• February 22, 2013

    In This Issue:





    Changes Coming to Appropriate Use Criteria Methodology & Terminology

    Yesterday, the ACC announced changes to its process for developing appropriate use criteria, including changes to frequently misinterpreted terminology for describing the levels of appropriateness of care.

    Under the updated methodology, which is described in Appropriate Use of Cardiovascular Technology: 2013 Appropriate Use Criteria Methodology Update and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, appropriateness of procedures or use of imaging for specific populations will be described as "appropriate," "may be appropriate," or "rarely appropriate."

    It is important to note that this policy change is not retrospective. Changes will not be made to recent appropriate use criterea documents on diagnostic catheterization and coronary revascularization.

    New terminology and definitions:

    • Appropriate care: An appropriate option for management of patients in this population due to benefits generally outweighing risks; effective option for individual care plans, although not always necessary, depending on physician judgment and patient-specific preferences (i.e., procedure is generally acceptable and is generally reasonable for the indication).
    • May Be Appropriate care: At times an appropriate option for management of patients in this population due to variable evidence or agreement regarding the benefit/risk ratio, potential benefit based on practice experience in the absence of evidence, and/or variability in the population; effectiveness for individual care must be determined by a patient's physician in consultation with the patient based on additional clinical variables and judgment along with patient preferences (i.e., procedure may be acceptable and may be reasonable for the indication).
    • Rarely Appropriate care: Rarely an appropriate option for management of patients in this population due to the lack of a clear benefit/risk advantage; rarely an effective option for individual care plans; exceptions should have documentation of the clinical reasons for proceeding with this care option (i.e., procedure is not generally acceptable and is not generally reasonable for the indication).

    Learn More Including Changes to AUC Methodology

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    Sequestration Would Mean 2% Medicare Physician Fee Cuts on March 1

    You've undoubtedly heard many headlines about how looming sequestration could affect the military, federal employees, and possibly the U.S. economy.

    What would sequestration mean for medicine? It would result in a 2% reduction in payment rates for all Medicare providers including physicians and hospitals, likely to last throughout 2013.

    Here's how we got there. Legislation passed in early January to avert sequestration for two months also delayed deep cuts associated with the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula for all of 2013. While the SGR cliff will be delayed throughout 2013, overall government cuts tied to sequestration are scheduled to take effect on March 1, unless leaders in Washington reach a compromise. It is important to note that while many government agencies will receive cuts of more than 5 percent, Congress has limited the overall impact on medicine, reducing payment rates for all Medicare providers by 2 percent. Medicaid reimbursement rates will remain unchanged.

    Tired of the status quo? SCAI PAC will certainly be considering contributing to the campaigns of non-incumbents running in 2014!

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    Training Program Director Nominations for Braden Award Due April 1

    SCAI is reminding interventional cardiology training program directors to nominate worthy fellows-in-training for the Gregory Braden Memorial Fellow of the Year Award. The application deadline is Friday, April 1.

    In August of 2007, SCAI Board of Trustees member Gregory Braden, MD, FSCAI tragically passed away. An active researcher, educator and friend to the Society, Dr. Braden was best known for his pioneering work in intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), coronary atherectomy, and chronic total occlusions. In keeping with his positive and generous spirit, Dr. Braden's friends and family have established the Gregory Braden Memorial Fund through the Forsyth Medical Center Foundation in Winston-Salem, NC.

    As part of the fund's purpose, SCAI is honored to present the annual "Gregory Braden Memorial Fellow of the Year Award" to a graduating interventional cardiology fellow who best represents the following qualities that Dr. Braden exemplified:

    • Demonstrates excellent interventional skills in multiple CV modalities;
    • Shows promise for future contributions to CV research through publications or otherwise;
    • Consistently demonstrates dedication to patient care and patient well-being;
    • Shows potential to become a leader amongst peers; and
    • Strives to contribute to the overall advancement of interventional cardiology.

    The award recipient will be presented with a hand-crafted crystal award, a $2,500 cash award, and a one year free membership to SCAI post-graduation during the Annual Banquet at SCAI 2013 Scientific Sessions.

    Find Out More & Make Your Nomination

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    SCAI 2013: Add to Your Educational Plate With Breakfasts With Benefits

    We've told you about the variety of focused learning opportunities at SCAI 2013 Scientific Sessions.

    Still want to add more to your educational plate? Breakfast With Benefits is an additional learning opportunity allowing you to make the most of your time.

    First-come, first-served ... these new small-group sessions will bring attendees and faculty together around a table to hash out the toughest coronary, peripheral and structural cases that come through the cath lab. "These are the cases where you'll never find an evidence base that tells you what to do," said SCAI 2013 Program Co-Chair Kenneth Rosenfield, MD, FSCAI.

    "When the data are conflicting, it comes down to experience and being a good problem-solver," added SCAI 2013 Program Co-Chair Morton Kern, MD, FSCAI. "These are the cases interventional cardiologists live for. We'll scratch our heads together, debate the options, and learn along the way."

    Register Now for SCAI 2013!

    More Information About SCAI 2013

    View the Agenda - Download the Advance Program

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    Get to Work on Quality! Enlist as a SCAI-QIT Quality Champion Today

    Don't wait any longer! Sign up to be a SCAI-QIT Champion and find out why nearly 400 cath labs have already signed up to take advantage of SCAI's Quality Improvement Toolkit (SCAI-QIT).

    SCAI-QIT features several continuous quality improvement tools for the cardiac cath lab focused on:

    • Guidelines;
    • Peer review conferences;
    • Random case selection;
    • National database participation;
    • Pre-procedure checklists;
    • Data collection; and
    • Inventory management

    The beauty of SCAI-QIT is that it is flexible and can be customized for each user. Even better, you will lead the way at your own institution, using its practical tools to document your strengths, identify opportunities for improvement, and prepare for government-mandated "Pay-for-Quality" initiatives.

    Sign Up to be a SCAI-QIT Quality Champion Today!

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    SCAI President to Deliver Keynote at ABC Luncheon on Disparities

    SCAI President J. Jeffrey Marshall, MD, FSCAI will be the featured speaker at the Association of Black Cardiologists' symposium, "Disparities in Interventional Cardiology," taking place at CRT 2013 on Monday.

    Dr. Marshall's keynote will address the role of interventional cardiology's recent quality improvement initiatives -- led by SCAI's Quality Improvement Toolkit -- in eliminating disparities in cardiovascular health.

    "This is a great opportunity to raise awareness amongst my colleagues as we work to eliminate disparities in care," said Dr. Marshall. "SCAI and ABC have really formed a strong partnership around this issue and I look forward to continuing it on Monday. This topic really ties in nicely with our specialty's efforts in implementing evidence-based care. "

    Yele Aluko, MD, FSCAI will be moderating the program which begins at noon.

    Find Out More About This Luncheon

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    eLearning Spotlight: High-Risk PCI Online Curriculum Offers 8 CME Hours

    SCAI's catalog of eLearning opportunities has expanded with the recent launch of the High-Risk Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) online course. Featuring an engaging combination of didactic presentations and case studies, the High-Risk PCI program fulfills members' requests for additional information about this critical area of interventional cardiology practice.

    This online course is designed to provide core education to physicians regardless of their experience level in this growing and changing area of interventional cardiology. In addition to covering case selection and management, the curriculum also covers device selection strategy as well as hemodynamics of such procedures. Led by Course Director Robert Applegate, MD, FSCAI, the program is presented by a world-class faculty representing leaders within the field.

    The High Risk PCI course is provided via an educational grant from Abiomed and is available to all fellows-in-training and practicing interventional cardiologists to access for free. In order to claim CME hours users can purchase individual modules or the full program. Each module is worth 1 CME hour and can be purchased for $20 by SCAI members. The full 8 CME hour program is $150 for members.

    Access SCAI's High-Risk PCI Online Curriculum

    Visit SCAI's eLearning Library

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