Archives for September 2018

Free ABP Approved Activity to Improve Pediatric Healthcare Quality

The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) recently approved ASE’s new project, Pediatric Appropriate Use Criteria for Transthoracic Echocardiography: Performance Improvement Module, that gives pediatricians and pediatric trainees an opportunity to earn ABP Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credit while simultaneously working to improve pediatric healthcare quality.

This performance improvement module (PIM) directs participants in the collection of data and the selection of an indication for TTE using the tables in the ASE pediatric AUC document. The activity involves the participant and an independent reviewer. This HIPPA compliant PIM produces bar graphs reflecting change in appropriateness of TTE orders over the two (2) cycles following implementation of improvement measures. There is no fee to participate and a laptop or desktop computer is needed to participate in this activity. A PIM can only be completed for credit once per MOC cycle. Both the participant and reviewer can claim credit for the activity. It is approved for credit by the ABP through April 30, 2020.

Click here to access the activity online. Questions? Contact us here.

New Diastolic Heart Failure Patient Sheet Available

ASE is pleased to add “A Hardworking Muscle Needs to Relax: Information for the Diastolic Heart Failure Patient” to our online offerings designed to facilitate physician-patient conversations. The ASE PR Committee developed this document as a part of their role in summarizing specific ASE Guidelines in general terms for patients to understand. Sherif Nagueh, MD, FASE, chair of the writing group for the Recommendations for the Evaluation of Left Ventricular Diastolic Function by Echocardiography: An Update from the ASE and the EACVI, and Federico Asch, MD, FASE, former ASE Guidelines & Standards Committee chair, were also key volunteers in creating this latest piece. It outlines the importance of recognizing symptoms, visiting the doctor, and how an echocardiogram can help with diagnosis and guiding a treatment plan. This is the second in a series of patient-focused documents. The first featured information on echo’s role in cardio-oncology. We hope ASE members will find these helpful in making sure patients have the information they need to make the right healthcare choices. If you have other ideas for new ASE resources you would like to share with your patients, email aporter@asecho.org.

Domestic Humanitarian Outreach Event in West Virginia

On October 20, 2018, the ASE Foundation is partnering with the Heart and Vascular Institute at West Virginia University for its first domestic outreach event since 2014! A team of volunteers led by Partho Sengupta, MBBS, MD, DM, FASE, and Sanjiv Bhavnani, MD, will participate in a one-day cardiovascular screening and diagnostic triage event that will take place across four clinical sites in the greater Morgantown, WV area. At each site, a primary care team will provide patients with a free health exam, including a point-of-care ultrasound exam under the supervision and training of our team members. Patients with cardiac symptoms will be connected to WVU Medicine for further consultation and follow-up care. If you live in an area within driving distance to Morgantown, WV, and would like to help recruit patients for this free event, please visit this website for more information and to pre-register patients.

While the volunteer application process for this event has closed, there will be new volunteer opportunities to announce for next year. Also, if you have a connection with an underserved population and would like to propose an event, please review the proposal application here. Applications will be considered for events to be implemented in 2020 and later. Please email foundation@asecho.org if you have any questions.

Office Update due to Hurricane Florence:

Due to Hurricane Florence, ASE Headquarters will be closing tomorrow, Thursday, September 13, at noon and will remain closed all day on Friday, September 14. To all our members in the affected area, stay safe!

Mexico 2018: Project Chagas

ASE Foundation volunteers who participated in Mexico 2018: Project Chagas returned home last week following the completion of the global health initiative. Held in the city of Mérida, Yucatán, the event focused on pre-identified patients diagnosed with Chagas disease, to investigate the prevalence of Chagas cardiomyopathy, and to detect those individuals previously undiagnosed and connect them with local cardiologists that would provide proper cardiac care within the regional public system.

Chagas disease (CD) is caused by a parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi, that is transmitted through the “kissing bug.” Over the last 10 years, the Mexican Government implemented significant initiatives to extinguish the bug and developed campaigns to detect the blood infection of this disease that is mostly prevalent in rural areas. This situation created a unique opportunity for the ASE Foundation and its partners to build on the previous government initiatives and screen for Chagas heart disease, which occurs in roughly 30% of those infected.

In addition to the ASE Foundation, partners for this event included General Hospital Agustin O’Horan in Mérida, Philips Mexico Commercial S.A. de C.V., Yucatán Health Services, the Mexican National Center for the Prevention and Control of Diseases (CENAPRECE), and the Mexican National Association of Cardiology (ANCAM).  All collaborating organizations had representatives on-site, working side-by-side for three days. Team leaders were Dr. Federico Asch (ASEF), Dr. Pedro Gutiérrez-Fajardo (ANCAM), and Dra. Hilda Peralta (General Hospital Agustin O’Horan). Read about the project and all the volunteers online at ASEFoundation.org/Mexico-2018. You can learn more about imaging patients with Chagas disease in this ASE Guideline (also available in Spanish and Chinese).

The ASE Foundation’s 2018 global health outreach events are supported by donor contributions to the Annual Appeal. Giving to the Foundation to help foster a project like this one can make a world of difference!

Echo and Early Surgical Intervention for MR in the September JASE

The September issue of JASE includes the article, “Left Atrial Function is Associated with Earlier Need for Cardiac Surgery in Moderate to Severe Mitral Regurgitation: Usefulness in Targeting for Early Surgery,” by Liam Ring, MBBS, Yasir Abu-Omar, MBChB, DPhil, Nikki Kaye, BSc, Bushra S. Rana, MBBS, William Watson, MBBChir, BSc, David P. Dutka, MD, and Vassilios S. Vassiliou, MBBS, PhD, FACC. Lead author Dr. Ring said that, “One of the real challenges in managing patients with moderate to severe MR is selecting those individuals who will benefit from early surgical intervention. The assessment of left atrial function helps identify those patients who are more likely to develop clinical or conventional echocardiographic indications for mitral valve surgery during follow-up, potentially allowing clinicians to target early surgery more effectively. We believe that the evaluation of LA function should be routine when assessing patients with moderate to severe MR.” Also in this issue are is “Determinants of Physician, Sonographer, and Laboratory Productivity: Analysis of the Third Survey from the American Society of Echocardiography Committee on Pediatric Echocardiography Laboratory Productivity.” The remaining articles cover two-dimensional cross-sectional anatomy, valvular regurgitation assessing severity, prognosis, and treatment, three-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography, cardiac hemodynamic assessments, and three-dimensional echocardiography in children.

The blues pages include Dr. Jonathan Lindner’s President’s Message, “Imaging in Clinical Research” Synergy Not Surrogacy,” a Sonographer’s Communication by Elaine Shea and Keith Collins encouraging all sonographers to get more involved in ASE, a Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease column by council chair Dr. Greg Ensing about the most recent Scientific Sessions, and a photo spread of the Nashville Scientific Sessions events and awards.

Last Chance to Save $100 When You Register for Echo Florida

Discount rates for the 7th Annual Echo Florida course expire this Friday, September 7. Echo Florida takes place October 7-9 and is a comprehensive review of cardiovascular ultrasound in clinical practice with an additional offering of a preconference Learning Lab on October 6. Course Director, Gerard P. Aurigemma, MD, FASE and Co-Director Linda D. Gillam, MD, FASE, have created a program with a heavy emphasis on case-based learning that includes fun opportunities for the participants to interact with the faculty. Download the Advance Program, register, and learn more at ASEcho.org/EchoFlorida.

Aloha Abstracts! Submit Your Research to Present at Echo Hawaii in 2019

Mark your calendars! Submissions are now open for the 29th Annual Echo Hawaii. Don’t miss out and escape the January gloom. Submit your basic or clinical research for a chance to present in paradise. Submissions are free, and authors chosen to present receive $100 off their conference registration. Visit the website to review all the details for 2019’s Call to Science on the Big Island. Submission closes Thursday, November 1st.

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.