Message from the President

Dear friends,

The last week has been a difficult one for many people and for many reasons. Troubling scenes of public anger have been playing out as people express their frustrations over racial inequities. Coupled with a disheartening milestone of the country exceeding 100,000 deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic, and its disproportionate impact on people of color, public sentiment is boiling over.

It is challenging for those who have never experienced discrimination of any kind to truly understand what someone feels when they face a constant threat of inequitable treatment based on circumstances beyond their control. As healthcare providers and those who help manage patients with cardiovascular disease, we are also witness to the negative impact of racial disparities on health and disease. As professionals, we often see unequal opportunities and discrimination in the workplace. While it may be hard to find words to express our emotions, we should not be silent spectators either. Witnessing acts of injustice and inequity should fuel us to act in a just and equitable manner, thereby forcefully opposing discrimination and bias. Collectively, we can and should make a difference.

ASE always stands for diversity and inclusion in all that we do. It is a core value and a driving principle that guides our actions. We reaffirm our commitment to standing together with those who feel that they are treated unjustly and pledge to eliminate those disparities. We truly aspire towards creating a caring community of echo enthusiasts. However, that can only be achieved if we commit wholeheartedly to ensure a diverse and inclusive society in which everyone feels a sense of belonging and celebrate what makes us different.

I am deeply appreciative of those who have tirelessly given their time and effort during this crisis by selflessly caring for our patients, our colleagues, and our community. The only way we can get through these difficult times is by supporting each other.

In what may feel like a dark moment in our history, let us make a commitment to make this world a better place for our families, our friends, and our communities. Let’s pledge to make at least one simple act of kindness and caring a part of our daily routines. It is truly by our actions that we will succeed together in creating a brighter future for our children.

Sincerely,

Madhav Swaminathan, MD, FASE
ASE President

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.