Advocacy & Leadership

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).

 The Latest in Advocacy News

The continued shift toward a value-focused 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 answer for members navigating the APM landscape. The APM Framework guides members through their consideration of the most critical implications of APM participation. The Framework is composed of closed-ended questions introducing areas of focus within four categories – Organizational Readiness, Clinical Practice Transformation, Reporting and Analytics and Financial Risk. Within these categories, individuals can self-select criteria applicable to their specific practice environment to determine readiness for APM participation. “Helping ACC members understand and successfully participate in APMs is a strategic priority of the College,” said APM Workgroup Chair Paul N. Casale, MD, MPH, FACC. “We heard from members about a desire for information to aid in their understanding of APMs. They asked us to help them identify the capabilities needed to be successful in an APM – and the APM Framework is the answer.” Learn more about APMs and determine whether your practice is ready for participation at ACC.org/APM.

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.

CMS Releases Final Coverage Policy For ICD Implantation

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its final policy decision updating the national coverage determination (NCD) governing implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantation for Medicare fee-for-service patients. The NCD will continue to govern patient criteria and covered indications for CMS reimbursement of ICD implantation. The new NCD requires a shared decision-making encounter using a tool, updates clinical indications, and incorporates several exemptions for waiting periods. In a notable change from the draft NCD released last November, the shared decision-making encounter does not need to be completed by an “independent” clinician. The NCD also ends the requirement for data collection for evidence development, which sites have satisfied through participation in ACC’s ICD Registry. However, enrollment in the ICD Registry will continue to provide evidence of compliance with CMS reimbursement criteria. The changes are effective immediately, though contractors must wait for further technical instructions from CMS before updating claims processing software. ACC staff are reviewing the final decision to identify any additional topics of interest to members. Read more.

JACC Leadership Page: Social Media and Cardiology

In a recent Leadership Page published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), ACC Immediate-Past President Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC, writes about the importance of social media in cardiology. Twitter in particular is emerging as a key tool in disseminating health information and many in the cardiovascular field regularly use the platform to share ideas and information and also discuss current trends and issues. Prominent leaders in the field who are active on Twitter also discuss why they use social media and how they value it. “Social media as a form of communication in health care is here to stay,” Walsh writes. “Whether you are an active participant or in a ‘listening only’ mode, engagement with patients, other clinicians, scientific conferences, and professional journals will increasingly occur via social media.” Read more.

JACC Leadership Page: Zero Tolerance for Sexual Harassment in Cardiology

In a recent Leadership Page published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), ACC Immediate-Past President Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC, and ACC Interim Chief Executive Officer Cathleen C. Gates, MA, discuss the “#MeToo” movement and sexual harassment in cardiology. They highlight efforts by the College, including sexual harassment prevention training for its members and staff and development of a comprehensive policy that will in the future be required for all attendees of ACC events. “The ACC is the professional home for cardiovascular professionals around the globe,” Walsh and Gates write. “Your home should be a place where you are safe and respected. Anything less will not be tolerated. This is our commitment to all ACC members and to ACC staff. We will have succeeded when we can move from #MeToo to #MeNeither.” Read more.

Advocacy Update 2018

Two measures passed by the West Virginia General Assembly during its regular session were supported by the WVACC and constitute a very successful Chapter state advocacy program for 2018. Summaries of the two bills which await the Governor’s signature follow.

 HB 4524– Relating to the clarification of prescribing guidelines for biological products. The purpose of the bill was to provide definitions of biological and biosimilar products and to permit a pharmacist to substitute a biosimilar for a prescribed biological product only if permitted by the prescribing physician and if that biosimilar had been recognized by the FDA as interchangeable. However, if a physician expressly indicates on the prescription that the biological is medically necessary, there may be no such substitution. Pharmacists must report any permitted substitution to the physician within 5 business days. This bill was originally drafted by WVSMA and supported by WVACC throughout the legislative process.

SB 510– Relating to hospitals as a designation for stroke treatment. The purpose of this bill adds a designation as a thrombectomy-capable stroke center. The bill also modifies the composition of the advisory committee promoting stroke awareness and treatment and also prohibits inspections of such hospitals by DHHR as a result of their designation. The American Heart Association supported this bill, as did the WVACC. It passed both chambers unanimously.

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