Proposed Rule seeks to ensure continued viability of Medicare ACO Program

CMS recently made available a Proposed Rule setting forth a number of changes to the Shared Savings Program (SSP) for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).  ASE has developed a summary of the major changes in the Proposed Rule and addressed some interesting information about ACO performance thus far.

We’re so close to our 2014 fundraising goal

The ASE Foundation is so close to meeting its $250,000 Annual Appeal goal – please consider making a donation to an initiative of your choice before December 30, and help us reach our goal! Remember, every dollar that you donate to the ASE Foundation goes directly to initiatives that advance the field of echocardiography. The ASE Foundation supports guideline dissemination, travel grants and scholarships for young professionals, research awards, U.S. based and global humanitarian missions, and training for international sonographers. Every contribution helps to make a world of difference for echo. All donations are considered charitable deductions in the U.S.

Registration for ASE 2015 is now open!

The 26th Annual Scientific Sessions is in Boston, MA, June 12-16, 2015.  Boston may be a city rich in history, but it remains a vibrant and energizing place to visit.  Boston offers a wealth of activities and the location of the conference is in the heart of the action. The 2015 program, “Innovation in Technology and Medicine: The Value of Echocardiography,” focuses on the technologic innovations which enhance the value of echocardiography for patient care. Register here.

Don’t forget to submit your science for Boston. ASE is now accepting abstracts for ASE 2015. View all abstract categories here including two new categories for 2015. Accepted presenters are eligible for travel support. The submission deadline is Wednesday, February 4, 2015.

ASE Responds to the Recent NY Times Article

Elisabeth Rosenthal has continued her series on healthcare costs, “Paying Til It Hurts,” in the New York Times (12/16, Rosenthal), focusing this time on echo. The article labels echo as a “stable technology that hasn’t changed much in decades” and plagued by a healthcare pricing system that has wide price disparities. Some ASE members were interviewed during her research and Dr. David Wiener, chairman of the Advocacy Committee of ASE, is quoted in the article, which states in part: “He attributed the variations to multiple factors, including how many hospitals and doctors perform the procedure, state regulations and the need to subsidize poorly reimbursed services.” Needless to say, many of the things cited in the article are inaccurate (echo has had major advancements in the past 20 years with color, Doppler, STI, strain, 3-D, TEE, stress, etc.) and/or misleading (cardiologists do not order most echo testing, for instance) and ASE has written a response that can be viewed on Connect@ASE to the NYT and encourages our members to also reach out and respond.

Happy Holidays from ASE MarketPlace

Happy Holidays! ASE would like to give you a gift to thank you for your membership. Beginning December 10, you will receive a free tote bag with the purchase of any product from ASE MarketPlace. Start shopping today at

December JASE now available

Echocardiography in children is the focus topic of the December issue of JASE, now online. The lead article is “ACC/AAP/AHA/ASE/HRS/SCAI/SCCT/SCMR/SOPE 2014 Appropriate Use Criteria for Initial Transthoracic Echocardiography in Outpatient Pediatric Cardiology: A Report of the American College of Cardiology Appropriate Use Criteria Task Force, et al.” Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) have been established for echocardiography in adult patients but this is the first such document published for echocardiography in pediatric patients. As noted in the article’s introduction, “This set of AUC should be useful not only for pediatric cardiologists, but also for general pediatricians and family practitioners, who are frequently the first clinicians to consider the need for this modality.”

Ensuring proper reimbursement from Medicare

On Thursday, December 11 at 3:00 pm ET, ASE is proud to present a LIVE webinar entitled, “2015 Update: How the New Reimbursement Changes to Medicare Will Impact You.” ASE’s coding experts will provide Q & A time for participants.

With the release of the U.S. CMS’s finalized changes to the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS), ASE is hosting a live webinar to relay the numerous changes to echocardiography-related codes. Specific focus will be given to the new Interventional TEE code and the new Medicare requirements that will be applicable to echo providers in a number of states.

Register now at to ensure your spot in this high-demand event. Please note: No CME is associated with this webinar.

We did it!

Because of your generosity, the ASE Foundation not only reached its Giving Tuesday goal of $3,000, but exceeded it and ended the day with a total of $5,201 in donations. Did you miss Giving Tuesday? Don’t worry, there’s still time to make a U.S. tax deductible charitable contribution to the Foundation’s 2014 Annual Appeal. Click here to donate to an initiative of your choice.

Join ASEF Today to Raise $3,000!

Happy Giving Tuesday! Donate today and help the ASE Foundation reach its $3,000 Giving Tuesday Goal. Will your company match your gift? Click here to find out!

Giving Tuesday begins tomorrow!

Giving Tuesday begins tomorrow! What ASE Foundation initiative will you be donating to? Help the Foundation reach its $3,000 goal by making a charitable contribution to the Foundation on December 2.

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 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, with any questions. We greatly appreciate your time, input, and expertise.