• September 14, 2012

    In This Issue:





    SCAI-QIT AUC App Attracts 2,000 Visitors Since Launch on Monday

    Want APP-ropriate Use Criteria & Guidelines at Your Fingertips?

    SCAI Has an App for That.

    Since its launch on Monday, the eagerly anticipated SCAI Quality Improvement Toolkit (SCAI-QIT) AUC and Guidelines App has attracted nearly 2,000 unique visitors including interventional cardiologists, cath lab staff, and industry professionals.

    “The new app is a calculator tool that makes it simple to access the AUC on heart revascularization without having to carry around printed documents,” said Kalon Ho, MD, FSCAI, architect of the new tool. “While we don’t intend for this tool to replace clinical judgment, we do hope it provides easier access to information that can guide the cath lab team’s decisions.”

    Once members of the cardiac catheterization lab team input facts about a patient’s case, the app will indicate where a “typical” case with those same characteristics would fall on a spectrum of “appropriate,” “uncertain” or “inappropriate” for revascularization, as defined by the latest recommendations from leading cardiology societies, including SCAI and the American College of Cardiology Foundation, among others. Interventional cardiologists can then use that information to make recommendations for treatment of individual patients’ symptoms and conditions. 

    SCAI’s calculator app also recognizes that complete documentation is essential in today’s healthcare environment. The app provides users with key data, including the relevant AUC scenario number, the indication score, a summary of the patient’s case, and a link to a printer-friendly reporting sheet that can be added to the patient’s chart.  

    SCAI Immediate Past President Christopher J. White, MD, FSCAI said, “The new AUC Calculator App is an example of a tool that will help cath lab teams easily access information supportive of high-quality, evidence-based patient care.”

    In coming months, SCAI will expand the app with new modules to help healthcare providers access interventional cardiology guidelines and additional AUC, including those for diagnostic cardiac catheterization. Plans are also underway for the app to include options for interfacing with electronic health records, further assisting providers with documentation.

    Access the SCAI-QIT AUC & Guidelines App Now!


    The SCAI Quality Improvement Toolkit was originally developed with support from Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. and Lilly USA, LLC. This program is also supported by AstraZeneca. The Society gratefully acknowledges this support, while taking sole responsibility for all content developed and disseminated through this effort.

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    SCAI Opposes Multiple Procedure Payment Reduction for Diagnostic CV

    Last week, SCAI transmitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the proposed rule for the 2013 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. The Society expressed vehement opposition to CMS’s proposal to apply the multiple procedure payment reduction (MPPR) to the technical component of many diagnostic cardiovascular services. SCAI believes the agency’s plan to achieve economic savings could actually impact patients’ outcomes while penalizing the most efficient physicians.

    SCAI also commented on CMS’s approach to stratifying physicians by their specialty or subspecialty in analyses of cost and quality. CMS’s current plans are to compare physicians within groups based on their broad specialty, rather on the composition of the clinical services they deliver. SCAI believes this approach will lead to apples-to-oranges comparisons across physicians who share a specialty but provide more or less complicated services. For example, office-based cardiologists and procedurally focused cardiologists would occupy the same comparison group because both are cardiologists, but the proceduralists are disadvantaged because the services they bill for are almost certain to cost more.  

    SCAI also pointed out that, if implemented, the proposed rule’s risk adjustment methodology for cost assessment would likely lead some physicians to be unfairly labeled as over-utilizers simply because they treat a sicker group of patients.

    Finally, in response to widely publicized plans to implement value-based modifiers as a means to promote quality and patient satisfaction, SCAI recommended limiting this action to large integrated (or integrating) health systems, where hospitals either employ the physicians or have ownership in physician practices because only larger systems can have the integrated information systems necessary to show “value” to payers. 

    SCAI’s comments were in large part echoed by the Alliance for Specialty Medicine.

    What happens now?  The 2013 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule will be released in early November, at which time values for the new PCI, TAVR, and pVAD codes will be revealed.  Be sure to watch for SCAI’s analysis of the Final Rule.

    Read SCAI’s Comments

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    5 Reasons Why Your 2013 Budget Should Include ACE Accreditation

    Accreditation and ongoing continuous quality improvement from Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence (ACE) ensures the highest possible quality and safety standards for cardiac and endovascular interventional care.

    ACE accreditation takes cath labs from GOOD TO GREAT, certifying that your cath lab is ahead of the curve in meeting appropriate care standards.

    Here's 5 reasons why your 2013 budget should include ACE accreditation:

    1. Elevate your cath lab performance; document appropriate care
    2. Attain third party validation to prove medical necessity
    3. Reduce complexity by focusing on vital quality indicators
    4. ACE engages physicians; gives them a focal point for cultural change, driving consensus and collaboration
    5. ACE accreditation reduces costs by promoting standardization as compared to traditional models

    Find Out More About Why You Need to Budget ACE Accreditation for 2013!

    Information on ACE Angiographic and Appropriate Use Reviews

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    HERCULES Trial in CCI Leads Media to Focus on Renal Artery Stenting

    Last week's publication of the HERCULES trial in Catheterization & Cardiovascular Interventions (CCI) prompted journalists to focus on the potential benefits of renal artery stenting, a subject that has been debated in recent years. Michael Jaff, DO, FSCAI, HERCULES investigator, addressed questions in interviews and in a video discussion with CCI Editor-in-Chief Steven R. Bailey, MD, FSCAI.

    In HERCULES, patients with uncontrolled renovascular hypertension saw significant improvement in their blood pressure after renal artery stenting with the RX Herculink Elite Stent. Drs. Jaff and Bailey discuss the importance of patient selection, noting that the patients who benefited had received appropriate medical therapy. The trial also explored the predictive value of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), finding no association between reduced blood pressure after stenting and high BNP pre-procedure or lowered BNP after successful stenting.

    Read the media coverage:

    Cardiology Today Intervention - "Renal Stenting Appears Promising for Patients with Uncontrolled Hypertension"

    Cardiovascular Business - "HERCULES Can't Muscle Out Answers on Renal Artery Stenting"

    Medpage Today - "Kidney Stent Safely Drops BP in Hypertension"

    TCTMD - "Renal Stenting Shows Potential for Marked BP Lowering in Uncontrolled Hypertension"

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    Application Deadline for SCAI Fall Fellows Courses is Midnight Today!

    Attention interventional cardiology fellows-in-training, training program directors and coordinators. Today is the dealine to apply for SCAI 2012 Fall Fellows Courses in Adult Interventional Cardiology and Congenital & Structural Disease.

    Featuring a streamlined schedule, an all-new location at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and a faculty of the biggest names in interventional cardiology, SCAI Fall Fellows is the must-attend meeting for fellows-in-training.

    If you are serving in the fourth year of your interventional cardiology fellowship, or serving in the third or fourth year of your pediatric cardiology fellowship and interested in cardiovascular catheterization, you qualify to register for SCAI's Fall Fellows Course, which includes:

    • FREE Tuition, Travel & Hotel (restrictions apply)
    • WORLD CLASS FACULTY featuring the Best of the Best in Interventional Cardiology
    • HANDS-ON simulation training
    • UPDATES on the most widely used interventional procedures

    Don't Wait! Applications for the Fall Fellows Scholarship are Due by Midnight

    Download the Preliminary Program

    Find Out About FREE SCAI Membership for Interventional FITs

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    Dr. Osvaldo Gigliotti on Why YOU Should Apply for ELM Fellowship

    SCAI's Emerging Leader Mentorship (ELM) Program in formal partnership with ACC and CRF is now accepting applications for the next wave of interventional/invasive cardiology leaders during its 2013-15 cycle.

    The ELM Program is charged with finding a small, highly selective group of up-and-coming physicians (there are 10 openings for the 2013-2015 cycle) and facilitating their transition into the next generation of great thinkers, presenters, teachers and national leaders. ELM Fellows participate in six training sessions over a two year period, timed with the SCAI, TCT and ACC annual conferences, and will be assigned a mentor specifically chosen to match their interests and aspirations.

    Everyone Benefits!

    A critically important component of the ELM program, is that it also provides career advancement opportunities for applicants who aren't selected for the 10 fellowships. After the selection program is complete, the Program Committee will make personal calls to applicants who did not win a spot in the program, taking the time to understand their goals, aspirations, and talents, and then finding ways to channel their energy into SCAI and partnering organizations. Many of SCAI's brightest young leaders are ELM fellowship runner-ups! However, you can't get involved if you don't apply!

    Don't just take our word for it. Click on the above image to hear how ELM has helped open doors for Osvaldo Gigliotti, MD, FSCAI.

    Apply Today - The Application Deadline is November 15, 2012!

    Learn More about the ELM Program

    Follow the 2011-2013 ELM Fellows' Accomplishments!

    Find Out How All ELM Fellowship Applicants Benefit

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    SecondsCount.org: Share Frank's Story and Others' With Your Patients

    Heart disease was just about the last thing on Frank’s mind. A former college football player, he had been active all his life and exercised regularly. For Frank, shoulder pain that flared up during his exercise routine and later when he was taking a walk was a symptom of a serious blockage in one of his heart arteries. Fortunately, Frank visited an interventional cardiologist, who performed tests and treated the blockage with a stent. 

    Read Frank's Story on SecondsCount.org

    Share the SecondsCount.org Patient Story Center With Your Patient's

    Have a Great Patient Story for SecondsCount.org? Email it to Kathy David

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