ACC News You Can Use for June 2015
Upcoming Events and Deadlines:
Deadline For PQRS GPRO Registration: June 30
Annual 0.5 Percent Payment Increase to Medicare Payments: July 1
Deadline For Officer and Trustee nominations: July 31 (For details, click here.)
ACC 2015 Legislative Conference: Oct. 18-20
Submit Recommendations for Vice President, President-Elect and Trustees
The ACC is accepting recommendations for the positions of Vice President, President-Elect and Trustees. The deadline to receive Officer and Trustee nominations is July 31, 2015. The Nominating Committee will meet this fall to consider all recommendations and will present a slate of nominations to the Board of Trustees for approval at the next annual business meeting in Chicago in April 2016. For details, please refer to http://www.acc.org/BOTnominations to find the Call for Nominations and Guide for Submitting Nominations. Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in the process to select the College’s future leaders.
ACC Now Accepting Applications for the Emerging Advocates Program
As part of its commitment to leadership development, the ACC had launched a new Emerging Advocates Program. This program is a unique opportunity for ACC members, particularly Fellows in Training, Early Career Professionals and Cardiovascular Team members, to increase their knowledge of, and participation in, the College's legislative, regulatory, state government relations, payer advocacy and value solutions and population health efforts. During the two-year program, the Emerging Advocates will learn directly from the College's advocacy leaders. Applications must be submitted by June 22. Applicants will be notified by July 15 of the status of their application. Apply today!
Call For Applications: Associate Editor, ACC.org E-Learning Activities
The ACC is accepting applications for the position of associate editor of e-learning activities on ACC.org. The new editor’s term will begin Aug. 1, and will run for five years, with the possibility of re-appointment for an additional five-year term. The deadline for applications is July 15. There is an honorarium with this position. Learn more and apply.
2015 Legislative Conference Registration Now Open
Registration is open for the ACC’s 2015 Legislative Conference, which will take place Oct. 18-20 in Washington, DC. The conference will provide the inside scoop on regulatory changes, legislative action and the state of cardiology to empower ACC members to become effective advocates for patients and cardiovascular professionals. Don't miss this unique opportunity to hear directly from the experts who shape health policy, and meet directly with congressional leaders to share ways the cardiovascular community is providing quality, cost-effective, evidence-based care to millions of patients nationwide. You’re also invited to join your colleagues for a special ACC Political Action Committee-sponsored reception and dinner featuring Pulitzer Prize–Winning syndicated columnist, political commentator and psychiatrist Charles Krauthammer, MD. Register now!
Top Advocacy and Health Policy News
What You Need to Know About MACRA Legislation
The ACC has developed a detailed summary to help members navigate the recently passed Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), legislation that touches upon many areas across the health care spectrum. Most notably, MACRA permanently repeals the Sustainable Growth Rate formula and reauthorizes funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program for two years. Beginning July 1, clinicians will begin receiving a 0.5 percent increase to Medicare payments. This payment increase will continue annually until Dec. 31, 2018. Starting in 2019, clinicians will choose from one of two pathways: the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) or Alternative Payment Models. Eligible professionals who elect to participate in MIPS will receive annual payment increases or decreases based on their performance. MACRA also streamlines the three existing quality reporting programs – Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), Meaningful Use and Value-Based Payment Modifier – into one system, eliminating three separate reporting deadlines. Read more about how provisions included in MACRA will impact you and your practice on ACC.org.
Get Up-to-Speed on Meaningful Use Proposed Rules
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently released two separate proposed rules for the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program, also known as Meaningful Use. The rule for Meaningful Use Stage 3 contains the proposed criteria that eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals would need to meet in order to quality for EHR incentive payments and avoid penalties for non-participation. Get a detailed summary of the proposed rule. In comments to CMS and ONC, the ACC, which has been a long-time supporter of EHR adoption as a driver of improved patient care quality, recognized the agencies’ efforts to ease the constraints and complexities established in Stages 1 and 2 of the program and their attempt to further clarify EHR certification. However, “Overall, the ACC believes the proposed requirements for Stage 3 set the bar for success too high,” wrote the College. “The Meaningful Use criteria should encourage the appropriate, purposeful and accurate use of health IT solutions, rather than mandate completion of tasks based on a particular timeline.” CMS and ONC also released a proposed rule aligning Stage 1 and Stage 2 meaningful use objectives and measures with the long-term proposals for Stage 3. Read a summary of the rule on ACC.org.
ACC Council Assesses Cardiac Rehab in HFrEF Patients
Although the U.S. Centers for Medicare Services has extended cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) coverage to patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), enrolling these patients in cardiac rehab may prove difficult, according to a Council Perspective published June 15 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. As part of a new series of perspectives from different ACC Councils in the Journal, members from the ACC’s Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Section assessed the challenges and opportunities that cardiac rehab presents for HFrEF patients. Read more on ACC.org. This information can also be shared from the ACC Facebook page.
FDA Advisory Committee Recommends Approving New Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs
Two novel lipid-lowering drugs should be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) according to the agency's Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee which met on June 9 and 10 to discuss the safety and efficacy of Sanofi and Regeneron Phermaceuticals' alirocumab and Amgen's evolocumab for reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). The drugs, if approved by the FDA, would be the first in a new class of drugs known as proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibitors and would offer the more than 70 million patients with high LDL-C an alternative treatment option to statins which have dominated the market for decades. The pharmaceutical companies are seeking approval of the drugs, which are both injectable and administered subcutaneously, for use in patients with high LDL-C who are not benefiting from statins; people who are high risk due to a previous myocardial infarction or those with diabetes for which statins are not effective; and patients with high LDL-C who are statin-intolerant. Read more on ACC.org.
Top Education and Career Growth News
Register Now Open For 2015 ACC In-Training Exam (ACC-ITE)
Participation in this program has been tremendous — more than 93 percent of all U.S. cardiology training programs took the 2014 exam. The 2015 In-Training Exam will take place on Oct. 20 and 21, and will continue to give training programs the data they need to benchmark their program, meet ACGME requirements, validate the need for curricula changes and provide educational counseling to their fellows. To learn more and register, click here or contact Julie Bainbridge at 202-375-6633 or email@example.com.
2015 Recent Advances in Clinical Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac CT Meeting on DemandTM Program: Now Available
Prepare for the nuclear cardiology or cardiac CT Boards, secure the relevant nuclear medicine hours required to meet accreditation requirements and review numerous cases to increase interpretive skills with this online program. Click here to learn more and purchase today!
ACC Cardiovascular Board Review For Certification and Recertification
Join the nation's leading cardiologists from around the country for an engaging and comprehensive review in general cardiology. Whether preparing for the ABIM Board Exams to certify or re-certify or just wanting a comprehensive review in general cardiology, the ACC Cardiovascular Board Review for Certification and Recertification course has everything! Don't delay – learn more and take advantage of the lowest registration rates today.
Find a Mentor, Be a Mentor: Register for ACC’s Mentoring Program
The College’s online mentoring program, developed through the efforts of the Early Career Professionals Leadership Council and Section, is designed to help create and foster mutually beneficial mentor/mentee relationships. The program connects experienced cardiovascular professionals with younger professionals based on areas of interest, specialty and expertise. Register online and find out more at ACC.org/Mentoring.
Latest Issue of CardioSource WorldNews Interventions Further Examines Practice-Changing Research from ACC.15
The cover story of the latest issue of CardioSource WorldNews Interventions provides expert commentary and further analysis of the hottest trials from ACC.15, including the PARTNER Study, MATRIX Access Trial, PEGAUS-TIMI 54, CoreValve and more. Also discussed are three trials that didn’t work and the reasons behind their failure. In the featured interview, Jennifer G. Robinson, MD, MPH discusses what the recent PCSK9 inhibitor trial, ODYSSEY, may mean for guidelines. Members of the ACC’s Interventional Section Leadership Council present the case for and factors involved in developing a successful treatment program for patients with acute pulmonary embolism. The issue’s ACC Extended Learning (ACCEL) interviews examine EuroEco, an analysis of the costs of home monitoring in implantable cardioverter defibrillator patients, as well as the DAPT Study. Also included are highlights from the recent JACC Journals and ACC.org journal scans. See the full issue at ACC.org/CSWNI.
Is Your ACC Member Profile Up-To-Date?
The ACC wants to make sure it's sending members only the most relevant information. To that end, the College is encouraging all members to update their ACC profile, including contact information, specialty areas, clinical interest areas and practice information. Don’t miss out on the latest cardiovascular research, new clinical guidelines, advocacy updates, ACC news and member benefits. Update your profile online at
Important Digital ACC Resources
Stay In Touch with the ACC via Social Media
Stay in touch with the ACC and the latest clinical and advocacy news through ACC in Touch. ACCinTouch connects ACC members and those interested in cardiovascular news through popular social networking channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Join each of these networks to connect with ACC members and those interested in cardiology. In addition to the ACC's main Twitter profile @ACCinTouch, the College also has a profile dedicated to advocacy-related news (@Cardiology). CardioSmart, the ACC's patient education and support program, also has patient-centered cardiovascular news available through Facebook, Twitter (@CardioSmart), and YouTube. For more information about ACC’s social media channels, visit ACC.org/ACCinTouch.
ACC Archived Webinars
Did you know that you can find archived webinars from throughout the years from the ACC on ACC.org? As a member, you have access to this wealth of information here. To access them, you must have an ACC.org log-in and use the confirmation code and webinar access link emailed to you once. Questions? Contact ACC’s Resource Center at Phone: 202-375-6000, ext. 5603 or 800-253-4636, ext. 5603 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download ACC’s Advocacy Action Mobile App
Be sure to download the ACC Advocacy Action mobile app to get easy access to ACC's advocacy priorities and timely talking points to share during congressional visits. The app was designed to help members engage with lawmakers and influence health policy. Download it today on iTunes (iPhone, iPad) and Google Play (Android devices).