early summer 2020
Dear PaACC Members,
"Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have." -Margaret Mead
I obviously don't need to tell you about the turmoil that we have all have witnessed over the past several weeks, triggered by two "acute-on-chronic" problems: first a particularly potent virus causing a pandemic unprecedented in our lifetimes, and then another awful episode of police brutality illustrating racial injustice. The College has been on the forefront of Diversity and Inclusion for a long time. Furthermore, I am proud that ACC collaborated with ABC and AHA in a joint statement about the need for equality and justice. Please read the outstanding statement here.
I really do believe that we are going "in the right direction" with both issues.
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, there has been a great deal of advocacy, both nationally and state-wide. We Pennsylvanians are well-represented in ACC Advocacy leadership (four of us are on the Health Affairs Committee, or HAC) and the HAC has been very busy. Our ACC has had a large number of big "wins" including the CMS decision to embrace our request to not only establish codes for telephone virtual visits but to have the reimbursement match that of an equivalent in-person office follow-up visit. Here is a great list.
Right here in Pennsylvania, we continue to have constructive dialogue with legislators, administrators, and other decision-makers about multiple issues. We joined with PAMED to insist that Governor Wolf give us medical malpractice liability protection during the COVID-19 crisis since the "standard of care" for all of us has become quite different during this pandemic. We had a partial victory when the governor gave us a mediocre Executive Order which conferred liability protection only for care of COVID-positive patients; since then we have continued to "encourage" the governor to do more, through direct communication, a Letter to the Editor (LTE) in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and continued collaboration with PAMED. Importantly, just in the past week, there have been THREE separate bills introduced in Harrisburg addressing the need for medical liability immunity (SB 1181, HB 2546, and another House Bill which has not yet received a number) - we are reviewing those now.
We have also attempted to "spread the word" about a terrible, unintended consequence of the COVID-19 and the associated lockdown: widespread delayed presentations of MI and CVA leading to unnecessary bad outcomes. While social distancing has undoubtedly prevented deaths from COVID-19, it seems to have paradoxically increased cardiovascular deaths when patients choose to "socially distance" themselves from the ER! We have embarked on a cross-state LTE campaign - hopefully my LTE will appear in Harrisburg Patriot-News in the next few days, followed by others in several newspapers. We have discussed the issue on several popular radio shows as well as on a local cable program. This video discusses the problem - it's a little long but informative.
We have formed a Member Value Task Force to explore ways that we can continue to make PaACC more important/relevant/valuable to our membership. In the words of the great philosopher Janet Jackson, "What have you done for me lately?" We have some smart people involved but we always need and want more good ideas. Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any thoughts and/or want to get more involved.
Finally, we are looking into options for our upcoming Annual Fall Chapter Meeting in Hershey. At this moment, it seems unlikely that we will be able to have an in-person meeting. While we are keeping all options open, we are exploring "Virtual FIT Jeopardy". Either way, save the date: October 17, 2020.Stay safe out there and be kind to everyone…
Andrew R. Waxler, MD, FACC
Governor, ACC, representing eastern PA
June 2020 - Ricardo A. Nieves, MD
Patients Can Heal Doctors as Well
“In bed 2 you have Mr. M. He is a 54-year-old gentleman with a history of dilated cardiomyopathy and severe mitral regurgitation…”
It was my first day in the cardiac intensive care unit as a fellow and I was simply a ball of nerves besides myself. I was getting the sign out from the overnight fellow and although I had read about the patients, the night before – all the details were simply a blur. My mind was jumping and darting between listening to sign out and simultaneously reviewing the bloodwork on the rounding sheet that was in front of me. To read the rest, click here.
Humans of Cardiology is an opportunity for PaACC members to share motivating stories about their personal and professional lives and was inspired by the wildly popular Humans of New York series. Submit your story and view past posts here.
Updated INFORMATION FROM ACC
The ACC has pulled together COVID-19 information and resources and is updating it daily. Click here for the COVID-19 Hub.
For the free Summer Education Series, click here.
Read Dr. Waxler's Letter to the Editor that was recently published in the Reading Eagle on not delaying treatment for heart symptoms.
CORONAVIRUS AND YOUR HEART: DON'T IGNORE HEART SYMPTOMS
ACC CardioSmart recently published the infographic below to emphasize the importance of maintaining heart health through the epidemic. Click here for additional information.
2020 Legislative Session
Click here for an overview of the week as well as a full report of bills the PaACC is following.
Practice Made Perfect
ACC President, C. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC, created an informative podcast series intended to help clinicians sharpen non-clinical competencies. The podcast, Practice Made Perfect, will be a series of expert discussions on career and leadership development