Right Heart Function Getting its Due in the May JASE

The May JASE, now online, includes nine clinical investigations on the topics of valvular heart disease, myocardial mechanics assessed during stress echocardiography, the athlete’s heart, three-dimensional echocardiography, and complex congenital heart disease along with a state-of-the-art review, “Stressing the Cardiopulmonary Vascular System: The Role of Echocardiography,” from Lawrence G. Rudski, MD, FASE, et al. “The clinical importance of right heart function is increasingly recognized,” Rudski said. “Just like the left heart, the right heart can be evaluated both at rest and under stress conditions. This state-of-the-art article reviews the methods and utility of different stress modalities in a variety of clinical conditions to evaluate the right ventricle and its coupling to its ‘afterload,’ the pulmonary vascular system.” Two “Letters to the Editor” look at the issue of whether it is time to revise the guidelines and recommendations for digital echocardiography. The blue pages explore what’s in store for cardiovascular ultrasound in the future and what’s on the schedule specifically for vascular ultrasound users at this year’s Scientific Sessions in Nashville. Also included is a moving tribute to sonographer Brian HaluskaPHD, MSC (HONS), MSC, RDCS, AMS, FASE, who recently passed away but who left an incredible and inspiring legacy.

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.