ACC Hosts Capitol Hill Briefings on How NCDR is Fostering Innovation and Improving Care

With a new Congress underway and a shift in power in the Senate, it’s a crucial time for the ACC to show lawmakers how the College is leading the transformation of care. Today, the ACC hosted separate House and Senate briefings on Capitol Hill to educate congressional staff about how NCDR is fostering innovation and improving care for patients around the world.

During the briefings, Ralph G. Brindis, MD, MPH, MACC, highlighted how ACC’s registries work with more than 2,400 hospitals and nearly 3,500 outpatient providers to ensure evidence-based cardiovascular care, improve patient outcomes and lower health care costs. This was an opportunity to showcase how the NCDR is leading the way for harnessing clinical data and underscore the critical role registries play in the ever-changing health care landscape.

Brindis pointed out that while the U.S. spends the highest percentage of its GDP on health care, it is significantly behind other nations on quality, access, efficiency, equity and healthy lives. As the U.S. health care system shifts from volume to value and strives to achieve the triple aim of lower costs, better health and better outcomes, the NCDR can serve as a model of success for measuring and improving care. 

Launched nearly two decades ago, the NCDR was created as an exploration into strategies for improving cardiovascular care through the use and application of clinical data. Today, the NCDR is a reputable and dependable quality improvement resource that continues to evolve to meet the demands of the changing health care environment.

While measurement is crucial, Brindis noted that it’s not enough. That’s why the College has created a portfolio of quality improvement initiatives to disseminate evidence-based strategies and toolkits, promote best practice sharing, and build nationwide learning networks.

On the topic of medical innovation, Brindis cited the STS/ACC TVT Registry as an example of rationally infusing innovative technology into the cardiovascular field in a safe manner. In 2011, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) and the ACC launched the first-of-its-kind registry to monitor the safety and efficacy of a new minimally invasive heart therapy to treat aortic stenosis.

In addition to working with partners such as STS, the American Heart Association, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, the American Diabetes Association and other medical societies, the ACC collaborates with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on national coverage determinations and the Food and Drug Administration on postmarket surveillance. 

Today’s briefings are just one way the College is educating Congress about the potential of clinical data registries and cementing ACC’s reputation as a trusted expert in the field. Promoting the use of clinical data to improve care is one of the ACC’s key advocacy priorities for 2015. The ACC will continue to advocate for the use of clinical data registries for quality improvement and research, recognition of clinical practice guidelines and appropriate use criteria, and improvements in health information technology.

Other advocacy priorities include creating a value-driven health care system, ensuring patient access to care and cardiovascular practice stability, fostering research and innovation in cardiovascular care, improving population health, and preventing cardiovascular disease.

In the coming weeks and months, ACC staff and members will continue taking cardiology’s message to Capitol Hill and working with lawmakers to shape the future of health policy.

Keywords: Health Policy, Medicaid, Medicare, Registries, United States Food and Drug Administration

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