Advocacy vs. Apathy

This post was authored by Mark Victor, MD, FACC, CEO of Cardiology Consultants of Philadelphia, as delivered during ACC’s 2014 Legislative Conference.

Over my 33 year career I have witnessed an unimaginable change in the practice of medicine. The certainty of where and how we practiced, relationships with the hospitals, the satisfaction in utilizing the skills which we learned as fellows, were all predictable. As I made the transition from fellow to attending from impatient and perpetual student to energetic teacher/practitioner, I became the second physician in our practice. My career seemed set. But as the next several years evolved and we grew to a four member practice, I began to feel that change was necessary for us, and change we did. The profession also began to change over the next decade as hospitals began their first foray into physician acquisition. Turf wars between competitive systems began as the artificiality of “certificates of need” gave way to competition from community hospitals against the historic monopolies of tertiary cardiac care by the academic medical centers. They in turn had to redesign their mission away from an emphasis on research and education to a more financially driven model, forcing academically inclined and research minded faculty to more closely resemble their community based clinical colleagues. Continue reading

ACC Members Hit the Hill to Advocate for CV Professionals and Patients

Nearly 400 cardiovascular professionals stormed Capitol Hill this week to meet directly with their legislators. In their meetings, ACC members shared examples of how the College is leading the transformation of care and urged Congress to work with the ACC to develop a quality driven health care system, ensure practice stability and secure the future of cardiovascular care. With a plethora of challenges facing health care providers, ACC Members were able to provide first-hand perspectives of how decisions made in Washington impact practices and patients across the country. Hot topics on the Hill included Sustainable Growth Rate repeal, In-Office Ancillary Services Exception preservation, increased research and graduate medical education funding, incentivizing the use of clinical data registries, and improving access for Medicaid children with complex medical problems. Take a look at the full set of messages that members took to congressional offices. Continue reading

Legislative Conference Day 1 Provides Members With Important Views From the Hill

Following an entertaining evening with political power couple Mary Matalin and James Carville courtesy of the ACC Political Action Committee (PAC), the College kicked off its 2014 Legislative Conference early Monday morning with a record number of cardiovascular professionals (nearly 400, including approximately 100 Fellows in Training and 80 CV Team members) in attendance. Continue reading

Tiny Steps to Implement Pulse Ox Screening

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

On a yearly basis critical congenital heart conditions affect three out of every 1,000 live births, accounting for nearly 30 percent of all infant fatalities in the U.S. As physicians we have come a long way in our ability to treat these conditions in a timely manner, often using prenatal sonograms to identify structural heart disease. However, the sensitivity of congenital heart disease (CHD) is highly fickle, with operator expertise, fetal position, gestational age, and defect type causing prenatal sonography to entirely miss many newborns with CHD, let alone critical conditions that need immediate intervention. Continue reading

ACC Board of Governors Come Together to Move College’s Strategic Vision Forward

I have often said the men and women who make up ACC’s Board of Governors (BOG) are the College’s feet on the ground – meeting the needs of cardiovascular professionals where they live and work. As such, the BOG plays a critical role in the success of ACC programs and tools. This weekend’s BOG meeting underscored the importance of this role as member leaders engaged in discussions around how best to move the College’s strategic vision forward. In particular, leaders addressed shared decision making tools, educational programs and products, involvement in hospital and outpatient-based clinical data registries, increasing member value, top cardiovascular advocacy issues, potential partnerships and more. Continue reading

Leading the Transformation of Care

This post was authored by Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, FACC, president-elect of the ACC. – See more at:

This post was authored by Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, FACC, president-elect of the ACC.

Over the past 40 years, the world has seen significant advances in cardiovascular care including a 50 percent decline in cardiovascular-related deaths. A study published in Circulation last month further demonstrated the progress that has been made. The study found that hospitalizations for acute cardiovascular disease and stroke showed rapid decline from 1999 through 2011, compared to other cardiac-related conditions. Additionally, patients achieved improved mortality and readmission outcomes. Continue reading

Be Heard on the Hill at ACC’s Legislative Conference

This post was authored by Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, FACC, president-elect of the ACC. – See more at:
This post was authored by Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, FACC, president-elect of the ACC – See more at:

This post was authored by Kim Allan Williams, Sr., MD, FACC, president-elect of the ACC.

Hundreds of cardiovascular professionals will gather in Washington, DC, Sept. 14-16 to get up-to-speed on the health care landscape and become effective advocates for patients and cardiovascular professionals during ACC’s 2014 Legislative Conference.

Given that we’re in the midst of an era of constant change and increasing burdens within the health care system, it’s only appropriate that this year’s conference will focus on how ACC is leading the transformation of care. This event provides the opportunity to interact with congressional and federal policymakers as well as national health experts, and discuss the regulation and legislation which is vital to the success of practices in every setting.  Continue reading

Talking Personalized Medicine on Capitol Hill

Given the ever-increasing advances in science and research related to genetics and genomics, it’s not surprising that discussions about personalized (or precision) medicine among care providers, industry, regulators, patient advocacy groups and Congress are heating up. Continue reading