Archives for August 2014

Two new guidelines in the August issue of JASE (Available online now!)

Marti L. McCullough, MBA, BS, RDCS, FASE, writes in the August JASE Sonographer’s Communication that “Transesophaegeal echocardiography in angiography and surgical suites is continuing to increase and as a result, sonographers are spending more time in areas that emit a lot of radiation. Additionally, in many facilities, scanning patients recently injected with a radioisotope is part of the daily routine. These activities increase sonographer exposure to radiation.” To meet the concerns of our membership regarding this trend, ASE created a writing group of experts, chaired by Elizabeth F. McIlwain, MHS, RDCS, RCS, FASE. The resulting document appears in this month’s JASE. “Radiation Safety for the Cardiac Sonographer: Recommendations of the Radiation Safety Writing Group for the Council on Cardiovascular Sonography of the American Society of Echocardiography” includes basic radiation principles, sources of radiation for the sonographer, personal protection techniques, regulatory and administrative issues, and policy development/recommendations.

Also in this issue is an updated version of the 2001 guideline on contrast echocardiography. “Guidelines for the Cardiac Sonographer in the Performance of Contrast Echocardiography: A Focused Update from the American Society of Echocardiography,” covers current physics/instrumentation, how to implement contrast administration policy/establishing intravenous access, current contrast ejection and infusion safety, and relevant recommended initiatives including rebranding “contrast echo” to “enhanced echo.” Don’t miss JASE’s 11 clinical investigations including “Left Ventricular Functional Recovery and Remodeling in Low-Flow Low-Gradient Severe Aortic Stenosis after Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation” by Vasileios Kamperidis et al.

Join the ASE Foundation August 11-14 for live broadcasts from India

Next week is the ASEF’s third humanitarian mission in India – and you’re invited! Join our onsite team, led by Dr. Partho Sengupta and David Adams, for three learning sessions broadcast live from Bangalore. While in India, the team will be evaluating patients with known rheumatic heart disease, and during the live broadcasts they’ll present highlights from the cases they saw each day. Expert physicians located in the United States, including Drs. Thomas Ryan, Jagat Narula, Roberto Lang, Patricia Pellikka, and James Thomas, will provide commentary and engage in discussion with participants. Visit the ASEF Values page for more information.

Calling all ASE members in the Northeast US!

If you will be within a short drive or train ride from Washington, D.C. on September 12, perhaps attending TCT or the ACC’s legislative conference, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to join leaders from ASE and across the healthcare spectrum in our nation’s capital for Value-Based Healthcare: Summit 2014. ASE’s Advocacy Committee Chair, Dr. David Wiener, recently wrote a great blog post about the Summit and the reasons why it is so important for ASE members to participate and help shape the discussion about how cardiac imaging, and specifically echo, will provide superior value in the new world of ACO’s, bundled payments, etc. Free registration for ASE Members, interactive sessions, and networking will make it worthwhile, even if just for a drop-in. Get all the details and find out how to register for this ASE Foundation event at www.asecho.org/summit2014.

Experts Release Updated Guide for the Effective Use of Cardiac Ultrasound Enhancing Agents

Read release here.

ASE Headquarters – COVID-19 Update

Beginning March 26, 2020, the county where the ASE Headquarters is located is under a government order to “Stay at Home” due to the spread of the coronavirus. These “Stay at Home” recommendations continue to be in effect and depend on the infection rates in the County/State. ASE will keep all but essential personnel telecommuting until a time when it is judged safe to return to work. We are not suspending or closing operations; our employees will remain working and providing excellent customer service to our members and the cardiovascular ultrasound community. However, ASE will slightly modify its official open hours to 9 AM – 4 PM Eastern TimeMonday-Friday. Should you need to get in touch with a staff person, call our main office at 919-861-5574 and a phone list by department will be available. A staff directory is also available here. All general questions can also be sent through ASE@ASEcho.org. Thank you and our best wishes for your continued safety.

New 3D Imaging Code Survey Needs U.S. Physician Input

This is your opportunity to participate in the Relative Value Update Committee (RUC) process to ensure fair and adequate code valuation. The proposed CPT add-on code that describes the additional work required for 3D imaging, in addition to the base echocardiography service, is currently under review at the AMA RUC. Your participation in the RUC survey process is key in the assessment of the time, complexity, and physician work value for these procedures. If you were randomly selected, you received an email from “Qualtrics” with the subject line, “AMA RUC Survey – 3D Imaging of Cardiac Structures.” We ask you to look for it in all your email folders, as many members have found the survey in their spam/junk folder.

More information about the RUC and the survey process is available here.The AMA has created a video to explain the purpose of the survey process and provide specific instructions on how to complete the survey accurately. Please contact Irene Butler, ASE’s Vice President of Health Policy & Member Relations at IButler@ASEcho.org, with any questions. We greatly appreciate your time, input, and expertise.