Anthony Osterman
Experience of a Puerto Rican Fellow in Training at ACC’s 2016 Legislative Conference
October 20, 2016

October 20, 2016 | Anthony D. Osterman-Pla, MD

ACC’s Legislative Conference brings together ACC members from across the nation to discuss the most pressing issues affecting cardiovascular professionals and to advocate for improved health care delivery. The conference began with a delightful Sunday-night welcome reception that allowed me to network with colleagues from across the country and exchange ideas on the practice and challenges in cardiovascular medicine.

A Rhode Island Fellow’s Perspective of ACC’s 2016 Legislative Conference
October 19, 2016

October 19, 2016 | Charles Beale, MD

My second year as an FIT at ACC's Legislative Conference has proven to be even more rewarding than my first. Last year I found myself insecure and almost fumbling over words trying to explain why the ACC wanted to be involved in MACRA, the new payment model during my visit to Capitol Hill.

MACRA: What Is It, and What Does It Mean For You?
September 21, 2016

September 21, 2016 | Aaron P. Kithcart, MD, PhD

Long before many of us had started our medical training, Congress enacted the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which created a formula inaccurately called the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) as a way to curb Medicare spending. The formula was the benchmark by which payments to physicians were made. While its intentions were noble, the growth rate was anything but sustainable, and by 2015 physicians were expected to take a 21 percent cut in reimbursements according to the SGR.

Ben Kenigsberg
Physicians as Patient and Health Advocates at ACC’s 2016 Legislative Conference
September 9, 2016

September 9, 2016 | Ben Kenigsberg, MD

What does it mean to be a physician advocate? Through 8 years of medical school, internal medicine residency and general cardiology fellowship, I have an intuitive understanding of the clinical role of a physician. But what does it mean to be an advocate? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines advocacy as “the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal”. Clearly, the field of medicine is in flux with extraordinary scientific developments in targeted pharmacologic therapies and device technology. As physicians, we categorically support scientific inquiry.

20 Days in the Himalayas: A Doctor’s Journey
September 9, 2016

September 9, 2016 | Sandeep Krishnan, MD

Every day cardiovascular professionals around the globe are involved in improving and saving the lives of the countless people seeking care for themselves or their loved ones. This is no small feat, given the global epidemic that is heart disease. If this “day job” wasn’t enough, many of these same professionals also volunteer their time to help others in areas where access to basic health care, let alone cardiovascular care, is limited. Read more >>>

Gunasekaran Prasad
Insurance Pre-Authorization Delays and the Need for Standardization and Transparency: How Can Local Chapters and FITs Make a Difference?
August 25, 2016

August 25, 2016 | Prasad Gunasekaran, MD

Spectrum of the Problem: Contemporary clinical practice involves pre-authorization from insurance companies for procedures. These were initially designed to obviate the need for discrepancies in payments for medical care, already provided by physicians. However, it has evolved into a labor-intensive process, causing considerable delays in patient care. Depending on the clinical scenario, the process of pre-authorization typically involves up to three burdensome steps:

Advocacy in Action: Representing the ACC at the AMA House of Delegates
July 20, 2016

July 20, 2016 | Aaron P. Kithcart, MD, PhD

Many know that advocacy is one of the central missions of the ACC. The College leads efforts to ensure cardiology practices are sustainable with adequate access for our patients, which requires advocacy at not only the national and state level, but at the regulatory level as well – especially with the upcoming rollout of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Many efforts, especially MACRA, will affect practices well outside cardiology. For this reason, the College collaborates with other organizations, including the American Medical Association (AMA), to advocate for the entire house of medicine.

Getting Involved in ACC’s Ohio Chapter and State Advocacy
June 22, 2016

June 22, 2016 | Jeffrey A. Robinson, MD

ACC’s Ohio Chapter held its annual Legislative Day on May 10 in Columbus. The kick-off dinner and legislative appointments were attended by 28 physicians and cardiovascular team members, including three FITs as key participants. Members received a briefing on the current state legislative session by Monica Hueckel, director of government affairs at the Ohio State Medical Association, as well as an update from ACC State Advocacy by Michael Lawrence.

Ohio Chapter members met with 33 members of the Ohio Legislature, including 20 members of the House and 13 Senators. There were three current bills emphasized and discussed by Ohio Chapter members:

Helping Congress Transform Cardiovascular Care
May 18, 2016

May 18, 2016 | Michelle Hadley, DO

I have always wanted to be impactful. In October, I attended ACC's 2015 Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. We met with our representatives on the House side, as well as with our senators. Unfortunately at that time, my district congressman was not in DC. Therefore, I took it upon myself to schedule a meeting in Worcester, MA, to meet with him.

The Emerging Advocates Program: Spreading ACC's Advocacy Message
January 19, 2016

Jan 19, 2016 | Aaron P. Kithcart, MD, PhD

Cardiologists take great pride in providing the best care possible for patients, but could we be doing more? You may not realize that some of the most important decisions that affect our patients' health aren't made in the exam room. Decisions regarding insurance coverage, reimbursement and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals are made miles away in state capitals and Washington, DC, and they have just as big of an impact on our patients' care. You likely already know that the ACC supports its members through evidence-based guidelines and innovative registries, but you may not know that the College is also very active in legislation and regulation. It is here where we see the importance of advocacy.

Advocating For Patient Health at the 2015 ACC Legislative Conference
November 18, 2015

Nov 18, 2015 | Hakeem Ayinde, MB ChB, MS

The month of October was huge for health care advocacy as over 400 ACC members representing all 50 states and DC gathered for the 2015 ACC Legislative Conference in Washington, DC. A record 60 FITs were present at the meeting. I attended the conference as a cardiovascular fellow (and delegate) from the University of Iowa.

A Novel Experience at the 2015 Legislative Conference
November 18, 2015

Nov 18, 2015 | Joe Ebinger, MD

Upon landing in Washington, DC, the weather alone was enough to remind me that I was no longer in Los Angeles where I am currently completing my cardiology Fellowship at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. After exchanging my flip flops for wingtips, I quickly realized that the cooler temperatures were not at all reflective of the warm and welcoming environment of the 2015 ACC Legislative Conference. As a first time attendee and Fellow in Training (FIT), I was unsure of what to expect during the conference. What I experienced was one of the most informative and insightful meetings of my still young career.

ACC Advocacy Resources
November 2, 2015

Nov 2, 2015 | From the FIT Section

Through its advocacy efforts, the ACC builds relationships with Congress, federal government agencies, state legislative and regulatory bodies, private insurers and other policy making groups to advance the College’s mission of improving heart health.

Understanding Pay For Performance
October 21, 2015

Oct 21, 2015 | Mitul Kanzaria, MD

As health care costs rise, multiple strategies have been employed to try to reduce health care costs. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) includes many provisions to reduce the per capita cost of health care while improving the quality of care. These programs or provisions target five different areas generally, including process, outcome, patient experience, structure and cost. Many of these pay for performance programs are using financial incentives as a mechanism to improve outcomes and reduce costs.

Rebecca Napier
Why FITs Should Attend ACC’s 2015 Legislative Conference
August 11, 2015

Aug 11, 2015 | Rebecca Napier, MD

There is no better time than the present for Fellows in Training (FITs) to get involved in advocacy roles to help promote the field of cardiology and empower our members to better provide accessible and affordable care to our patients. Many FITs may find it difficult to balance such tasks with the demands of fellowship training. However, decisions made daily by legislators will directly impact the future of our practice and our patients. Our goal is to make FITs aware of current legislative issues and encourage participation in ACC Advocacy and the ACC Political Action Committee (ACCPAC).

Exciting New Features Coming to the FIT Section!
July 30, 2015

July 30, 2015 | From the FIT Section

Thank you for checking out this exciting new feature of the Fellows in Training Section! In the coming days you will be see “quick-read” articles from FITs in this space. These articles will be written with your busy lifestyles in mind and we encourage you to check back soon.