ACC GRASSROOTS ACTION ALERT
In an effort to help members who are tirelessly serving their patients and communities, ACC and other medical society partners helped secure a substantial telemedicine victory in the first bipartisan emergency funding package that was signed into law on March 6th. This provision will increase access to telehealth services and protect vulnerable patient populations during the COVID-19 emergency. The College will continue to work towards improved healthcare delivery for patients while protecting clinician wellbeing throughout this crisis.
Please CLICK HERE to urge Congress to include the following in the next COVID-19 emergency response package.
Andrew R. Waxler, MD, FACC
Dear PaACC Members:
As we all try to wrap our minds around this rapidly accelerating crisis, it is important that we keep communication, education, and mutual support to a maximum. As we are rapidly learning, this COVID-19 is not just a respiratory problem - indeed it is very much a cardiac problem. We are now "on the front lines" in Pennsylvania since there are now 268 confirmed cases across the Commonwealth, including 5 here in Berks County - and the numbers go up 20-30% daily.
With regard to the feared potential PPE shortage, the federal government - with some guidance from groups like our ACC - is apparently starting to crank up production in a "wartime" fashion. Hopefully we will be okay in 1-2-3 weeks when this may get really ugly...
There are multiple advocacy issues that really impact both doctors/providers/staff as well as patients - these are being addressed nationally by the ACC Health Affairs Committee (HAC) and at the state level by the PaACC Advocacy Committee (with the assistance of ACC national as well as our fantastic lobbyist).
Regarding telemedicine, we are all trying to keep patients out of offices/hospitals for "routine" and "elective" visits/tests - yet we don't want them to have their care delayed too long. Yes, the federal government approved some telemedicine codes 1-2 weeks ago, but several of our PaACC members have pointed out: 1) the elderly often have trouble with the "video" portion and perhaps telephone only is good enough and 2) ideally, that "office visit" by phone should be reimbursed at the same rate as if it were face-to-face. We are pushing for these concepts BOTH federally in Washington but also at the state level in Harrisburg. We do have a bill in Harrisburg, which should pass soon and that will hopefully address some of these issues. Federally, we in the HAC sent out "Call to Action" alerts 1-2 days ago - please find that email and respond to ask the federal legislators to help us with these issues, or use this link.
There are multiple - and rapidly-evolving - clinical issues that we must share with and help each other. Is that positive Troponin with ST changes a true atherothrombotic ACS or a Type II MI or myocarditis? Should the patient go to the Cath Lab vs. thrombolytics? What to do with the ACE inhibitor? What to do with the fact that these patients appear to be hypercoagulable - should we anticoagulate?
The recent ACC COVID-19 webinar series this past week was fantastic and addressed most of these issues - these webinars can now be viewed your leisure.
The ACC is here to help -> please check out - and use - the awesome links below; in particular check out the new and evolving ACC COVID-19 hub...
Thank you for all that you do - you/we are the front-line warriors in this war...
Andrew R. Waxler, MD, FACC
Katie Berlacher, MD, FACC
Governors, Pennsylvania Chapter, ACC
As COVID-19 continues to spread, the ACC is working to help members on the front lines best manage their patients. ACC's new COVID-19 Hub curates ACC clinical guidance and practice, clinical perspectives and front-line experience, regulatory and reimbursement updates, and more.
Content is updated daily. Visit and share the link: ACC.org/COVID19
Articles posted on the hub to date include:
ACC Clinical Guidance and Practice
Clinical Perspectives and Front-Line Experience
Regulatory and Reimbursement Updates
Content is update daily. Visit and share the link: ACC.org/COVID19
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.
COVID-19 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.
Congratulations to PaACC President Andy Waxler, MD, FACC, who was awarded the American College of Cardiology's 2019 Excellence in Advocacy Award. ACC bestows this award each year to an ACC member who exemplifies the spirit of advocacy in his/her state by being a passionate leader for CV patients and the cardiology profession in the state capitol and in Washington.
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