Archives for February 2018

What is Normal? ASE and Its International Partners Explore New Standardization Across the Globe

Durham, NC, February 26, 2018 – The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) and its International Alliance Partners are joining efforts in the World Alliance of Societies of Echocardiography (WASE) Normal Values Study. This study is bringing together the scientific cardiovascular ultrasound community from around the world to better understand if the current recommended normal values for heart dimensions and function in subjects from different races and countries are similar or different. In addition, normal values for novel echocardiography modalities such as 3D and strain will be established. Read more here.

Need Your Help to Establish Reimbursement for Category III Echocardiographic CPT™ Codes

Coding accurately for the services you provide is essential, especially in today’s environment when you are facing declining reimbursement and increased scrutiny. ASE is committed to ensuring you are fairly reimbursed for your work. In this effort, the Society was able to establish two new Category III echocardiographic CPT™ codes and encourages you to use them when appropriate.

While category III codes are not reimbursed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), these codes are sometimes reimbursed by private payers. ASE is meeting with private payers in an effort to establish reimbursement. Additionally, CMS will track submission of these codes. There will be an opportunity for this code to progress to Category I status over the next few years based on 1) utilization and 2) additional peer reviewed publications demonstrating efficacy.

CPT™ code +0399TMyocardial strain imaging has emerged as a sensitive tool for assessing regional and global left ventricular systolic function. +0399T is to be reported once per encounter in addition to the appropriate echocardiography base codes 93303-93351.

CPT™ code +0439T: Myocardial contrast perfusion echocardiography imaging code aids in the detection of myocardial ischemia and myocardial viability and is well-tolerated and safe in both ambulatory and critically ill patients. This code should be submitted whenever myocardial contrast perfusion echocardiography is performed but may be used only in conjunction with echocardiography base codes 93306, 93307, 93308, 93350, 93351.

There is a time frame for utilization. If the codes are not used they may “sunset” after five years, eliminating the opportunity to establish reimbursement and limiting patients’ access to the technology. Therefore, ASE is encouraging you to share information about these new codes with your lab staff and business departments and submit these codes whenever myocardial strain imaging or myocardial perfusion echocardiography is performed.

What are You Using to Spread Echo Knowledge?

CASE, ASE’s bimonthly, online case reports journal, has just entered its second year of publication with the February issue that is now online. This journal has gotten strong support from the community and is attracting a growing readership.

As the Editors-in-Chief share in their editorial, “A team is made up of many individuals all looking at the same scenario from different vantage points, and this is best accomplished with many eyes. Together we are stronger.” This issue of CASE is focused on the importance of a team when addressing the mitral valve including, “Percutaneous Repair of Severe Eccentric Mitral Regurgitation Due to Medial Commissural Flail: Challenges for Imaging and Intervention,” from Drs. Eleonora Avenatti, Marija Vukicevic, Kinan C. El-Tallawi, Colin M. Marker, and Stephen H. Little.  Mitral Mysteries, Cath Lab Conundrums, One Trunk or Two? Unusual Anatomy, and Spontaneous Echo Contrast round out the Table of Contents. Read the latest issue here.

Congratulations to Myo Lwin, MBBS, and Christian Hamilton-Craig, MBBS, PhD, BMedSci(Hons), FRACP, FCSANZ, FSCCT, and FACC, from the Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, for supplying the What is This Image? quiz on the CASE homepage.

Register Today and Save $100 to Attend Echo ASE ASEAN

This educational opportunity should not be missed! Plan now to attend the 3rd Annual Echo ASE ASEAN at the Conrad Hotel in Manila, Philippines, March 22-24, 2018. Register before tomorrow, February 22 and save $100 on registration fees. If you are relatively early in your echo education or want to focus on acquisition techniques, Echo ASE ASEAN will have dedicated sessions in the afternoons on the basics of echocardiography. Paralleling these sessions will be more advanced topics, including 3D and strain, which are growing rapidly in our practice. In the mornings, the expert faculty group will convene, covering a host of clinical echo topics with a strong case-based emphasis. Download the Advance Program here. You will also be able to learn from original research. The course co-chairs selected great abstracts and unique case reports that will be on display throughout the meeting.

Visit ASEcho.org/ASEAN and register today. Reserving a hotel room at the beautiful course location is also a must. ASE has secured a special discounted rate at the hotel for meeting attendees. The hotel is selling out quickly, so don’t delay making your reservation! Please contact the hotel directly at +63-2-8339999 and specify that you are with “American Society of Echocardiography ASEAN Meeting.” Or, you may make your reservations online.

Interested in serving on an ASE Council Steering Committee?

All four ASE Council Steering Committees (Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease, Perioperative Echocardiography, Vascular Ultrasound, and Cardiovascular Sonography) are now accepting applications/nominations for open positions through March 16, 2018. Please contact Natalya Read at nread@asecho.org for additional information.

ASE Headquarters Closed Feb. 19

ASE Headquarters will be closed Monday, February 19 in observance of President’s Day. Normal business hours will resume on Tuesday, February 20.

Urgent Call to Action – Support ASE Representation on Vital Issues by Joining the AMA!

ASE is working hard to ensure your voice is heard on issues related to legislative matters, regulatory issues, coding and reimbursement. To do so, ASE must maintain the Society’s seat in the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates. To qualify, 25% of ASE’s U.S. physician members must also be members of the AMA.

As a member of the House of Delegates ASE:

  • Helps sets the legislative and regulatory priorities for the AMA.
  • Has full delegate status which provides ASE with full representation before CPT/RUC.
    • This has contributed to some of ASE’s more recent, substantial advocacy successes.

For more detailed information please read: The ABC’s of Payment for Cardiovascular Ultrasound Services and Why the AMA Matters .

To help ASE reach this critical goal click here.

We urge you to join the AMA today to help us ensure that echo has a voice!

February JASE Now Available

ASE was one of 11 organizations that collaborated to develop and evaluate the ACC/AATS/AHA/ASE/EACTS/HVS/SCA/SCAI/SCCT/SCMR/STS 2017 Appropriate Use Criteria for the Treatment of Patients With Severe Aortic Stenosis that appears in the February JASE, now online. This is the first AUC to address the topic of aortic stenosis and its treatment options, including surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). Clinical investigation topics in this issue include 3D echocardiography, coronary artery disease, left atrial size and function in children, congenital heart disease, pulmonary artery hypertension, and left ventricular dyssynchrony and function. A state-of-the-art review article, “Atrial Enlargement in the Athlete’s Heart: Assessment of Atrial Function May Help Distinguish Adaptive

from Pathologic Remodeling,” rounds out the issue. Don’t miss the new podcast feature on the JASE home page. JASE Editor-in-Chief, Michael H. Picard, MD, FASE, will be creating these podcasts as a regular addition to OnlineJASE.com, which will often take the place of an Editor’s Page.  The podcasts will be available on iTunes and Google play soon.  We would love to hear what you think of this new feature.

Echovation Challenge Deadline Extended!

If you have an idea to improve cardiovascular ultrasound, it’s not too late to join the Echovation movement! Many of you have expressed interest in the Echovation Challenge but needed a bit more time to polish your proposals, so we have decided to extend the submission deadline until February 23. The top three finalists will present at the ASE Scientific Sessions in Nashville on June 24, 2018. Even if you have already submitted, you can edit your proposal up until the deadline if you like. We want to make sure everyone has a chance to participate. Go to https://www.herox.com/echovation-challenge-2018 today to register, read the competition guidelines, and begin submitting your proposal!

“Spread the Love” with the ASE Foundation

Valentine’s Day is one week away but there is still time to Spread the Love! Join the members who have already begun celebrating American Heart Month and make a donation in honor of someone who has supported you in your career. Think back on the path that has lead you to today. Whose guidance has brought you to where you are now? Who has left a lasting impact? Who played an important role in influencing and improving your career?

Make a donation between now and February 12th and include the name and email address of the person you would like to honor. On Wednesday, February 14th, the Foundation will send a special electronic Valentine’s Day card to that person thanking them for the role they have played in your career. You may also leave a personal message if you’d like!

Give a gift that supports the future of our field while honoring those who have supported you throughout your career!