Paying it Forward – Dr. Madhav Swaminathan’s March Presidential Blog

Madhav Swaminathan, MD, FASE, ASE President

“A few decades ago, I was offered a training position in another country. I was delighted to accept this offer, but there was one small problem. I couldn’t afford the cost of travel and accommodation for my family and I didn’t want to go alone. On learning about my predicament, an elderly gentleman, whom I vaguely knew, offered to help out. He provided me with the funds that enabled my family to travel with me. I was obviously concerned about the terms of this ‘loan’. While he didn’t ask for it to be returned, it did come with one condition – that one day when I am able to do so, I should pay it forward to another deserving trainee. In his words, he was making a worthwhile investment in the education of a deserving candidate, and hoped that its dividend would to be realized by a future trainee. He had no way of ensuring or guaranteeing that his transaction would reach its desired outcome, but relied on the goodwill and positive impact his act of kindness had created.” 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 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.