August JASE Features Three Articles on Echo Technology

The August JASE contains an editorial commentary, “Who Is a Competent Echocardiographer?,” by two past ASE Presidents, Thomas Ryan, MD, FASE, and Susan E. Wiegers, MD, FASE. It was penned to accompany the clinical competency statement, which also runs in this issue, “2019 ACC/AHA/ASE Advanced Training Statement on Echocardiography (Revision of the 2003 ACC/AHA Clinical Competence Statement on Echocardiography): A Report of the ACC Competency Management Committee,” of which Drs. Ryan and Wiegers were co-authors. They write, “Echocardiography has become indispensable to the practice of cardiology, and as a result, most cardiologists use echocardiography in their daily practice and consider themselves competent in the field. Training in echocardiography, therefore, is an integral part of all cardiovascular fellowship programs. Achieving and maintaining competency in a widely used and dynamic area such as echocardiography are both essential and challenging. How do we define competence, and who decides whether an individual is competent?”

Other JASE articles cover new cardiac ultrasound technologies, echo in heart failure, echo in the athlete’s heart, transesophageal echo, atrial septal device interventions, and echo in children. The President’s Message by Madhav Swaminathan, MD, MMCi, FASE, “Say It Like You Mean It: Why Diversity and Inclusion Matter,” and the Sonographers’ Communication by Carol Mitchell, PhD, RDMS, RDCS, RVT, RT(R), ACS, FASE, “Grayscale Analysis of Carotid Plaque: An Overview,” would be excellent to share with up-and-coming echocardiographers and sonographers.

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.