2006 ACC/AHA/ESC Guideline for the Management of Patients With Atrial Fibrillation" and two subsequent focused updates from 2011, contains the most updated consensus of clinicians with broad expertise related to AFib and its treatment, including adult cardiology, electrophysiology, cardiothoracic surgery, and heart failure.

  • ACC/AHA/SCAI Health Policy Statement on Clinical Standards For Cardiac Cath Lab Structured Reporting

The ACC, AHA and Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, in collaboration with 14 other professional societies, on March 28 released a health policy statement  in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that defines the clinical standards for structured reporting in the cardiac catheterization suite. The goal of the statement is to provide a standardized means for how to report a variety of cardiac catheterization procedures and improve patient care by making clinical data more timely, accessible, consistent and usable. Learn more here.

  • ACC/AHA Statement on Cost/Value Methodology in Guidelines and Performance Measures

The ACC and the AHA will begin to include value assessments when developing guidelines and performance measures, in recognition of accelerating health care costs and the need for care to be of value to patients. The ACC/AHA Statement on Cost/Value Methodology in Guidelines and Performance Measures released March 27, states a key goal of achieving the best possible health outcomes with finite health care resources. Historically, value consideration and resource utilization were explicitly excluded from practice guidelines and performance measures formulations, though they were often implicitly considered. Learn more here.

ACC News You Can Use for March 2014

Overarching News:

Latest Issue of Cardiology Celebrates ACC History and Looks to Future
The latest issue of Cardiology magazine celebrates the ACC’s rich 65-year history, while also providing a look ahead at the future as the College continues to grow and serve as the primary home for the entire cardiovascular community. Get to know ACC leaders past and present, learn more about the new strategic plan, find out what’s in store at ACC.14 in Washington, DC, and more! Read more on

CardioSmart at Upcoming Chapter Meetings
Keep your eyes peeled for representatives from ACC’s CardioSmart patient initiative at your upcoming Chapter meetings. CardioSmart has many new patient-friendly tools and resources plus an updated website available that can help ACC members help patients become more educated and heart healthy. Learn more here.


Top Science and Quality News:

Note: We anticipate a few significant guidelines and clinical documents out later this week. Stay tuned to for more information regarding these important items.

New Guideline for the Management of Patients with Valvular Heart Disease
New practice guidelines for the management of patients with valvular heart disease (VHD) were released March 3 by the ACC and the American Heart Association. The first focused update on the condition and its treatment since 2008, the new guideline includes restructured definitions of disease severity, and provides a more complex evaluation of interventional risk and indications for newer catheter-based therapies. Read more on

Dissin' DAT: Extended DAT is Common, But Data Prompt the Question, “Why?”
The cover story in the March issue of CardioSource WorldNews looks at the length of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAT) noting that there remains the Goldilocks question “when is DAT duration ‘just right?’” According to a recently presented study looking at "very, very late" stent thrombosis occurring more than five years after DES placement, the investigators concluded that “There appears to be no definable 'safe' time when antiplatelet therapy may be discontinued without potential stent thrombosis." The article also notes that “conversely, FAST MI found that use of DAT at one year was not a predictor of five-year mortality and PRODIGY suggests that 24 months of DAT is no better than six months.” The article concludes that two trials are due to wrap up in 2014 that will shed some light on this question of prolonged DAT. Read the full article and catch up on the entire issue at


Top Advocacy and Health Policy News:

Advocacy in Action at ACC.14
Mark Your Calendars! Health policy will be in the spotlight during ACC.14 in Washington, DC. Don't miss the unique opportunity to interact with health policy decision-makers during these sessions:

  • Affordable Care Act Implementation: Impact on Patients and Providers (#615)

  • Not Just for Coders: How ICD-10 Will Affect Clinicians and the Practice of Medicine (#639)

  • What Makes the Device Approval Process Tick? Making Sense of Methods, Timing and Effects (#649)

  • Device Approval Processes Around the World: Which Is Better? (#656)

  • Drug and Device Safety for 2014 and Beyond (#662)

  • Impact of the Evolving Health Care Landscape on the Academic Mission (#718)

  • Let the Sunshine in: Research and Education in an Era of the 24-Hour News Cycle (#731) 

Learn more about these sessions with the ACC.14 eMeeting Planner App or the ACC.14 Online Program Planner.

Advocacy Meet and Greet at ACC.14
Visit ACC Central (booth #838) during ACC.14 to meet Advocacy staff and learn about how the College is shaping health policy to meet the triple aim of better health, better outcomes and lower cost. Also be sure to stop by the ACC Political Action Committee (ACCPAC) Lounge in the Grand Lobby to speak with ACCPAC staff and members and learn more about hot button issues. Fellows in Training and Early Career Physicians are invited to join the ACC Board of Governors for an ACCPAC-sponsored reception at City Tap House, 901 I St. NW, Washington, DC, on March 30 from 6 - 8 p.m. Please RSVP to Lucas Sanders at

Win for CCHD Screening in Massachusetts
Massachusetts is the latest state to pass legislation requiring that newborns be screened for critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) before being discharged from a birthing facility or hospital. S.B. 1919 directs the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) to develop regulations for pulse oximetry testing for CCHD. The law also provides future flexibility by permitting the department to approve another test for CCHD screening if that test is at least as accurate, widely available and cost-effective as pulse oximetry screening. The MDPH regulations must consider evidence-based guidance, including recommendations issued by the federal Health and Human Services Discretionary Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children. Should the parent or guardian object to having their newborn screened based upon "sincerely held religious beliefs" pulse oximetry testing will not be performed. The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2015 or earlier depending upon issuance of the regulations. Finally, the MDPH must review the protocols required by S.B. 1919 and the implementation of these protocols as part of its hospital licensure and birthing facility licensure review processes. Read up on Arizona and Hawaii that have recently passed CCHD screening legislation.

ACCPAC Invites Chapters to Participate in March Madness
ACC Political Action Committee (PAC) has created a March Madness campaign to coincide with the widely popular March Madness college basketball tournament. ACCPAC will donate a $1,000 Legislative Conference scholarship to the chapter that wins its “division.” Check out the rules of the competition. Please spread the word about this initiative and get your chapter engaged! Contributions can be made at The winner of each division will be announced on March 30 at the BOG/FIT/ECP reception during ACC.14. The reception will take place at City Tap House, 901 I St. NW, from 6 – 8 p.m.

Thank you to the more than 1,300 contributors who helped ensure the voice of cardiology was heard last year. With a grand total of $513,441 in contributions, your ACC Political Action Committee (ACCPAC) is on target to surpass $1 million for the 2013-2014 cycle. Ranking among the top 10 medical specialty PACs in the United States, ACCPAC continues to be the voice on Capitol Hill for cardiovascular issues, with 100 percent of personal contributions used to support the campaigns of congressional members who impact the College's mission. Watch this video and visit to learn more and see your PAC in action.

New EHR Hardship Exceptions Released
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced new hardship exceptions for physicians struggling to meet the requirements for the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program. Physicians who have not participated in the EHR Incentive Program yet and do not attest to 2014 participation by Oct. 1, 2014 will face a penalty in 2015. Applications for hardship exceptions must be submitted by July 1, 2014 at midnight (ET). The newly expanded list of exceptions includes:

  • Lack of Internet access

  • Unforeseen or uncontrollable circumstances

  • Lack of control over availability of certified EHR

  • Lack of face-to-face interactions with patients, including telemedicine and follow-up

  • EHR vendor issues leading to an inability to implement a 2014 certified EHR

  • Physicians practicing for less than two years

Physicians who successfully participated in the EHR Incentive Program in 2013 have met the requirements for avoiding the 2015 payment adjustment. Those participating successfully in 2014 will avoid the 2016 payment adjustment.

Complete Surveys to Support RVU Recommendations
Physician work surveys are being distributed related to a variety of cardiovascular services. This includes imaging, structural heart interventions, EP procedures and more. If you are randomly selected and receive a survey, please take 15 to 20 minutes to thoughtfully complete it. Please contact James Vavricek at 202-375-6421 or if you have questions. Annual updates to the physician work relative values are based on recommendations from a committee involving the American Medical Association (AMA) and national medical specialty societies, called the RUC. The RUC is an expert panel of the AMA and specialty societies charged with developing relative value recommendations to Medicare. A key part of the RUC process is the completion of relative value surveys. Data from these surveys are used to establish the physician work that determines Medicare payment.

Get Going with Grassroots Chapter Efforts!
Grassroots efforts play an equally important role in fostering effective relationships with lawmakers on both the state and federal level. When ACC members meet with legislators during practice visits or on Capitol Hill, lawmakers see first-hand how their decisions impact thousands of cardiovascular professionals and millions of patients nationwide. In 2013, 1,174 ACC participants had more than 1,296 interactions with legislators between face-to-face visits and correspondence. The ACC needs your help to make sure every member of Congress hears from ACC. Legislator practice visits are a crucial opportunity to meet first-hand with lawmakers throughout the year. Contact Elizabeth Shaw at to set up a visit.


Top Education News:

New Research from CardioSurve Focuses on the Future of Learning
A compilation of research results from ACC’s market intelligence arm, CardioSurve, is now available in a new issue of the CardioSurve newsletter. The issue focuses on the future of learning, MOC changes, cholesterol guidelines and the College’s strategic plan. CardioSurve is a panel of more than 350 invited American College of Cardiology (ACC) members who participate in monthly research surveys. It was created in response to a need to obtain continuous feedback from U.S. cardiologists about all areas of their practice. Read the newest issue of the CardioSurve newsletter here.

Everything You Need to Know About ABIM’s MOC Changes
In response to new and significant changes to the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements, the ACC’s Education Quality Review Board (EQRB) released a special report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) outlining the changes and EQRB efforts to help ACC members both understand and meet the new requirements. The new MOC requirements, which became effective on Jan. 1, apply to all certified physicians and require specific proactive steps on the part of physicians between now and the end of March, as well as over the next two years. Also, be sure to take a look at JACC commentary by Steven Lloyd, MD, PhD, FACC and ACC President-Elect, Patrick O’Gara, MD, FACC which illustrates ACC’s promise and plan on mastering MOC changes. For more MOC resources from the ACC, visit these:

Understanding Maintenance of Certification Requirements ( Hub)
MOC Tracker
ACC’s MOC Educational Activities
ACCF’s Maintenance of Certification Modules
A Three-Pronged Strategy to New MOC Requirements (Cardiology, Fall 2013)


Webinars, Events, Deadlines and More: Mark Your Calendar

Open House at Heart House on March 29
Visit the American College of Cardiology’s headquarters, Heart House, during ACC.14. ACC will host a Heart House Open House on Saturday, March 29 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 2400 N Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037. Come by and visit, see the building, take pictures and take a walk through our lobby, Knowledge Exchange Area and conference center.  Come visit the heart of the ACC in Washington, DC! Please note that tours of Heart House will be self-guided.

Experience the Latest Registry-Based Research at ACC.14
The latest research from the ACC’s National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR) will be presented in Washington, D.C March 29 to 31, 2014, as part of ACC.14. Twenty abstracts will be presented, highlighting data from five hospital-based registries and the PINNACLE Registry, the ACC’s outpatient registry. Research topics include proximal versus distal embolic protection for carotid artery stenting, the association of interventional cardiology board certification and in-hospital outcomes of patients undergoing percutaneous coronary interventions, and length of hospital stay and associated clinical outcomes in elderly patients following primary percutaneous coronary intervention. Among the abstracts are a Late-Breaking Clinical Trial from the STS/ACC TVT Registry and a nominee for Young Investigator Awards Competition from the PINNACLE Registry. The range of research presented highlights the versatility of the registries and their availability to answer complex scientific questions. For a complete list of abstract dates and times, visit Learn more about the ACC’s data registries on

Special Session at ACC.14 for Military/Public Health Members
Are you a United States Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs or Public Health Service member? Attend a special breakout session just for you hosted by the ACC Board of Governors at ACC.14 on March 30 from 12 – 2 p.m. Topics will include The HAIMS Project, Million Hearts initiative, and a panel discussion covering the different sections of federal cardiology from administration to research.  The meeting will include lunch and will be held at the Renaissance Downtown Washington, D.C. hotel in room West A. RSVP here or contact Ashton Futral with questions.

Best of ACC.14: Take Home Messages for the Clinician
Join the ACC in Chicago or Los Angeles to review the top science presented at ACC.14 and how this new information will affect your practice and patients. Head to Sofitel Los Angeles in Beverly Hills on April 25 and 26, or the Radisson Blu Aqua in Chicago on May 9 and 10. Learn more here.

Social Media:

Stay Connected at ACC.14
Don’t miss a beat at ACC.14! See what people are saying about the meeting and share your experiences via social media. Follow @ACC_2014 on Twitter to receive instant updates on late-breakers, hot sessions, and more and join the discussion by using the hashtag #ACC14. Be sure to take your photo in front of the ACC logo sculpture in the Grand Lobby and tweet the photo using the hashtag #ACC14 for a chance to appear in the next issue of Cardiology magazine. “Like” the ACC’s Facebook page to check out highlights from the meeting including photos and top news. Visit the ACC in Touch Blog to get the inside scoop from ACC’s leaders. Tune into the ACC’s YouTube channel to get video coverage of the meeting straight from the experts. Learn more about staying connected during ACC.14 at

New on the ACC in Touch Blog
Check out the newly revamped ACC in Touch Blog at for multiple posts each week on hot topics. Here are some of the hottest recent posts:

  • A March 18 post by BOG Chair David May, MD, PhD, FACC touches on two studies that both concerned the effect of the ratio of dietary protein to carbohydrate on health and longevity. Both received plenty of press – but little scientific dialog.

  • Rachel Lampert of ACC’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology section leadership council shares interesting, not-to-miss sessions at ACC.14 in a March 7 post.

  • BOG Chair David May, MD, PhD, FACC talks Championing Care and education in a March 6 blog post.

This is just a sampling of what is happening on the blog. There are many more posts available and the blog will be updated regularly throughout ACC.14 with the hottest news and most interesting insights from ACC leaders – check them out here and be sure to comment.


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