Heart of Health Policy

Legislation Would Increase Students' Access to AEDs

Bipartisan legislation that would help address sudden cardiac arrest in athletes by increasing student access to AEDs was introduced in Congress last month by Reps. Shelia Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL) and Bill Posey (R-FL) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ).

The Access to AEDs Act, which is supported by the ACC, would create a federal grant program for elementary and secondary schools to purchase, maintain and provide training for AEDs. It also encourages the creation of athlete screening programs, which the ACC successfully encouraged the bill authors to ensure are in accordance with applicable ACC/American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines.

"Damar Hamlin's sudden cardiac arrest earlier this year shocked our nation and demonstrated in no uncertain terms the importance of automated external defibrillators and an emergency action plan," said ACC Chief Medical Officer Richard Kovacs, MD, MACC. "The Access to AEDs Act is critical legislation that will help elementary and secondary schools save lives by helping communities purchase and maintain AEDs, provide CPR and AED training, and develop cardiac emergency response plans like the one used by the NFL to save Hamlin's life. We look forward to our continued work with Rep. Cherfilus-McCormick and colleagues to advance and pass this important legislation that will undoubtedly save lives in communities across the U.S."

The ACC has long supported policies to address sudden cardiac arrest on both the national and state level, including CPR training as a high school graduation requirement, investment in AEDs, and cardiac arrest awareness education for coaches, trainers and volunteers. Click here to access ACC resources on sudden cardiac arrest.

ACC Comments on Non-Compete Proposed Rule

The ACC submitted feedback this month to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on its proposed rule regarding the use, maintenance and representation of non-compete clauses as an unfair method of competition, including how it may impact cardiovascular clinicians.

"The FTC's proposed rule regarding non-compete clauses is a topic that has the potential to impact every cardiovascular professional in the U.S. and their ability to serve their patients," said ACC President B. Hadley Wilson, MD, FACC. "Without a doubt, this proposal created strong feelings across our membership. During this process, members throughout the College provided key insights to ensure our comments to the FTC were as informed as possible, with optimization of patient care as our guiding principle. We greatly appreciate and thank the Board of Governors, Health Affairs Committee, key ACC section councils and staff for their work on this important topic."

As part of its comments, the ACC noted that while some of the principles inherent in non-compete clauses may have a useful role in protecting the remaining private medical practices if implemented in a fair and logical manner, non-compete clauses can also restrict patient access to diverse or preferred physicians and caregivers; interrupt care to patients with complex and/or chronic conditions; stifle innovation; and have adverse effects on physicians work life, including practice autonomy, workplace culture, burnout, etc.

Click here to read more and access the full letter.

CMS Releases Proposed Inpatient Prospective Payment System Rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) Proposed Rule for fiscal year 2024.

Highlights of the proposed rule include a projected 2.8% increase in operating payment rates for general acute care hospitals paid under the IPPS that successfully participate in the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (IQR) Program and are meaningful electronic health record users. Health equity was also prevalent throughout the rule, with 15 new health equity hospital categorizations proposed for the FY 2024 IPPS payment impacts to expand the collection, reporting and analysis of standardized health equity data.

CMS is also seeking public input on how to advance health equity by addressing challenges faced by safety-net hospitals that provide essential services to populations facing barriers to accessing health care, including people from racial and ethnic minority groups, LGBTQ+ community, rural communities and members of historically underserved groups. Additionally, the rule proposes updates to the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program, including adopting a health equity scoring change for rewarding excellent care in underserved populations, such that a health equity adjustment would be added to hospitals' Total Performance Scores.

Clinical Topics: Arrhythmias and Clinical EP, Cardiovascular Care Team, COVID-19 Hub, Prevention, Sports and Exercise Cardiology, Implantable Devices, SCD/Ventricular Arrhythmias, Stress

Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, ACC Advocacy, Medicare, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S., Vulnerable Populations, Inpatients, International Classification of Diseases, Rural Population, Medicaid, Minority Groups, COVID-19, Defibrillators, Homeless Persons, Students, Sports, Athletes, Physicians, Physicians, Comorbidity, Electronics, Sexual and Gender Minorities, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Cardiologists, Caregivers, Burnout, Psychological, Employment, Workplace, Cardiology, Health Policy

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