• April 19, 2013

    In This Issue:



    Advocacy Action Center Adds New Tool on Compensation for STEMI Call

    A new tool, just added to SCAI’s Advocacy Action Center, provides guidance on payment for on-call coverage of angioplasty facilities. Developed by Advocacy Committee members, in collaboration with SCAI President J. Jeffrey Marshall, MD, FSCAI, this newly published article will support SCAI members’ communications with hospital administrators and others who make compensation decisions. In the article, Advocacy Committee Co-chair Peter L. Duffy, MD, MMM, FSCAI, Srihari Naidu, MD, FSCAI, and K.C. Kurian, MD, FSCAI, discuss why SCAI supports supplemental reimbursement for interventional cardiologists who participate in emergent call for STEMI patients.

    “This is about the value of the service that interventionalists provide, especially considering our profession’s commitment to optimal door-to-balloon times, which have been conclusively shown to save lives,” said Dr. Duffy. “The article outlines many new pressures now on interventional cardiologists, and also addresses questions hospital administrators may ask when considering proposals to remunerate interventional cardiologists for the demanding, stressful, and time-sensitive procedures that we perform on STEMI call.”

    This guidance document joins a number of advocacy tools SCAI has recently made available, including template letters for communicating with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), elected officials, and the media.

    “SCAI members are using the tools in our new Advocacy Action Center to explain how Medicare fee cuts are impacting our ability to care for our patients,” said Dr. Marshall. “We need to work together to help our legislators, regulators, and the public understand that these cuts are taking a toll.”

    In just two weeks since the first set of tools was posted, many members have connected with CMS, elected officials, media, and the public. Several members have received replies from CMS. Faisal Shamshad, MD, FSCAI, has already had letters to the editor published in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Fargo-Moorhead InForum.

    Download This Tool On Compensation for STEMI Call

    Access SCAI's Advocacy Action Center Today!

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    SCAI Objects to Recommendations Against Routine Screening for PAD

    SCAI strongly objects to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) decision to advise AGAINST routine ABI screening for PAD. The Society has been joined by the American College of Cardiology (ACC), Society for Vascular Medicine (SVM), and Society for Vascular Nursing (SVN) in submitting a letter of objection to this USPSTF recommendation.

    SCAI supports ABI screening for men and women aged 65 years and older, as described in the 2005 Multispecialty Guideline Document and reaffirmed in the 2011 update. It is believed screening patients one time for PAD would increase the general welfare by improving medical therapy. SCAI believes that, in the absence of screening, millions of patients with PAD but no other cardiovascular disease will not be treated with appropriate therapies and will have a higher mortality rate.

    “The evidence is clear that peripheral artery disease represents one of the most common, yet under-diagnosed, morbid, and mortal of all cardiovascular diseases in the United States," said SCAI PVD Committee Co-chair Michael R. Jaff, DO, FSCAI. "The USPSTF recommendation against routine ABI screening for PAD is disappointing. In this new era, focusing on prevention and early detection, we are hopeful the submission of our multispecialty comments will help educate them about the benefits of this potentially life-saving screening tool.” 

    The USPSTF is an independent panel of non-Federal experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine and is composed of primary care providers (such as internists, pediatricians, family physicians, gynecologists/obstetricians, nurses, and health behavior specialists). The USPSTF conducts scientific evidence reviews of a broad range of clinical preventive health care services (such as screening, counseling, and preventive medications) and develops recommendations for primary care clinicians and health systems. These recommendations ....

    Read the SCAI Letter of Objection to USPSTF

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    Citing Flaws, SCAI Calls for Halt to HHS Project on Physician Time Use

    The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has initiated studies examining current physician work times titled “Analysis of Physician Time Use Patterns under the Medicare Fee Schedule” and “Realigning Physician Payment Incentives in Medicare to Achieve Payment Equity Among Specialists, Expand the Supply of Primary Care Physicians and to Improve the Value of Care for Beneficiaries Part B”.

    SCAI has been able to obtain background materials [1, 2, and 3] on these projects. Based upon inaccurate statements contained in these materials regarding current and historical valuations for evaluation and management services under the MPFS, the Society has expressed great concern that there is an unfounded bias amongst the principal investigators that more money needs to be shifted from specialists to primary care.

    As part of these projects, ASPE plans to conduct a public survey (to be sent to targeted medical providers) requiring them to submit a Paperwork Reduction Act filing to the OMB. This affords SCAI the opportunity to comment on not only the estimated burden of response for the survey (which SCAI finds to be underestimated) but also to submit comments regarding the projects themselves.

    SCAI has recommended, “HHS take immediate action to halt the implementation of these ASPE programs until these programs can be more fully developed with complete transparency including an opportunity by the public, providers and patients to review and comment on the details regarding the intended implementation of these programs. We urge HHS to ensure any principals engaged in activities assessing the valuation of physician services have thorough knowledge regarding the current valuation process for physician services/procedures and that they do not have any preconceived notions in regards to the relative value of cognitive versus procedural services, but rather are committed to reaching objective and unbiased conclusions.”

    Complete Comments Detailing SCAI's Grave Concerns With the ASPE Projects

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    Save the Dates: SCAI 2014 Set to Return to Las Vegas on May 28-31

    SAVE THE DATES: May, 28-31, 2014

    SCAI Scientific Sessions will be returning to Las Vegas next year, taking place May 28-31, 2014 at Caesars Palace. Mark your calendars now to participate in the Best of the Best in Interventional and Invasive Cardiology Education as SCAI 2014 returns to this always-popular host city!

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    Society Responds to Revised Republican Proposal for Eliminating SGR

    On Monday SCAI submitted comments on the second draft of the House Republican Plan to eliminate the sustainable growth rate (SGR).

    This revised draft incorporates much of SCAI's input initially sought earlier this year by Republican Leaders in the House. This revised proposal is significant since the President's budget for 2014 supports efforts to reach a permanent solution on SGR and to develop a payment system that focuses on paying for quality rather than the volume of services.

    Read SCAI's Joint Comments With the Alliance of Specialty Medicine

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    It's Coming. MSCAI Membership Category to be Unveiled at SCAI 2013

    MSCAI is coming.

    SCAI has announced that it will unveil a new category of membership at SCAI 2013 Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Master Interventionalists of the Society (MSCAI), in recognition of Fellows of SCAI demonstrating excellence in the field over a career, manifested by a commitment to the highest levels of clinical care, innovation, publication and teaching.

    Stay tuned for further details as SCAI 2013 approaches.

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    All Members Encouraged to Attend SCAI's Annual Business Meeting

    SCAI is reminding members to plan to attend the Society's Annual Business Meeting, which will be conveniently held at SCAI 2013 Scientific Sessions on Friday, May 10, at noon, in Room Celebration 16 at the Peabody Orlando, 9801 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819.

    The meeting will include the election of SCAI officers. All are welcome to attend; current SCAI Fellows and Senior Fellows (FSCAI) are eligible to vote. Members interested in additional information on the election and/or proposed amendments are welcome to send an email to info@scai.org with "SCAI 2013 Business Meeting" in the subject line.

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    Make SecondsCount.org a Central Part of Your Patient Education Efforts

    You know that early intervention counts in heart attack. However, as you'll probably agree, many of your patients do not.

    If you are struggling to educate your patients about the not-always-obvious symptoms of a heart attack and the importance of quick action, SCAI's public education website, SecondsCount.org, is a great resource for them.

    "Of all the things we can teach patients, this will really make an impact on their life," said SecondsCount Editor-in-Chief John P. Reilly, MD, FSCAI. "Early intervention counts. Every second counts."

    SecondsCount includes information on warning signs for stroke and heart attack; clear and concise explanations of a wide range of cardiovascular diseases and procedures; and vignettes that highlight the stories of real patients — not only the benefits they gained by seeking rapid treatment for heart attack, but also the subtle symptoms some experienced.

    SecondsCount.org also sports freshly content written just for patients on topics ranging from peripheral vascular disease to carotid artery disease to the latest news on minimally invasive treatments for structural heart disease.

    Visit SecondsCount.org & See for Yourself

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