ASE Responds to the Recent NY Times Article

Elisabeth Rosenthal has continued her series on healthcare costs, “Paying Til It Hurts,” in the New York Times (12/16, Rosenthal), focusing this time on echo. The article labels echo as a “stable technology that hasn’t changed much in decades” and plagued by a healthcare pricing system that has wide price disparities. Some ASE members were interviewed during her research and Dr. David Wiener, chairman of the Advocacy Committee of ASE, is quoted in the article, which states in part: “He attributed the variations to multiple factors, including how many hospitals and doctors perform the procedure, state regulations and the need to subsidize poorly reimbursed services.” Needless to say, many of the things cited in the article are inaccurate (echo has had major advancements in the past 20 years with color, Doppler, STI, strain, 3-D, TEE, stress, etc.) and/or misleading (cardiologists do not order most echo testing, for instance) and ASE has written a response that can be viewed on Connect@ASE to the NYT and encourages our members to also reach out and respond.


CMS finalized increase to echo code 93306 and accepted the cardiology community’s proposal that prevents cuts to echoes with contrast