ACC News You Can Use for June 2013
Drug Safety in the Spotlight at FDA Meeting
After years of controversy that resulted in an independent re-adjudication of the RECORD Trial, two advisory committees to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have recommended modifying current restrictions on the diabetes drug rosiglitazone (Avandia). ACC Past President Ralph G. Brindis, MD, MPH, MACC, spoke on behalf of the ACC during the public portion of the meeting and shared ways stakeholders can come together and support the development of new cardiovascular safety assessment methodologies that improve efficiency and cost effectiveness. Several panel members referenced the comments ACC submitted ahead of the meeting that recommend the use of registries, such as the National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR®), and trusted third parties and standardizing cardiovascular endpoints for drug safety assessment. Full coverage, including a video, is available on CardioSource.org.
New Program to Help Heart Patients Navigate Care, Reduce Readmissions
The ACC on June 5 announced the development of a new program with support from founding sponsor AstraZeneca to provide personalized services to heart disease patients and help avoid a quick return to the hospital. The $10 million sponsorship from AstraZeneca will allow the ACC to create a Patient Navigator Program that will support a team of caregivers to help patients overcome challenges during their hospital stay and in the weeks following discharge when they are most vulnerable. The ACC will recruit 35 hospitals that already participate in the ACC’s National Cardiovascular Data Registry and the Hospital to Home Initiative. The program will utilize and expand upon improvement strategies, toolkits and other best practices learned from communities within these programs in more than 1,500 hospitals in the U.S. A video from the May 31 panel about the project is available here.
Honoring Those Who Have Served With High Quality Cardiovascular Care
The latest JACC President’s Page explores the evolution of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), the largest integrated health care system in the U.S., and widely acclaimed, innovative national programs that have established the VA as the “highest quality health system in the U.S.” John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, and John S. Rumsfeld, MD, PhD, FACC, also discuss challenges facing the VA system and ACC’s dedication to further strengthening the role of VA, military and public health sector members in college-wide activities. Read more about the important roles cardiovascular professionals across the country play in caring for our veterans.
Legislative Conference Registration is Open
Registration is now open for the ACC Legislative Conference, held annually each fall – this year from Sept. 22 to 24 at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, D.C. Last year on day two of the big event, more than 350 cardiovascular professionals descended upon Capitol Hill to share their voice with lawmakers. You could be a part of the action this year! To take part, register here.
Don’t Miss These Upcoming Webinars!
Learn more about the following webinars and register for the ones that spark your interest here.
- Navigate the Physician Payment Sunshine Act for 60 minutes on June 27 at 2 p.m. ET. You will learn what the Physician Payments Sunshine Act is, how it will affect interactions between physicians and industry, and what you and your practice need to do to prepare for Aug. 1.
New ACC MOD Features Clinical Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac CT
The ACC recently released the 2013 Recent Advances in Clinical Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac CT Meeting on DemandTM Program. For cardiac imaging and non-imaging cardiovascular professionals, this online program explores advances in nuclear cardiology, cardiac CT and other imaging modalities across the spectrum of patients routinely seen in a typical practice. Leading cardiac imaging clinicians and scientists guide attendees in gaining practical experience in case interpretation, reporting and medical decision making through almost 100 evidence-based case reviews. The program has a maximum of 19 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Learn more here. You can learn about all of the College’s Meeting in Demand programs here and search by clinical pathway.
ACC Steps Up Efforts to Protect In-Office Ancillary Services Exception
As part of its overall scoring of President Obama's FY '14 budget, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently estimated that the provision to eliminate the in-office ancillary services exception (IOASE)—including advanced imaging, radiation therapy, and therapy services—would save $1.8 billion over a decade. Earlier this spring, the ACC urged Congress to reject the Obama Administration's proposed budget recommendation to eliminate the IOASE, noting that the medical profession has already taken significant steps to ensure only medically necessary and appropriate ancillary services are performed. The ACC is stepping up activity on Capitol Hill and actively working with other stakeholders to prevent any changes to the IOASE as well as prior authorization.
eRX Incentive Program Deadline Approaching!
In order to avoid a 2014 payment penalty under the Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program, all eligible professionals and group practices participating in the Group Practice Reporting Option must successfully submit eRx data by June 30. Those who fail to successfully report by the deadline will receive a 2 percent penalty in 2014. Learn more about the eRx Incentive Program and its reporting requirements.
Navigate PQRS Rules with ACC’s 2013 Primer
In 2015, CMS will penalize physicians who do not participate in the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2013. It's time for cardiologists to make an informed decision about how best to begin participating or make some changes to how they participate in PQRS in 2013 and beyond. Navigate new PQRS rules with ACC's 2013 PQRS Primer. Questions? Contact email@example.com.
Are Pacemaker Coverage Changes Coming?
A draft national coverage determination (NCD) for implanted permanent cardiac pacemakers released this week would eliminate the distinction in coverage criteria between single- and dual-chamber devices. Either therapy would be covered for "documented symptomatic bradycardia" due to sinus node dysfunction, second degree atrioventricular block, and/or third degree atriventricular block. A number of other indications would be non-covered. Medicare Administrative Contractors would continue to hold the authority to determine coverage for other indications not addressed in the NCD. The College will review the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) methods and evidence and provide written comments in June.
ACC on the Hill in May
The ACC in May co-sponsored a public Capitol Hill briefing on AFib and stroke risk in Hispanic women as part of National Women's Health Week. Organized by WomenHeart, the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, the briefing provided a glimpse into the current situation and efforts underway to reduce AFib and stroke in this population. Alvaro Gomez, MD, FACC, shared insight into diagnosis, treatment and prevention options, and stressed the importance of patients partnering with their health care teams to combat this "monumental" problem. Marcela Gaitan, MPH, MA, from the National Alliance for Hispanic Health provided the public policy angle and delved into the unique challenges Hispanics face in receiving appropriate care.
Reimbursement Change on the Horizon
Starting on July 1, CMS will require claims including CPT codes for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) (0256T, 0257T, 0258T, 0259T, 33361, 33362, 33363, 33364, 33365 and 0318T) to contain the following before they will issue reimbursement:
- Clinical trial registry number (an eight digit number preceded by "CT")
- Q0 modifier
- Secondary diagnosis code of V70.7 (examination of participant in clinical trial)
For more coding information, click here.
Violations to the “Stark” Law Raise Compliance Awareness
Another case of violating the physician self-referral law (or "Stark" law) — which prevents physicians from financially benefiting from patient referrals — made headlines recently. Tuomey Healthcare System, based in South Carolina, was found guilty of violating both the Stark law and the False Claims Act after submitting $39 million worth of illegal claims to Medicare. The hospital faces more than $350 million in potential liabilities as a result of the violations. Get the facts about fraud and abuse and other important compliance topics.
OIG for HHS Releases Updated Guidance
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Health and Human Services recently released updated guidance on the criteria for exclusion from the Medicare program and the involvement of excluded individuals in federal health care programs, addressing a number of questions that have arisen since the original guidance was published in 1999. Individuals who are excluded from participating in federal health care programs are prohibited from providing services to patients or to entities that furnish health care. Entities employing excluded individuals and billing for related services may be subject to substantial financial penalties for services furnished by and billed to the federal health care programs on behalf of the excluded individual. The guidance also includes recommendations for verifying employees, potential employees and entities are not excluded from participation in the federal health care programs. The list of excluded individuals and entities is available here.
ACC Member Value Column: Cardiology Magazine Member Publication
Each quarter, the ACC publishes a glossy, comprehensive magazine with feature stories, news from across the globe and insight into the changing world of health care.There is also an online and mobile version available. The magazine is free to and written specifically for ACC members. This month’s issue of Cardiology magazine takes a closer look at smoking and cardiovascular disease and explores some of the key successes in the U.S.; global smoking prevention efforts currently underway; and ACC and ACC state chapter smoke-free collaborations. While state smoking legislation across the country varies, the ACC and its state chapters have played a crucial role in supporting local and state-based smoking legislation through letter writing campaigns, testimony, personal meetings with legislators and others. Read the full cover article and take a look at smoke-free legislation state-by-state.
New on the ACC in Touch Blog
Check out the ACC’s Blog at blog.cardiosource.org for multiple posts each week on hot topics. Stay tuned to the Blog in the coming weeks for a new look and more great content. Here are some of the hottest posts from the end of last month – although there are many more from earlier in the month:
- A May 21 post by Robert Beekman, MD, FACC, chair-elect of the Adult Congenital and Pediatric Cardiology Section Leadership Council focuses on promoting physical activity in congenital heart disease patients
- A May 20 post by Payal Kohli, MD, fellow-in-training at the University of California San Francisco brings to the forefront the question of gender in cardiology.
- A May 17 post by BOG Chair David May, MD, FACC explores the relationship between industry and physicians.
ACC.13 is Over – But the Science and News Remain!
It’s been a few weeks since ACC.13 in San Francisco wrapped, but the news and science from the meeting remains. Check out all of the happenings from ACC.13 on CardioSource here. The comprehensive digital library with more than 400 hours of presentations from the meeting is now available. Get iScience, the Meeting on Demand ™ program, to check out the sessions you missed.
Special ACC Partnership Helps You Save on Medical Liability Coverage
Founded by doctors for doctors, The Doctors Company has partnered with the ACC to provide discounts on medical liability coverage for ACC members. The Doctors Company provides a unique combination of coverage features, aggressive claims defense, superior protection, and unrivaled rewards, including the Tribute® Plan, a groundbreaking financial benefit that rewards members for their loyalty and commitment to outstanding patient care. Visit CardioSource.org/TheDoctorsCompany to get a no-obligation quote and more information.
Stay In Touch with the ACC via Social Media
Stay in touch with the ACC and the latest clinical and advocacy news through ACCinTouch. ACCinTouch connects ACC members and those interested in cardiovascular news through popular social networking channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Look for the ACCinTouch logo for the official ACC presence on these social media channels in order to connect with ACC members and those interested in cardiology. In addition to the ACC's main Twitter profile @ACCinTouch, the College also has profiles dedicated to news from the Advocacy team @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 CardioSource.org/ACCinTouch.
E&M Coding Audits Underway
ACC has notified us that CMS and Connally, the Region C Recovery Auditor (RAC), has been granted permission to conduct audits of higher level E&M services in RAC Region C, which includes Georgia.
We urge you to make sure you are billing and coding correctly, as well as including adequate documentation for your decisions in patient medical records, paper or electronic. One way to do so is to instill a culture of compliance within your practice.
Providing education on proper coding and documentation practices is key, as is conducting periodic internal audits of your records. For additional information on developing a compliance program, please visit oig.hhs.gov/compliance/101/index.asp
To purchase the 2013 CPT Reference Guide for Cardiovascular Coding, visit http://cardiosource.org/cpt. ACC will also be holding a webinar that is free for members on the new 2013 codes on November 28 from 3-5pm ET .
Additionally, earlier this year, ACC recorded a webinar on Coding Essentials that is available on-demand at accwebinars.cardiosource.org/session.php?id=9398&all=1&
We will continue to provide additional information regarding the Connolly audits as it becomes available. Please do not hesitate to contact ACC or our office with any questions or concerns.