In recent years the ACC has opened its doors to cardiovascular administrators, offering tools, resources and membership opportunities to those professionals who manage the practice and hospital cardiovascular service line operations. As this member segment continues to grow, understanding the specific challenges facing this group and the tools necessary to best meet these challenges will be a continued focus of the College.
A recent CardioSurve survey of 176 cardiovascular administrators sheds light on some of the biggest challenges facing administrators, including reimbursement issues (62%), balancing quality, efficiency and finances (60%), maintaining and growing business (60%), health care reform (51%) and expense management (48%). Coding and compliance (44%), Medicare/Medicaid issues (43%), IT infrastructure (39%), staff compensation (37%) and workforce/staffing (35%) also pose moderate challenges.
When it comes to helping administrators meet these challenges, more than half of survey respondents say the College is among the top medical specialty associations for its advocacy work at the state, national, and payer levels. Additionally, more than 80% of administrators highly identify the College as a source of information on the latest advances, quality standards and practice guidelines. ACC efforts to measure and improve quality patient care are also recognized by the vast majority.
According to the ACC members included in the survey, access to ACC advocacy and administrator-specific newsletters, clinical publications and discounts on educational programming are the most appealing benefits provided as an ACC member. More is needed, however. A large number of both members and non-members surveyed indicate a desire for additional tools that measure and improve quality patient care, provide salary/compensation information, and facilitate access to clinical benchmarking. Administrators are also interested in the development of quality standards and guidelines.
One hurdle that the ACC needs to work to overcome is the common perception among cardiovascular administrators who do not belong to the ACC that the College does not offer professional supports specifically geared towards cardiovascular administrators. This need is best expressed by one administrator as a desire for a “formal program of orientation specifically for administrators on those ACC resources specific to administrators.”
The ACC is well poised to support this important cardiovascular professional audience. As one administrator says, “The more access I have to information and data, the better our chances for sustainability and growth.” Given the constantly changing health care environment, the College has opportunities to support administrators, whether in advocating for health care policies that support thriving practices and/or providing resources and tools that directly impact day-to-day administrator efforts. The College’s commitment to membership indicates “dramatic changes to ACC in realizing that you cannot sustain excellence in clinical care without paying attention to the business side.”
Learn more about the ACC resources available for Cardiovascular Administrators at ACC.org/PracticeManagement.