MOC Update: Greater Flexibility Available for Part II; New ACC Task Forces Formed

Patrick_OGara_130x130 richard_a_chazal_130x130_12_31_2014This post was authored by Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, MACC, immediate past president of the ACC, and Richard Chazal, MD, FACC, president-elect of the ACC.

Following on the heels of its Internal Medicine Summit in Philadelphia, PA, last week, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) has released an updated “Application for ABIM MOC Recognition” that provides more opportunities for physicians to earn Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part II points for activities with a self-assessment component that have traditionally been designated as CME credits only.

In its February 2015 announcement regarding changes to the MOC process, which resulted from sustained, constructive input from organizations like the ACC, ABIM indicated it would develop ways to recognize most forms of ACCME-approved Continuing Medical Education, thus “allowing new and more flexible ways” for physicians to demonstrate self-assessment of medical knowledge. The updated ABIM MOC application, if managed correctly, provides an opportunity for physicians to apply earned CME credits towards meeting their five-year MOC requirements. Continue reading

An Important Message From the ACC President on ABIM MOC and SGR Legislation

Dear ACC Members,

As you know, we are on the brink of a historic Senate vote that would permanently repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) that has created well over a decade of instability for our patients and our practices. The bill to be considered, H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, is a well-vetted piece of legislation that was developed in a bipartisan, bicameral manner and enjoys the support of ACC and virtually all of organized medicine. This consensus legislation passed the House two weeks ago with an overwhelming level of support- 392 members from across the political spectrum. We now must push the Senate to act.

We have issued multiple calls to action for you to contact your legislators. With over 6,000 messages to the Hill from members of the ACC alone, the response has been unprecedented and impressive. In recent days, we have seen speculation and misinformation that is a potentially damaging distraction from this critical effort.

The facts are clear. H.R. 2, supported by the ACC, does not require participation in maintenance of certification (MOC), nor does it establish ABMS, ABIM, or any specific entity to administer MOC. No one would be forced to participate in MOC. Continue reading

An Early Career’s Perspective of the ACC.15 Sports and Exercise Intensive

Salazar_Christina 9112This post was authored by Christina Salazar, MD, FACC, member of the ACC’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology Section Leadership Council.

Preparation and performance come to mind as I reflect on my experience as a first time faculty at ACC.15 in San Diego. I had the pleasure of co-chairing one of the four parts of the Sports and Exercise Intensive during ACC.15. It was not a difficult position, but exciting and I was able to meet and interact with several of the leading cardiologists in the field of sports cardiology.

This year’s Annual Scientific Session brought much excitement due to the focus on interactive education. For those of you who attended ACC.15, you were able to experience first-hand the many beneficial educational changes that were visible throughout the conference. In particular, the Sports and Exercise Intensive was a 4.25-hour block of time dedicated specifically to the growing field of sports cardiology. We were fortunate to have many leading cardiologists present during this intensive and in the end there were several take away points. Continue reading

Pharmacists Involvement in MI Care: Completing the Team

Craig BeaversThis post was authored by Craig J. Beavers, PharmD, AACC, BCPS-AQ Cardiology, CACP, co-chair of the ACC’s Clinical Pharmacist Workgroup.

Myocardial infarction (MI) is a common occurrence, with an approximate annual incidence rate of 525,000 new events and 200,000 recurrent events, and an estimated 30-day mortality rate of 7.8 percent. Therefore, it is no surprise much focus and attention has been devoted to MI management. Great strides have been made in terms of improving morality and reducing morbidity via interventional techniques and advanced pharmacotherapy. However, variation exists amongst hospitals regarding MI mortality rates despite solid evidence for treatment. While geographic locations, number of beds and MI volumes have correlations with mortality rates and may explain some variability; there still remains a substantial proportion of unaccounted variation. In order to address these unknowns, investigators preformed an analysis of hospitals with the lowest 30-day risk standardized mortality rates. They found seven strategies that impacted their morality outcomes with one of the domains including pharmacist care. This analysis has blossomed into the concept of the ACC’s Surviving MI Initiative. Continue reading

The Economic Impact of AUC Implementation at a Large Community Hospital

Pranav Puri headshotThis post was authored by Pranav Puri, a first year undergraduate student at The University of Chicago.

Approximately 600,000 percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs) are performed in the U.S. each year at a cost that exceeds $12 billion. In recent years, the emphasis of the national health care system has shifted towards providing higher quality care at lower costs, and payment models are shifting away from fee-for-service towards population-based health management and bundled payments. In an effort to assist both physicians and patients in choosing the best procedure for patient outcomes, the ACC developed appropriate use criteria (AUC) for coronary revascularization in 2009 and released a focused update in January 2012.

In February 2012, UnityPoint Trinity in Rock Island, IL initiated a process involving the education and participation of physicians and nurses towards the implementation of the ACC’s AUC. Since the economic impact of AUC has been of interest to me for quite some time (read my previous blog on my poster presentation at ACC.13 here), my colleagues and I put together a study to assess the long-term effects of implementation of AUC on volumes of both interventions and diagnostics. We also studied the distribution of acute vs. elective interventions, and aimed to quantify the economic impact of implementation of the AUC. Continue reading

BOG and Chapters 101: How to Make the Most of Your ACC Membership

ShorThis post was authored by Robert A. Shor, MD, FACC, chair of ACC’s Board of Governors.

What is the ACC’s Board of Governors (BOG) and why should I care?

It is a privilege to serve as chair of the BOG this year. It is my mission to highlight and emphasize the integral value that ACC Chapters and their leaders provide to cardiovascular professionals across the U.S. and to ensure the goals of ACC’s state chapters also align with the College’s strategic plan. To begin, we must start at the very beginning – what are ACC Chapters? Who leads them? What do these leaders do? Continue reading

Parmley Legacy Honors Young Researchers with Perseverance

This post was authored by Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of JACC.

Fuster_Headshot cropDr. William W. Parmley was a pioneer for all cardiovascular researchers, and I feel proud that JACC continues to honor his legacy by recognizing two up-and-coming investigators, as well as their mentors and institutional research programs through this prestigious award each year.

This year, we honor two young researchers working in areas of great clinical interest:

Muralidhar Padala, PhD, from Emory University

  • Mentor: Robert Guyton, MD
  • Manuscript: “Temporal Changes in Interpapillary Muscle Dynamics as an Active Indicator of Mitral Valve and Left Ventricular Interaction in Ischemic Mitral Regurgitation in Humans,” published in the November 4 issue of JACC

Pablo Martínez-Legazpi, MEng, PhD, from Hospital Gregorio Maranon/University of California, San Diego

  • Mentors: Javier Bermejo, MD, PhD & Juan C. del Álamo, AeEng, PhD
  • Manuscript: “Contribution of the Diastolic Vortex Ring to Left Ventricular Filling,” published in the October 21 issue of JACC

Continue reading

Sun Sets on ACC.15; See You in Chicago!

Williams HeadshotAs the San Diego sun sets on ACC.15, I am excited to follow in the footsteps of my friend Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, MACC, and the many others who have come before me, to serve as ACC president.

It’s been an incredible last three days of innovation, networking and practice-shaping research – made all the more successful by the enthusiasm and participation of the more than 13,500 attendees from quite literally around the world.

Dr. O’Gara kicked off the meeting by imploring us to take advantage of the opportunity afforded by ACC.15 to expand our knowledge base, generate new insights and forge connections across ideas and shared goals. From what I witnessed, ACC.15 attendees rose to this challenge. Continue reading

ACC.15 Video Highlights – Day 3

See more insightful interviews on the hottest topics and Late-Breaking Clinical Trials from the last day of ACC.15. For comprehensive coverage of the meeting from the fellow perspective, see the full list of FITs on the GO videos on visit the ACC’s FITs on the Go YouTube Playlist. Highlights from the third day include:

Continue reading

Changing the Future of CV Medicine Starts With Addressing the Global Problem of NCDs

This post was authored by John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, past president of the ACC.

It is my privilege and honor to chair a session today on the critical topic of “Population & Global Health – Combating CV Diseases/Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) Globally.” The session is part of the special Future of Cardiovascular Medicine Track, which is focused on what the world will look like in 2025 in the context of cardiovascular health. The first United Nations High-level Meeting on NCDs in 2011 led to the adoption of the UN Political Declaration which placed NCDs on the global health and development agenda. Member States committed to a set of actions to accelerate the NCD response. I had the privilege of attending the United Nations deliberations on NCDs in June 2014 and testifying before the General Assembly. Given the lofty global goal of the United Nations and World Health Organization to reduce premature mortality from NCDs by 25 percent by 2025, this session couldn’t be more pertinent. As Dr. Margaret Chan (Director-General of the World Health Organization) has been quoted “A world that is greatly out of balance in matters of health is neither stable nor secure.” Continue reading