Shared Decision Making Infographic Now Available

ACC’s CardioSmart recently launched a new Decision Aids section to help patients understand what decision aids are, how to use them and where to find them. This section highlights several resources, including a new infographic on Shared Decision Making to guide patients through the process of making  a decision when they need to weight in treatment options or the path forward is unclear. Just like the other CardioSmart infographic posters, this infographic can be downloaded for free and used as point-of-care graphics for your waiting and exam rooms. For more tools and resources on this subject, visit CardioSmart.org/Decisions.

Download For Free the New PAD Infographic

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) affects one in eight adults older than 60, putting them at higher risk for heart attack, stroke and limb loss. However, patients often ignore the signs and 40 percent of them don’t even have leg pain. To help patients understand the importance of looking for the signs and taking the right actions to prevent PAD, the ACC’s CardioSmart team has created a PAD infographic that can be downloaded for free. Visit CardioSmart.org/Posters to access more infographics on a variety of topics or go to CardioSmart.org/PAD for more resources on PAD.

ACC Celebrates Team Based Care with October Membership Special

The ACC strongly believes that fulfilling our mission of transforming cardiovascular care and improving heart health depends on a team-based approach. This October, we’re celebrating the contributions of two members of that team in particular: PAs and clinical pharmacists. Through the end of the month, PAs and PharmDs can join the College for only $88—more than 35% off the usual price—using code Take50. Encourage your nonmember colleagues to join the ACC and gain access to tools and resources that will help them elevate the quality of care that they offer! Get more information here.

ACC Leadership Tackles Prior Authorization

For years, prior authorization has impeded patient access and burdened cardiovascular practice management. Hadley Wilson, MD, FACC, chair of the Board of Governors, and Robert A. Shor, MD, FACC, chair of ACC’s Membership Committee, recently co-authored a piece in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology breaking down prior authorization burdens and offering action items for reducing physician pressure. “This is one piece in the puzzle to find an answer to prior authorization challenges. However, to be successful on a larger scale for the entire medical community, insurers, physicians, care team members, practice administrators, and lawmakers need to work together to find a solution that ultimately saves time, saves money, and—most importantly—saves lives,” write Wilson and Shor. Read the full article here. The ACC has developed a Prior Authorization Reporting Tool (PARTool) to help your practice with data collection and support the ACC’s efforts at the state and national level to address prior authorization issues. With this data, the ACC hopes persuade payers and state insurance commissioners to minimize, or even eliminate, some of their prior authorization requirements. Access your ACC’s PARTool here. Go to ACC.org/PARTool to learn more.

2017 Legislative Conference Wrap-Up

Read a full wrap-up of key sessions and highlights from the 2017 Legislative Conference penned by Thad Waites, MD, FACC, chair of ACC’s Health Affairs Committee, here. Presentation slides and other essential conference resources are available for access with your ACC member login here. Watch ACC leadership and key advocacy figures discussing the hottest topics from the conference through ACC’s Advocacy YouTube channel. Professional photographs, taken by conference photographer Bill Petros*, are available for purchase here. View more videos and photos from the conference through Facebook. Stay tuned to @Cardiology, ACC.org and the Advocate eNewsletter for information on the 2018 Legislative Conference.

Appropriate Use Criteria Published For Valvular Heart Disease Imaging Tests

New appropriate use criteria (AUC) released by the ACC and several other partnering societies focus on the evaluation and use of multimodality imaging in the diagnosis and management of valvular heart disease (VHD). The criteria are divided into three primary sections: 1) initial evaluation for VHD; 2) prior testing; and 3) transcatheter intervention for VHD. They address a broad spectrum of clinical scenarios, some of which were included in former AUC documents and others, such as structural valve interventions, that the writing group notes “were not in the armamentarium of clinicians when prior single-modality documents were published.” An independent rating panel scored the scenarios as appropriate, may be appropriate or rarely appropriate. “As imaging technologies and clinical applications continue to advance, the health care community must understand how best to incorporate these technologies into daily clinical care and how to choose between new and established imaging technologies,” said John U. Doherty, MD, FACC, professor of medicine at Thomas Jefferson University and chair of the writing committee. Read more on ACC.org.

ACC Holds the Fourth LDL: Address the Risk Think Tank

The ACC held its fourth LDL: Address the Risk Think Tank on Sept. 11, building upon the knowledge and research discussed in previous roundtables. The Think Tank continued the Heart House Roundtables tradition of exploring the practical issues that clinicians and patients face within high-value clinical areas. Throughout the day, participants explored evidence on treatment options and gaps in care among three high-risk patient populations, including patients with very high LDL ≥ 190, diabetes and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). Discussions addressed how to ensure patients are prescribed the appropriate therapies to achieve optimal response to sufficiently reduce risk. Read more on ACC.org.

Updated Decision Pathway For Non-Statin Therapies Published

As a result of recent evidence regarding proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin 9 (PCSK9) inhibitors and ezetimibe in some patients, the ACC has released the 2017 Focused Update of the 2016 ACC Expert Consensus Decision Pathway on the Role of Non-Statin Therapies for LDL-Cholesterol Lowering in the Management of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Risk, which published Sept. 5 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. In the focused update, revised recommendations are provided for patients with clinical ASCVD with or without comorbidities on statin therapy for secondary prevention, indicating more clearly when ezetimibe or a PCSK9 inhibitor may be considered. Read more on ACC.org.

ACC Seeks Comments on PVI Registry Version 2.0 Upgrade

The ACC is accepting public comments on the PVI Registry Version 2.0 upgrade. Physician leaders and other registry stakeholders recommended upgrading the registry with a phased approach for additional interventional procedures. This upgrade includes modifications to the two existing modules and adds seven new modules. Comments will be accepted until Tuesday, Oct. 10. Access the survey here.

JACC Leadership Page: The NCDR ICD Registry- A Foundation for Quality Improvement

In a recent Leadership Page published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), Frederick M. Masoudi, MD, MSPH, FACC and William J. Oetgen, MD, MBA, FACC, discuss the ACC’s NCDR ICD Registry, which has become the standard for understanding patient selection, care, and outcomes in patients receiving ICD therapy. This year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) ordered a review of the National Coverage Decision (NCD) for ICDs, including a review of the coverage with evidence decision mandate (CED), which requires patients receiving ICDs for primary prevention in the Medicare population to be enrolled in either an approved clinical trial or in a national registry. According to Masoudi and Oetgen, the registry mandate has supported better patient care and science to advance our understanding of the role of ICDs in patients at risk for sudden cardiac death. “In the re-evaluation of the registry mandate in the CED, these benefits must be considered. Given that the indications for ICD therapy will change with this update, patients, physicians, and policy-makers will need valid contemporary data to ensure the optimal use of these devices and to achieve better outcomes,” they write. Read more.