Archives for May 2020

ASE Statement on the Reintroduction of Echocardiography Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A group of ASE leaders prepared a very timely Statement on the Reintroduction of Echocardiography Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic to share with members and the entire cardiovascular ultrasound community. As the pandemic unfolded, many non-urgent echo studies were deferred in an attempt to reduce coronavirus transmission among patients and healthcare workers, conserve personal protective equipment (PPE), and prepare for a potential surge of COVID-19 patients. Although COVID-19 prevalence and new case trends continue to differ substantially by region, many facilities are now planning resumption of non-urgent and elective medical services. Safe and efficient reintroduction of outpatient echocardiography services will require consideration of appropriate timing of reopening based on projected COVID-19 case trends, prioritizing procedure scheduling based on current or change in disease acuity, applying exam protocols to address the clinical question while enhancing lab throughput, implementing appropriate PPE and sanitization protocols, and performing pre-procedural COVID-19 testing in certain patient cohorts.

ASE is committed to the health, safety, and well-being of our members and the patients we serve. Judy Hung, MD, FASE (Chair), Theodore P. Abraham, MD, FASE, Meryl S. Cohen, MD, MS Ed, FASE, Michael L. Main, MD, FASE, Carol Mitchell, PhD, ACS, RDMS, RDCS, RVT, FASE, Vera H. Rigolin, MD, FASE, and Madhav Swaminathan, MD, FASE helped create this resource for sonographers, nurses, advance practice providers, and physicians who have a duty to care for patients.

Register today to join experts on June 5, 1:00 – 2:00 PM EDT for a live webinar. During this webinar, Dr. Judy Hung and a team of experts will address your questions based on this new statement. Once you register for the webinar, you will receive a link to a form to submit your questions in advance of the webinar. The experts will discuss issues relating to when to reopen, scheduling of deferred cases, protocol changes, PPE, and COVID-19 screening and testing. Learn more here.

ASE Supports Healthcare Workers’ Mental Health in Next Coronavirus Aid Package

Earlier this month, ASE was contacted by U.S. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi’s office requesting support for providing mental health resources for frontline healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. Healthcare workers are making enormous sacrifices every day to defeat this virus and ensuring access to the mental health resources needed is imperative. A bipartisan letter was sent to House leadership calling for the inclusion of enhanced mental health resources for healthcare workers in the next coronavirus aid package. ASE proudly supported this request that includes the establishment of a Department of Health and Human Services grant program to allow healthcare employers and facilities to confidentially assess and treat the mental health of frontline workers in addition to ordering a comprehensive study on healthcare workers’ mental health. This letter was signed by over 90 members of Congress and is supported by over 50 organizations. Read more here. ASE’s lobbyists are monitoring this bill, and we will report further developments as they arise.

 

LIVE WEBINAR: Characteristics And Consequences Of WRMSD Among Cardiac Sonographers

ASE, along with its WRMSD Grand Challenge Alliance partners, is pleased to present a LIVE webinar on the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography article “Characteristics and Consequences of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Pain among Cardiac Sonographers Compared with Peer Employees: A Multisite Cross-Sectional Study.” Please plan to join us on May 27, 5:30 – 6:30 PM EDT. Sergio Barros-Gomes, MD, first author of the article, will provide a comprehensive review of this article and discuss the prevalence, magnitude, and impact of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Dr. Barros-Gomes will describe this problem from an epidemiologic standpoint, and discuss risk factors and what we can do to help promote our specialty and prevent injuries.

Registration is FREE for everyone. You can claim 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ within 24 hours of watching the webinar. The webinar will also be posted for on demand viewing and claiming CME.

Specific questions regarding webinar registration can be sent to Jenn Goss at JGoss@ASEcho.org.

This webinar is sponsored by the WRMSD Grand Challenge Alliance, a pioneering alliance of leading ultrasound organizations that has come together in an effort to stop work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSD) resulting from the performance of diagnostic medical ultrasound.

Apply for the ASE Leadership Academy

Applications are now being accepted for the 2nd cohort of the ASE Leadership Academy. This program provides a unique opportunity for ASE members to increase their knowledge and develop a skill set that will help them in their careers and personal life. During this 19-month program, participants will be matched with a senior adviser, acquire a personalized evaluation of their leadership aptitude, and receive high-quality, online tutorials on leadership topics valued at over $5000. The 2nd cohort is limited to 15 people. Applications and recommendation letters will be accepted until August 1, 2020. Learn more and apply at ASE Leadership Academy.

Questions? Email LeadershipAcademy@ASEcho.org.

ASE Releases New Recommendations on Multimodality Imaging in Competitive Athletes

May 11, 2020, Durham, NC – Competitive athletes are a rapidly growing population worldwide. Habitual vigorous exercise, a defining characteristic of this population, can cause various changes in cardiac structure and function known as cardiac remodeling. Clinicians treating these athletes need to be prepared as optimal use of multimodality imaging in competitive athletes requires both an understanding of exercise-induced cardiac remodeling and the strengths and weaknesses of available imaging techniques. Recommendations on the Use of Multimodality Cardiovascular Imaging in Young Adult Competitive Athletes  was created to provide clinical imaging specialists with a comprehensive guide covering the principles of how clinicians should apply and interpret noninvasive imaging with accuracy and cost-effectiveness. Read more 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.