Meet ASE’s Advocacy Team

You’re invited to a brief meet-up with your fellow ASE members, our President, Dr. Neil Weissman; our CEO, Robin Wiegerink; advocacy staff, and our lobbyist Peggy Tighe on Monday, September 15 for conversation and networking. If participating in the ACC’s Legislative Conference, TCT, joining ASEF’s Value-Based Healthcare Summit, or working in the area, don’t miss the opportunity to join us. ASE is your voice in the Hill; your participation will strengthen our efforts to advocate for cardiology-related causes and push for appropriate patient care and reimbursement policies. We invite you to join us from 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm at the Westin hotel’s Caucus Room Brasserie-Steakhousebar. The hotel is in Georgetown at 2350 M Street NW, down the street from the ACC’s conference location. If you have questions, feel free to contact Irene Butler at ibutler@asecho.org.

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First of its kind

On Friday, September 12, ASE Foundation (ASEF) is hosting the Value-Based Healthcare: Summit 2014. It’s not too late to join leaders from ASE and others across the healthcare spectrum to help shape the discussion about how cardiac imaging, and specifically echo, will provide superior value in the new world of ACO’s, bundled payments, etc. The event will be held in Washington, D.C. prior to TCT and American College of Cardiology’s (ACC) Legislative Conference. Registration is free to ASE members and will include interactive sessions and opportunities to network. Even just dropping-in for a portion of the Summit will provide a benefit! Get all the details, including a video link showing a preview of the topics, and register for this ASEF event at www.asecho.org/summit2014.

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Nominations sought for the Richard Popp Excellence in Teaching Award

Do you have a teacher whose impact you can still feel?  ASE is looking for an excellent instructor to honor at 26th Annual Scientific Sessions in Boston, MA, on June 13-16, 2015. Please consider nominating your mentor for this prestigious award:

The deadline for nominations is November 30, 2014.  Please contact awards@asecho.org with any questions. Detailed criteria and a list of former recipients are available on the ASE Awards Page

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Nominations for Feigenbaum Lecturer sought

Recognize your outstanding peers at ASE 2015! The ASE Nominating Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Feigenbaum Lecturer who will present during the 26th Annual Scientific Sessions in Boston, MA, on June 13-16, 2015. The deadline for nominations is October 24, 2014.  Nominated individuals should fit these qualifications in order to receive this prestigious honor:

  • Has provided a significant contribution to research in the field of echocardiography, with great potential to continue at a high level of achievement
  • Must be a Fellow of ASE (FASE) at time of nomination
  • A young investigator (under age 51 or within 10 years of first faculty appointment at time of nomination)
  • Has the ability to present a research topic appropriate to headline a plenary symposium at the Society’s annual meeting

Detailed criteria and a list of former recipients and their topics are available on the ASE Awards Page.

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One Major Step towards a New Interventional TEE code

ASE is pleased to announce the creation of a much needed new interventional transesophageal echocardiography code for use beginning in 2015!  This code, 93355, is intended to be used to report TEE services during an interventional procedure.  This code includes guidance, real-time image acquisition, documentation and interpretation during transcatheter intracardic procedures.

For well over a year ASE has dedicated significant resources including numerous volunteers who have worked to establish this essential new interventional TEE code. This code more accurately reflects the time and effort of the echocardiographer during these procedures. Working with several other societies, ASE was able to collect and present compelling evidence that the existing codes do not actually reflect the physician work, time and intensity required during an interventional procedure and show that new code was needed.

The new code language can be found in the 2015 CPT Book the AMA has just released.  The final obstacle is to have CMS release appropriate valuations in the 2015 final Medicare fee schedule this November. While there is no guarantee that CMS will accept the RUC’s recommendations, this is still a very positive step in ensuring our members’ work is properly coded.

ASE is committed to advocating to create an environment for excellence in the quality and practice of cardiovascular ultrasound. This effort is just one example of ASE ensuring your voice is heard and that your patients have access to the care they need.

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REPRESENTATIVE COOPER, GEISINGER’S THOMAS GRAF AMONG FEATURED SPEAKERS AT UPCOMING SUMMIT

Read release here.

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Two new guidelines in the August issue of JASE (Available online now!)

Marti L. McCullough, MBA, BS, RDCS, FASE, writes in the August JASE Sonographer’s Communication that “Transesophaegeal echocardiography in angiography and surgical suites is continuing to increase and as a result, sonographers are spending more time in areas that emit a lot of radiation. Additionally, in many facilities, scanning patients recently injected with a radioisotope is part of the daily routine. These activities increase sonographer exposure to radiation.” To meet the concerns of our membership regarding this trend, ASE created a writing group of experts, chaired by Elizabeth F. McIlwain, MHS, RDCS, RCS, FASE. The resulting document appears in this month’s JASE. “Radiation Safety for the Cardiac Sonographer: Recommendations of the Radiation Safety Writing Group for the Council on Cardiovascular Sonography of the American Society of Echocardiography” includes basic radiation principles, sources of radiation for the sonographer, personal protection techniques, regulatory and administrative issues, and policy development/recommendations.

Also in this issue is an updated version of the 2001 guideline on contrast echocardiography. “Guidelines for the Cardiac Sonographer in the Performance of Contrast Echocardiography: A Focused Update from the American Society of Echocardiography,” covers current physics/instrumentation, how to implement contrast administration policy/establishing intravenous access, current contrast ejection and infusion safety, and relevant recommended initiatives including rebranding “contrast echo” to “enhanced echo.” Don’t miss JASE’s 11 clinical investigations including “Left Ventricular Functional Recovery and Remodeling in Low-Flow Low-Gradient Severe Aortic Stenosis after Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation” by Vasileios Kamperidis et al.

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Join the ASE Foundation August 11-14 for live broadcasts from India

Next week is the ASEF’s third humanitarian mission in India – and you’re invited! Join our onsite team, led by Dr. Partho Sengupta and David Adams, for three learning sessions broadcast live from Bangalore. While in India, the team will be evaluating patients with known rheumatic heart disease, and during the live broadcasts they’ll present highlights from the cases they saw each day. Expert physicians located in the United States, including Drs. Thomas Ryan, Jagat Narula, Roberto Lang, Patricia Pellikka, and James Thomas, will provide commentary and engage in discussion with participants. Visit the ASEF Values page for more information.

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Calling all ASE members in the Northeast US!

If you will be within a short drive or train ride from Washington, D.C. on September 12, perhaps attending TCT or the ACC’s legislative conference, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to join leaders from ASE and across the healthcare spectrum in our nation’s capital for Value-Based Healthcare: Summit 2014. ASE’s Advocacy Committee Chair, Dr. David Wiener, recently wrote a great blog post about the Summit and the reasons why it is so important for ASE members to participate and help shape the discussion about how cardiac imaging, and specifically echo, will provide superior value in the new world of ACO’s, bundled payments, etc. Free registration for ASE Members, interactive sessions, and networking will make it worthwhile, even if just for a drop-in. Get all the details and find out how to register for this ASE Foundation event at www.asecho.org/summit2014.

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Experts Release Updated Guide for the Effective Use of Cardiac Ultrasound Enhancing Agents

Read release here.

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