The Pulse of ACC

New Options For MOC, CME; Digital Mobile Advances and ACC Strategic Plan; New International Chapters; and More.

New Options For Making the Most of MOC, Continuing Education

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Maintenance of Certification (MOC) has been a hot-button issue and a top priority for the ACC since the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) changed its MOC requirements in 2014. At the time, the ACC Board of Trustees defined a three-pronged approach to navigating the changes: 1) ACC would be the trusted source of information for its members regarding MOC; 2) ACC would create and maintain a robust selection of educational opportunities for members choosing to maintain their ABIM certification; and 3) ACC would engage ABIM in efforts to change and improve the MOC process.

In a recent leadership page published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), ACC President C. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC, former ACC President Richard A. Chazal, MD, MACC, and ACC Executive Vice President William J. Oetgen, MD, MBA, FACC, note that the College has been successful in operationalizing all three of these principles over the last four years. Most recently, the College has been working diligently to address the MOC assessment (formerly Part III) aspect of the MOC process — arguably one of the most contentious areas for physicians. Read more >>>

Last year, the ACC, along with the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Clinical Oncology, began exploring a third MOC assessment option with the ABIM called “collaborative maintenance pathways” (CMPs). These collaborative society-ABIM programs would better integrate “lifelong learning” and performance-based assessment in the fulfillment of the MOC requirements, while preserving the value of a performance-based independent credential. The ACC CMP would be used by diplomates to maintain currency in cardiovascular knowledge and maintain ABIM certification over a five-year cycle. The CMP option offered by the ACC would feature modified versions of ACC’s Self-Assessment Programs (SAPs) such as the Adult Clinical Cardiology Self-Assessment Program (ACCSAP). Both the ACC and the ABIM are cautiously optimistic that an agreement can be reached.

In the meantime, the ACC Board of Trustees has approved a plan to move forward with the creation of two variations of the next edition of ACCSAP starting in 2019. One variation, “ACCSAP for Medical Knowledge,” will provide multimedia learning material and a “practice question” bank that, when successfully completed, will provide sufficient CME credits to fulfill most state licensure requirements, as well as Medical Knowledge MOC points for those learners who may wish to report their MOC activity to the ABIM. The second variation, “ACCSAP for MOC,” will offer the same multimedia learning material and “practice question” bank, with accompanying CME credits and Medical Knowledge MOC points as the first variation. It will also contain access to a distinct, secured “performance question” bank which, when successfully completed, could fulfill ABIM’s MOC Assessment requirements as part of the CMP.

“By providing two variations of ACCSAP, [cardiologists] can choose the best path for them as individuals,” wrote Valentine, Chazal and Oetgen in JACC. “Both variations will provide verifiable learning, including knowledge and CME credits and MOC points; an affordable mechanism for ongoing education that can be done at one’s own pace; and reassurance to the public that physicians completing the process have had a thorough review of contemporary cardiology. For those choosing to maintain their ABIM certification in Cardiology, the product offers a great option.”

“By providing two variations of ACCSAP, ACC members can choose the best path for them as individuals,” wrote Valentine, Chazal and Oetgen in JACC. “Both variations will provide verifiable learning, including knowledge and CME credits and MOC points; an affordable mechanism for ongoing education that can be done at one’s own pace; and reassurance to the public that physicians completing the process have had a thorough review of contemporary cardiology. For those choosing to remain with ABIM, the product offers a great review for test taking, while those seeking another alternative can provide verification of completion of an ACC-endorsed program of learning.”

Looking further ahead, the College is working closely with SCAI, HRS, and HFSA to create additional SAPs that could fulfill ABIM MOC Medical Knowledge and Assessment requirements for interventionalists, electrophysiologists and heart failure specialists. These cardiovascular subspecialty SAPs would also function on a five-year cycle and be designed as exact analogs of ACCSAP. In addition, multiple state legislative activities could impact MOC in the future. Initial legislation has addressed (and prohibited) the use of MOC in licensing activities, while more recently, legislative interest has extended to limiting MOC use for hospital or payer credentialing. This is a dynamic and rapidly-changing environment that the ACC is watching closely.

Keep up with all things MOC on ACC’s newly updated MOC Information Hub at

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Register Now: NY Cardiovascular Symposium

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Join world-renowned cardiologist and course director, Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC, as he combines stimulating topics with expert presenters to provide the latest scientific updates of 2018 to improve patient care.

This year’s topics include trends and challenges in acute coronary syndromes, coronary artery disease, heart failure, prevention and more; new technologies, approaches and guidelines; a year in review: progress in 2018; and the future of medicine.

The course will take place Dec. 7-9 at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York and has been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.

Thomas Deering Named HRS President

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Thomas Deering, MD, FACC, has been named president of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS). Deering is chief of the Arrhythmia Center, chair of the Clinical Centers for Excellence and chief quality officer for Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta. As HRS president, he will facilitate the society’s strategic plan, mission and vision, with a focus on education efforts, patient advocacy, advancing quality programs and developing new talent.

Digital, Mobile Advances and ACC Strategic Plan

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The future of cardiovascular care will be transformed in part by advances in artificial intelligence, digital health technology, and mobile health advances, according to several review articles published in a recent Journal of the American College of Cardiology Focus Seminar on the Future Technology of Cardiovascular Care. These review articles come at a time when the ACC is finalizing its Strategic Plan for 2019-2023 and leveraging new technologies, like those identified in the articles, is front and center in discussions around how best to transform ways in which knowledge is created and shared.

Look for more information on the plan this fall. Click here to read the review articles. Share your thoughts on some of the biggest opportunities and challenges in this area using #CardiologyMag and #ACCInnovation on Twitter.

JACC Information GraphicClick image above for a larger view.
JACC Information GraphicClick image above for a larger view.
JACC Information GraphicClick image above for a larger view.

John Gordon Harold Receives Honorary Royal College of Physicians Fellowship

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John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, former ACC president and Cardiology editor-in-chief, was recognized as an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians at its fellowship admission ceremony held in Regents Park, London, this month.

Honorary fellowship is one of the highest honors that the RCP can bestow on a physician who is not already a member of the college. The nomination has been endorsed both locally and nationally in the United Kingdom and is in recognition of the significant contribution the candidate has made to the medical profession.

Welcome New ACC Chapters: Cuba and Uruguay

The ACC can now add Cuba and Uruguay to its growing list of International Chapters, bringing the total number to 42.

ACC President C. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC, presented Cuban Society of Cardiology President Eduardo Rivas-Estany, MD, FACC, with a plaque commemorating the establishment of the chapter at the society’s annual conference in Havana in June. A similar ceremony will be held for the ACC Uruguay Chapter in December at the annual conference of the Uruguayan Society of Cardiology, presided over by President Alvaro Niggemeyer, MD, FACC.

ACC’s International Chapters represent more than 80 countries around the globe and are fundamental drivers of the College’s international strategy to combat the increasing burden of cardiovascular disease globally. Learn more about ACC’s international efforts at

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Celebrating the Cuba Chapter. From left to right: Alyssa McCormick (ACC Staff); C. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC (ACC President); Eduardo Rivas-Estany, MD, FACC (Cuban Society of Cardiology President); Richard Kovacs, MD, FACC (ACC Vice President); and Reinaldo de la Noval, MD, FACC (Cuban Society of Cardiology).

Marvin A. Konstam: HFSA Lifetime Achievement Award

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Marvin A. Konstam, MD, FACC, will receive the Heart Failure Society of America’s (HFSA) 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award, at HFSA’s Annual Scientific Meeting this September. The award acknowledges a lifetime body of work by an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of heart failure.

Konstam is an internationally recognized pioneer and expert in heart failure, particularly in the areas of ventricular remodeling, novel pharmaceutical and device treatment, and strategies for improving quality of care. He is a professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine and chief physician executive of the CardioVascular Center at Tufts Medical Center.

Konstam has served in numerous leadership roles, including past president of the HFSA, a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s Cardiovascular and Renal Advisory Panel, a senior advisor for Cardiovascular Diseases at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and a member of the Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He is also past chair of ACC’s Academic Section, a member of ACC’s Cardiovascular Management Section Council and a member of ACC’s Health Affairs Committee.

Clinical Topics: Acute Coronary Syndromes, Arrhythmias and Clinical EP, Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies, Atherosclerotic Disease (CAD/PAD), Implantable Devices, SCD/Ventricular Arrhythmias, Atrial Fibrillation/Supraventricular Arrhythmias, Statins, Acute Heart Failure

Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Acute Coronary Syndrome, Advisory Committees, Arrhythmias, Cardiac, Artificial Intelligence, Awards and Prizes, Biomedical Technology, Cardiovascular Diseases, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (U.S.), Certification, Coronary Artery Disease, Cytidine Monophosphate, Education, Continuing, Fellowships and Scholarships, Heart Failure, Leadership, Medicaid, Medical Oncology, Medicare, Multimedia, Patient Advocacy, Patient Care, Pharmaceutical Preparations, Physician Executives, Quality of Health Care, Self-Assessment, Self-Evaluation Programs, Specialization, Telemedicine, Test Taking Skills, Trustees, United States Food and Drug Administration, Universities, Ventricular Remodeling

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