Please vote for the 2014 Slate of Officers and Directors using this ballot. You may only vote for one person for each position. However, you may write in additional nominees in the blank spaces instead of the person nominated. All write-in nominees must be active ASE members. The new officers and directors will be inducted at the ASE Annual Business Meeting in Portland, OR, on Sunday morning, June 22, 2014. This session is open to all Scientific Sessions registrants. Your ballot must be received by June 1, 2014. Learn more about each nominee here and vote today. Don’t forget to register for the 25th Annual Scientific Sessions.
IAC will be sending reminder letters to all physicians in accredited facilities that will be required to earn Testamur status by NBE by 12/31/2015. To learn more, visit NBE’s website at www.echoboards.org, send an email to email@example.com or call the NBE headquarters 919-861-5582. For more about the IAC standards, contact 800-838-2110 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congress has passed H.R. 4203, the “Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014,” by voice vote. The bill prevents a 24% cut in reimbursements for physicians treating Medicare patients on April 1, 2014 and replaces it with a 0.5% update (through December 31, 2014) and a 0% update from January 1 until April 1, 2015. President Obama is expected to sign the bill. The bill represents an acknowledgement that the consensus, bipartisan approach to permanent repeal of the SGR formula will not be accomplished this year due to lack of agreement on a package of offsets.
The legislation includes several provisions regarding quality measurement and payment reductions for computed tomography services provided in physician offices and hospital outpatient departments starting in 2016. The language was “borrowed” from the original SGR repeal legislation introduced earlier this year. The bill also borrowed language requiring appropriate-use criteria to be consulted for advanced imaging (this does not include echo, by statutory definition) and prior authorization for physicians who refer an unusually high number of patients for advanced imaging services only.
For more information please click here.
We need your involvement! ACC and ASE will jointly be sending out a request for the AMA Specialty Society/ Relative Value Update Committee (RUC) in the next few days. Under review are codes that describe transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). If you perform these services and receive the survey – please take a few minutes to complete it. Learn more here.
Read ASE’s latest translation in French, “Recommendations for Evaluation of the Severity of Native Valvular Regurgitation with Two-dimensional and Doppler Echocardiography,” and other translated guidelines at www.asecho.org/translations.
The “SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014” bill was introduced in the House on February 6. This proposed language was agreed to by the Energy & Commerce, Ways & Means, and Senate Finance committees to repeal the SGR. The bill includes policy provisions; however the policy extenders and financial offsets are still to be negotiations.
A copy of the bill, a summary of the bill and an official section-by-section summary of the legislation can be found here.
Congress is now seriously considering funding the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) Repeal bill in part with a 60% reduction in Medicare payment to hospital outpatient departments for echocardiography services, to the levels paid in physicians’ offices. Adoption of this cut would jeopardize the quality of echocardiography services provided in hospitals, jeopardize the jobs and working conditions of cardiac sonographers employed by hospitals, and put many hospital echo labs in the “red.” Read more here.
Don’t miss ASE’s 25th Annual Scientific Sessions in Portland, OR on June 20-24, 2014.
Read the Advance Program here.
Join us at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel on May 11-13, 2014 to work one-on-one with the experts and gain the confidence needed for taking the National Board of Echocardiography, Inc.™ ASCeXAM® and ReASCE® examinations. In a recent survey, 97% of Review Course attendees said they passed the boards! View the preliminary program here and learn more by visiting www.asecho.org/ReviewCourse.
The fall issue of ASE’s member news source, ECHO, is now available online. This issue takes a 360 degree view of echocardiography. Here’s a glimpse of what’s inside:
- ASE Asks the Executive Committee: “What Advice Would you Offer to Someone Entering Your Field?”
- Thinking about retirement? ASE’s investment advisors talk about what you should be thinking about now.
- Practice management information from MedAxiom, IAC Echocardiography, and more.
- Creating a ‘State-of-the-Art’ Echocardiography Center in Lagos, Nigeria
Be on the lookout for this engaging, informational, and entertaining news source landing in your mailbox soon. This is just another way ASE remains dedicated to pushing the field of echocardiography forward. Click here to start reading the new ECHO today.