GA ACCPAC Challenge Results

Thank you to the 29 members who contributed to the GA ACCPAC Challenge!

Georgia ranked 2nd in number and dollars raised,
and 3rd in % of members participating.

New Shared Decision Making requirements for ICD reimbursement

Watch ACC/HRS Leaders Discuss New CMS ICD Policy and Shared Decision-Making Requirement. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a final policy decision updating the national coverage determination (NCD) governing implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantation for Medicare fee-for-service patients.

The policy includes a requirement for a shared decision making encounter for four of the six covered indications for ICD implantation. Learn more about the policy and new requirement, including a case study of a shared decision-making tool used at the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, in a joint ACC and Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) webinar.

View the webinar here:

Call for Nominations for the Lifetime Achievement Award

Nominations are now open for the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award to be presented at our annual meeting at the Ritz Carlton Lodge at Lake Oconee, November 16-18, 2018.

This award honors an adult or pediatric cardiologist or cardiovascular surgeon that has made significant contributions to medicine through patient care, medical education, research or community service as a member of the Georgia Chapter of the American College of Cardiology, and whose lifetime of service deserves special recognition.

If you would like to nominate someone, please send your nomination directly to Donald Page, MD, FACC, Chair, Awards Committee,, or by fax to 770.271.0634.

Please explain the basis for your nomination and why you think the person is worthy of this coveted award.

Our committee will then prioritize the nominees and present them to the Chapter’s Council for selection. The deadline for receipt of nominations for the award is April 4.

Don’t forget to save the date for our annual meeting.

2017 Annual Meeting Highlights

The Ritz Carlton at Lake Oconee was filled to capacity for our Chapter’s Annual Meeting, held November 19-21. Over 500 attendees, including 150 cardiologists and 48 exhibitors and sponsors, packed into the beautiful resort on yet another spectacular weekend.

Our program focused on four topics: Coronary Heart Disease, Heart Failure, Valvular Heart Disease and the Athlete’s Heart. Our program was structured with an opening Keynote presentation and then a moderated panel discussion that included audience participation. Evaluations scored very high from our members for this panel format.

After a strong program on Friday we held our Fellows Poster presentations, reception and dinner.

Dr. Shae Anderson, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, 1st place

Thanks to our sponsors for the poster presentations.







ACC President Mary “Minnow” Walsh kicked off the Saturday Program with an update from the national office. Our Program Directors’ panel discussion shared a local view of cardiology. The session on valvular heart disease and the Athlete’s Heart wrapped up Saturday’s program and then an afternoon on the lawn was enjoyed by members and their families.








Saturday night we presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Jere Lutz. Congratulations Dr. Lutz! We also had a great speaker, Rorke Denver. He shared his leadership experience as a Navy Seal serving in the middle east. HOOYAH!

To close out the evening we shared dessert and cocktails. Thanks to Boston Scientific and Medtronic for supporting our Saturday evening.

We appreciate our corporate colleagues who supported our meeting:

Abbott Vascular
Acist Medical
Actelion Pharmaceuticals
Aegerion Pharmaceuticals
Ambry Genetics
Amgen Cardiovascular
Astellas Pharmaceuticals
Astra Zeneca Pharmaceuticals
AtriCure, Inc.
Boehringer Ingelheim
Boston Scientific
Bristol Myers Squibb
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta/
Sibley Heart Center
Cleveland Heartlab
Edwards Lifesciences
Emory Healthcare
Grady Hospital
Janssen Pharmaceuticals
MAG Mutual
Medicus IT
NE Georgia Heart Center
Northside Hospital
Novartis Pharmaceuticals
Osprey Medical
Pfizer Pharmaceutical
Philips Healthcare
Piedmont Heart Institute
Piedmont Healthcare
Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.
St. Jude’s
Vascular Solutions
Wellstar Cardiac Network
Zoll Cardiac Management

For more great photos from our meeting, click here.

TAVR Decision Aid Tools Now Available

The ACC’s CardioSmart Decision Aids hub recently expanded to include two new TAVR Decision Aid Tools that help patients understand what aortic stenosis (AS) is and what treatments are available. The first tool guides patients with intermediate or high surgical risk through the treatment options available for severe AS and helps them choose between TAVR and surgery. The second tool is dedicated to patients with prohibitive surgical risk/inoperable to help them evaluate the proper treatment and choose between TAVR and symptoms management. Visit to find out more and download these tools for free.

Help Solve Prior Authorization Challenges

November is here and that means it’s time to submit your prior authorization data via ACC’s web-based prior authorization tool (PARTool). Do your PART to improve the prior authorization process by recording incorrectly denied or difficult requests through ACC’s PARTool for the entire month. The data collected helps the College determine overall prior authorization and test substitution trends and better understand problematic areas of the process including time burdens, test substitution and peer-to-peer reviews. The observed trends will be shared with insurers, vendors, state legislators and insurance officials to engage them in ACC’s efforts to reduce the burden of prior authorization and return attention to direct patient interaction. Practices can submit through a simple online form at

To be successful on a larger scale to solve prior authorization challenges – we must all work together to find a solution that ultimately saves time, saves money, and—most importantly—saves lives. So please help and do your PART!

Meet Your Leadership Team

The following will serve our Chapter beginning January 1, 2018 (those in bold were elected this year):


President:  Charles Brown, MD FACC
Governor-Elect:   Jeff Marshall, MD, FACC
Secretary-Treasurer:  Arthur Reitman, MD, FACC
  • Marcus Brown, MD, FACC
  • Robert Campbell, MD, FACC
  • Cyrus Samai, MD, FACC
  • Gina Lundberg, MD, FACC
  • Joseph Miller, MD, FACC
  • Jennifer Yeh, MD, FACC
  • Mark Watkins, MD, FACC
  • Joseph Poku, MD, FACC
  • Prad Tummala, MD, FACC
  • Charles Jackson, MD, FACC
  • Barry Mangel, MD, FACC
  • Gordon Borgat, MD, FACC
  • Pascha Schafer, MD, FACC
  • Matthew Crim, MD
  • Tanveer Rab, MD, FACC
  • Vincent Robinson, MD, FACC
  • Andrew Kobylivker, MD, FACC
  • William Crosland, MD (FIT)
  • Abdullah Omar, MD (FIT)
  • Emily Taylor, ANP-BC (CVT Member)


Dr. Bo Walpole Elected ACC Treasurer

Gainesville cardiologist Dr. Howard (Bo) Walpole was elected to serve as Treasurer of the Board of Trustees from 2018-21. Bo follows Atlanta surgeon Dr. Robert Guyton who will be finishing his three year term this year.

Interestingly, Gainesville native Dr. Michael Valentine, who now practices in Virginia, will serve as ACC President in 2018-19.

Thanks to Dr. Guyton for his service and congratulations to Dr. Walpole on his election. Our Chapter is well-represented at the National level.

GAACC Members Attend ACC Cardiovascular Summit & Leadership Forum

2017 Leadership Forum

[Read more…]

Join and Contribute to ACCPAC

Message from the ACC President:

Dear Georgia ACC Members,

Charles Brown, III, M.D., FACC

Charles Brown, III,

Amid the noise and disruption of this extraordinarily bizarre Presidential election, there lurks in the background the implementation of MACRA. Our patients and our profession need your help and your involvement.

For over a decade, the ACC and our political action committee, ACCPAC, were instrumental in successfully advocating for repeal of the sustainable growth rate (SGR), the flawed formula by which clinicians were paid by Medicare.

Our need for action has not ended with the repeal of the SGR. Its replacement, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), begins to take effect in January, 2017 and will overhaul how we practice and how we are paid. It is imperative that we work closely with Congress to exercise strong oversight as this extremely complex new law is implemented.

While ACC supports MACRA in principal, the devil is in the details, and the details are in flux.

In order to have our voice heard by those congressional leaders who have oversight of this law, we need strong grassroots support powered by contributions to ACCPAC.

Without a strong voice and a well-funded ACCPAC, we surrender control of our patient care, our quality matrices, and our profession to those who do not have our best interests and those of our patients in mind.

What does this mean?

Your contributions in the past have helped Georgia’s cardiovascular voice be heard and advanced the effectiveness of ACC’s advocacy efforts. This year, our state is at the low end of contributors to ACCPAC – and we cannot afford to fall behind.

Help ensure that ACC has the resources to shape our future effectively.

Please click here to join us and contribute to ACCPAC.

Thank you,

Charles Brown, III, MD, FACC