The Pulse of ACC

Patient Access; Echocardiography Training; More.

New Training Statement Formally Defines Level III Echocardiography Training

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The new 2019 Advanced Training Statement on Echocardiography defines the training requirements for performing Level III echocardiographic procedures. The statement, from the ACC, American Heart Association and American Society of Echocardiography, is the first time that Level III training for echocardiography has been formally defined.

"All cardiologists should have a basic understanding of echocardiographic techniques – their strengths, limitations and appropriate use," says Susan E. Wiegers, MD, FACC, chair of the writing committee. "Although it is expected that most, if not all, fellows will achieve Level II competency in echocardiography during their three years of general cardiology training, this document describes the more focused, in-depth experience required for Level III competency."

ACC Announces New Transcatheter Valve Certification

The ACC will offer a new Transcatheter Valve Certification to assist hospitals performing transcatheter valve repair and replacement procedures in implementing best practices and identifying quality improvement opportunities.

The Transcatheter Valve Certification, which will launch in mid-2019, is an external review and certification process that will guide hospitals in meeting standards for multidisciplinary teams, formalized training, shared decision-making and registry performance. Hospitals must participate in an established national clinical database, such as the STS/ACC TVT Registry.

ACC Tackles Challenges to Patient Access

High costs and insurance prior authorization requirements continue to pose challenges to patient access to novel therapies like newer cholesterol-lowering and heart failure drugs and cardiac procedures related to imaging, cardiac catheterization and more.

A new ACC initiative leverages prospective clinical registry data and partnerships spanning the pharmaceutical and medical device industry, health plans, employers, clinicians and patients aims to change this paradigm and reduce the administrative burden associated with ensuring the most vulnerable heart disease patients have access to medications that can save their lives.

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"Advancing quality, equity and value of cardiovascular care is a strategic priority for the College and key to optimizing cardiovascular care and outcomes," says ACC CEO Timothy W. Attebery, DSc, MBA, FACHE.

"Changing the narrative around the administrative burden that physicians face in prescribing medications and authorizing cardiac procedures is one giant step toward achieving this vision. We are working with external stakeholders across the health care industry, including medical societies, pharmaceutical companies, employers and pharmacy benefit managers, to implement a more targeted approach to saving lives."

NHLBI Seeking Comments on Possible Challenge Prize

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is inviting comments on the potential development of a Challenge Prize for Heart Failure (HF) Phenotyping. Input from the scientific research community and general public is welcomed on:

  • Scientific gaps and needs to be addressed by HF classifications or subphenotyping
  • Important existing data needed to develop novel HF classification systems
  • Feasibility and structure of a challenge prize competition on HF classification systems
  • Potential judging criteria

Click here to submit comments by May 15. Or search for NIH Guide Notice NOT-HL-19-685 on Questions? Contact

Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, American Heart Association, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (U.S.), Health Care Sector, Quality Improvement, Prospective Studies, Societies, Medical, Fellowships and Scholarships, Registries, Cardiac Catheterization, Certification, Echocardiography, Heart Failure, Awards and Prizes, Decision Making, Writing, Cholesterol, Patient Care Team, Heart Diseases

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