CMS recently made available a Proposed Rule setting forth a number of changes to the Shared Savings Program (SSP) for Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). ASE has developed a summary of the major changes in the Proposed Rule and addressed some interesting information about ACO performance thus far.
The ASE Foundation is so close to meeting its $250,000 Annual Appeal goal – please consider making a donation to an initiative of your choice before December 30, and help us reach our goal! Remember, every dollar that you donate to the ASE Foundation goes directly to initiatives that advance the field of echocardiography. The ASE Foundation supports guideline dissemination, travel grants and scholarships for young professionals, research awards, U.S. based and global humanitarian missions, and training for international sonographers. Every contribution helps to make a world of difference for echo. All donations are considered charitable deductions in the U.S.
The 26th Annual Scientific Sessions is in Boston, MA, June 12-16, 2015. Boston may be a city rich in history, but it remains a vibrant and energizing place to visit. Boston offers a wealth of activities and the location of the conference is in the heart of the action. The 2015 program, “Innovation in Technology and Medicine: The Value of Echocardiography,” focuses on the technologic innovations which enhance the value of echocardiography for patient care. Register here.
Don’t forget to submit your science for Boston. ASE is now accepting abstracts for ASE 2015. View all abstract categories here including two new categories for 2015. Accepted presenters are eligible for travel support. The submission deadline is Wednesday, February 4, 2015.
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.
Happy Holidays! ASE would like to give you a gift to thank you for your membership. Beginning December 10, you will receive a free tote bag with the purchase of any product from ASE MarketPlace. Start shopping today at www.asemarketplace.com.
Echocardiography in children is the focus topic of the December issue of JASE, now online. The lead article is “ACC/AAP/AHA/ASE/HRS/SCAI/SCCT/SCMR/SOPE 2014 Appropriate Use Criteria for Initial Transthoracic Echocardiography in Outpatient Pediatric Cardiology: A Report of the American College of Cardiology Appropriate Use Criteria Task Force, et al.” Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC) have been established for echocardiography in adult patients but this is the first such document published for echocardiography in pediatric patients. As noted in the article’s introduction, “This set of AUC should be useful not only for pediatric cardiologists, but also for general pediatricians and family practitioners, who are frequently the first clinicians to consider the need for this modality.”
On Thursday, December 11 at 3:00 pm ET, ASE is proud to present a LIVE webinar entitled, “2015 Update: How the New Reimbursement Changes to Medicare Will Impact You.” ASE’s coding experts will provide Q & A time for participants.
With the release of the U.S. CMS’s finalized changes to the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS), ASE is hosting a live webinar to relay the numerous changes to echocardiography-related codes. Specific focus will be given to the new Interventional TEE code and the new Medicare requirements that will be applicable to echo providers in a number of states.
Register now at www.aseuniversity.org/ase/webinars to ensure your spot in this high-demand event. Please note: No CME is associated with this webinar.
Because of your generosity, the ASE Foundation not only reached its Giving Tuesday goal of $3,000, but exceeded it and ended the day with a total of $5,201 in donations. Did you miss Giving Tuesday? Don’t worry, there’s still time to make a U.S. tax deductible charitable contribution to the Foundation’s 2014 Annual Appeal. Click here to donate to an initiative of your choice.