Grassroots Action Alert

Urge Congress to Support Clinicians on the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Crisis

As Congressional leaders consider future relief packages in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, the American College of Cardiology advocates for the following policies to support cardiovascular clinicians and the entire healthcare system.

Please CLICK HERE to urge Congress to address the following in the next COVID-19 emergency response package:

Urgent Resource Needs

  • Continue to address the ongoing critical need for Personal Protective Equipment
    • Build and maintain appropriate national stockpiles for current and future needs
  • Ensure financial stability for medical practices
    • Ongoing support of practices and hospitals to maintain clinical infrastructure and safeguard patient access
  • Expand access to consistent, nondiscriminatory and reliable testing
      • Widespread, rapid and inexpensive testing is needed to understand the extent of infections and ensure the public’s safe return to work, school, and other essential activities in all communities

Support for Clinicians

  • Provide payment parity between telephone evaluation and office visits
    • Ensure that recent CMS guidance and rules are followed appropriately to enable the payment of telephone claims and that flexibility continues for the duration of the crisis in all states/regions
  • Support clinician liability protections during a declared emergency
    • Extend these essential protections to all health workers in addition to volunteers as they continue to serve on the frontlines
  • Ensure the continuation of cardiovascular disease research projects at the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as they relate to COVID-19 
    • Cardiovascular comorbidities are common in COVID-19 patients who are at higher risk of mortality
  • Expand GME slots and workforce development to improve the clinician pipeline 
    • Increasing the number of Medicare-supported residency slots is vital to meet healthcare needs and expand the clinical workforce to meet future crises

Administrative Burdens

  • Encourage CMS to pressure Medicare Advantage plans to waive prior authorization requirements
    • Practices must devote significant resources in complying with prior authorization requirements, which siphons scarce and valuable resources and promotes inefficiency
  • Delay or relax administrative program requirements, including the Appropriate Use Criteria program, Merit-Based Incentive Payment System, and interoperability and data blocking changes  
    • These administrative requirements may divert critical clinician time and energy from providing patient care during the public health emergency
    • Lasting and significant disruption to practices and institutions of all sizes resulting from the COVID-19 emergency will present a significant hardship

Click Here to read a letter from Dr. Athena Poppas, President of the ACC, regarding the next COVID-19 supplemental package and additional resources needed for clinicians on the front lines. You can also access a one pager with the points above here.

GA ACC: COVID Update and Tools

Colleagues:

I know that inboxes are swollen with COVID-19 communications but the ACC is actively trying to keep us informed via the ACC Website and in addition, the list-serve for the ACC Governor’s has included a myriad of information.

Attached, are two documents: 1) A Cardiology Grand Rounds presentation from the Massachusetts General Hospital); 2) The treatment protocol for MGH.

These might be helpful to all of us.

Be safe and protect yourselves, your families and your patients by practicing social distancing.

Warm regards,

J. Jeffrey Marshall, MD, FACC, MSCAI
Governor, Georgia Chapter of the ACC

Call for Nominations for 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award

Nominations are now open for the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award to be presented at our annual meeting at the Ritz Carlton Lodge at Lake Oconee, November 20-22, 2020.

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 Charlie Brown, MD, FACC, Chair, Awards Committee, Charles.brown@piedmont.org

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.

ManageAnticoag App Now Available

The ACC recently launched the ManageAnticoag App to help clinicians navigate periprocedural planning and bleed management scenarios for patients on oral anticoagulants. The app is comprised of three tools to help assess whether and how to interrupt and bridge anticoagulation, manage acute bleeds, and determine whether and how anticoagulation should be restarted. Download the app for free. A Guidance for Anticoagulation Reversal fact sheet is also available to provide clinical guidance for the administration of reversal agents, when needed, for patients on anticoagulation for any indication. Find out more at ACC.org/Apps.

Clinical Quality: How Do I Get Scored?

In the latest episode of the Practice Made Perfect podcast, Richard J. Kovacs, MD, FACC, ACC vice president, and Frederick A. Masoudi, MD, MSPH, FACC, NCDR chief science officer and chair of the NCDR Management Board, discuss the various tools and programs used to measure the quality of care provided by clinicians and hospital systems. Get up to speed on federal and payer programs used for measuring clinician performance, public facing rating programs and NCDR’s role in measuring and reporting. Aiming to bolster the non-clinical skills and competencies of early career providers, Practice Made Perfect features expert discussions on career and leadership development topics. Listen to this episode and previous episodes such as Coding & Documentation, Finding a Job After Fellowship and Contracts 101 at ACC.org/PracticeMadePerfect, or find them on iTunes or Google Play.

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).

ACC Releases Alternative Payment Model Framework on ACC.org

The continued shift toward a value-based health system is driving more clinicians toward participation in alternative payment models (APMs), but knowing how and when to participate in an APM can pose significant challenges. ACC’s newly launched APM Framework is the College’s guide for members navigating the APM landscape. The APM Framework guides members through consideration of the most critical implications of APM participation. Composed of closed-ended questions, the Framework enables individual clinicians to self-select criteria applicable to their specific practice environment to determine readiness for APM participation. Learn more about APMs and determine whether your practice is ready for participation at ACC.org/APM. Share information about the APM Hub with your colleagues and chapter members through the APM Framework Leadership Communications Toolkit located on the Leadership Portal.

“Do Your PART” to Improve Prior Authorization

Help improve the prior authorization process by submitting your difficult cases or inappropriate denials through ACC’s PARTool. Through robust data collection, ACC members and their staff can help the College track trends and identify exhaustive administrative burdens. Submit your data at ACC.org/PARtool today!

Register Today For ACC’s 2018 Legislative Conference!

Registration for the 2018 ACC Legislative Conference, taking place Sept. 30 – Oct. 2 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, is officially open! Don’t miss this unique opportunity to invest in the College’s advocacy initiatives, gain an insider perspective on how to impact health care policy change in your state, and most importantly, meet face-to-face with congressional leaders and staff on Capitol Hill to share the incredible work the cardiovascular community is doing to provide quality, cost-effective, evidence-based care. Register today to make your mark on the cardiovascular advocacy landscape.

PINNACLE Registry Celebrates 10 Years

The ACC’s PINNACLE Registry is celebrating 10 years of quality improvement. As the largest outpatient registry in cardiology, the PINNACLE Registry was the first to examine physician care processes and patient outcomes in coronary artery disease, hypertension, heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Since its launch in 2008, the PINNACLE Registry continues to provide real-world insight into the effect of new guidelines and drugs like novel oral anticoagulants and statins on patient care. The PINNACLE Registry also addresses the myriad of challenges facing cardiovascular practices, including the emergence of reimbursement models based on efficiency and value and the rise of new, untested business arrangements. Over the past decade, practices have used the registry to meet federal quality reporting requirements under the Physician Quality Reporting System, Electronic Health Record Incentive Program and, most recently, the Quality Payment Program. Today, the PINNACLE Registry provides a unique opportunity for cardiovascular practices to enable practice innovation and clinical excellence. Check out PINNACLE Registry tools and resources, including the newly launched PINNACLE Advance Care Planning Toolkit, which helps providers understand, integrate and document advance care planning into their routine practice. Learn more.