ACC President Comments on Implications of Fiscal Cliff, Urges Meaningful Payment Reform

Contact: Stephanie Abraham,, 202-375-6296

WASHINGTON (Jan. 4, 2013) — American College of Cardiology President William A. Zoghbi, MD, FACC, made the following statement today in response to the agreement to avoid triggering automatic federal budget cuts, known as the fiscal cliff.

“Now that the latest budget crisis is over, the American College of Cardiology is urging Congress to use this as an opportunity to enact meaningful health care payment reform that rewards appropriate, patient-centered care. The future sustainability of the Medicare program depends on this transition. The ACC stands ready to work with Congress as it confronts the challenges and opportunities within Medicare.  The ACC will continue to advocate for a full repeal of the flawed sustainable growth rate in the coming months.”

“We are encouraged to see provisions that were made to qualify clinical registry programs to meet Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) reporting requirements. Professional society clinical data registries, such as the ACC’s National Cardiovascular Data Registry, collect robust data that are used to provide feedback to physicians and enhance performance. This focus on quality, evidence-based care by itself is an effective way to reduce overall costs while enhancing quality of care. Now that more physicians can meet PQRS requirements, registries will continue to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of life for cardiology patients.”

The mission of the American College of Cardiology is to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. The College is a 40,000-member medical society comprised of physicians, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and practice managers. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The ACC provides professional education, operates national registries to measure and improve quality of care, disseminates cardiovascular research, and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications. For more information, visit


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