Archives for June 2017

CASE – Third Issue Now Online

“Four cusps is NOT better than three.”  Find out what Dr. Brian Malm, Yale University School of Medicine, means by reading his case report, “Severe Aortic Insufficiency in a Patient with a Functionally Bicuspid Quadricuspid Aortic Valve,” which is published in the new issue of CASE. His aortic anomaly case is joined by nine other stellar articles that cover topics including idiopathic left ventricular aneurysm, infection versus CAT, cardiac papillary fibroelastoma, myocardial infarction by angiosarcoma, mechanical Wenckebach, ECMO, and a pulsatile puzzle. Sign up for CASE content alerts at cvcasejournal.com, and join the discussion about CASE content at Connect@ASE. Don’t forget to test your wits with the new “What is This Image?” feature on the CASE homepage. This issue’s “What is This Image? was contributed by Amr Abouelnour, MD, assistant lecturer of cardiovascular medicine at Assiut University, Egypt.

Value of Echo Summit

In case you missed that ASE sponsored a Value of Echo Summit during our 2017 ASE Scientific Sessions, we are making the presentations available to everyone interested in this topic. The session was intended to help provide some understanding of the U.S. healthcare system as it undergoes a significant transformation from fee-for-service to value-based healthcare and developing new alternative payment models (APMs). The summit was divided into two sessions. The first session focused on understanding the impending changes to the overall healthcare system and the impact to you. The second session featured experts identifying the best strategies and practices to ensure you maximize all opportunities and thrive in this challenging environment.

Submit Your Images for the 2018 Image Calendar Contest

ASE is excited to announce that the Image Calendar Competition is back for 2018! The image competition winners will be featured in a colorful, 12-month calendar that will be given to all members who renew by December 31, 2017. The deadline for image submission is Monday, August 14 to allow voting to begin on August 16. Voting closes Friday, September 15.

 

To upload your images, head to the ASE 2018 Calendar Contest Library on Connect@ASE:

  1. Login to Connect@ASE using your username (email address) and password.
  2. Using the top navigation, scroll to Libraries.
  3. Click on Image Library.
  4. Click on the folder called ASE 2018 Calendar Contest.
  5. Click “new” under Folder Contents on the right hand side of the menu and upload your image. Image files need to be no larger than 30 MB.
  6. You are able to upload as many images as you would like.

If you have any questions, please contact Arissa Cooper at acooper@asecho.org.

QPP Proposed Rule Released

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would make changes in the second year of the Quality Payment Program (QPP) as required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). CMS has proposed a number of changes to the program, many of which are aimed at easing the reporting burden on small practices. A few highlights from the proposed rule include:

  • CMS will again assign a weight of zero to the MIPS Cost Category. Other categories will be weighted as follows: Quality = 60, Improvement Activities = 15, Advancing Care Information = 25
  • CMS has proposed to modestly raise the performance threshold to 15. The performance threshold for the 2019 payment year is three. This means a final score at or above 15 will allow an eligible clinician to avoid a negative adjustment in 2020.
  • CMS is not proposing modifications to the submission criteria for quality measures.
  • CMS will continue to allow eligible clinicians to use electronic health record technology certified to the 2014 edition for the 2018 performance year to receive credit under the Advancing Care Information Category.
  • CMS is proposing additional flexibilities for clinicians in small practices, including adding bonus points to their final MIPS score.
  • CMS is proposing requirements for MIPS participation at the virtual group level.
  • CMS will add performance standards for scoring improvement in the Quality and Cost categories.
  • CMS will begin determining whether eligible clinicians are APM Qualified Participants using an All-Payer Combination Option that looks at a clinicians participation in a Medicare Advanced APM, as well as an Other Payer Advanced APM.

ASE is continuing to analyze this rule and a more detailed and targeted analysis will follow.

Here is a fact sheet on the proposed rule. The proposed rule (CMS-5522-P) can be downloaded from the Federal Register.

Update Your Collection Today! Purchase the New Best of ASE DVDs

ASE is pleased to announce two new Best of ASE DVDs making the entire collection 10 strong. These DVDs were developed to enhance your understanding of echocardiography with a compilation of lectures from ASE courses.

  • Volume 1: 2nd Edition – Introduction to Diastology
  • Volume 10: Vascular Ultrasound

Login to your member portal and click on ASE MarketPlace to receive member pricing of only $75 per DVD or all 10 for $525.

Register Today for Echo Florida

ASE’s 6th Annual Echo Florida course is a comprehensive review of cardiovascular ultrasound in clinical practice. It takes place October 8-10, 2017 with a preconference Learning Lab available October 7, at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort at Walt Disney World® in Orlando, FL. Expect a heavy emphasis on case-based learning, structural heart disease, and valve repairs with a focus on strengths and limitations of established and emerging technologies and how these technologies can be used to improve and streamline patient care in a cost-conscious manner. Download the Advance Program and register today.

JASE 2016 Impact Factor Makes Dramatic Increase to 6.852

The 2016 Impact Factors were released Wednesday, June 14, and ASE is pleased to announce that the impact factor for the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography (JASE) increased to 6.852 as compared with 4.254 in 2015. JASE now ranks 13 of 126 journals listed in the Cardiac & Cardiovascular Systems journal category. This is a large jump from 2015 when JASE ranked 29 out of 124.

Congratulations to JASE Editor-in-Chief Alan S. Pearlman, MD, FASE. His deft leadership continues to make JASE a leader in international cardiovascular imaging research.

Dr. Vera Rigolin Elected President of the American Society of Echocardiography

Read release here.

CPAP THERAPY IMPROVES HEART FUNCTION IN PATIENTS WITH SEVERE OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA

Read release here.

INNOVATIVE CARDIOVASCULAR ULTRASOUND SOLUTIONS SHOWCASED AT ASE 28th ANNUAL SCIENTIFIC SESSIONS

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.