ACC.14: Addressing the business side of cardiology

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 - CandaceStuart
Candace Stuart, Editor

The late-breaking clinical trials typically command center stage at the American College of Cardiology scientific sessions, but the program also includes several intriguing practice management presentations worth considering. This year is no exception.

One of my favorite panel discussions from ACC.13 was titled “Down and Dirty Problems for Cardiovascular Leaders” in which physicians discussed the challenges of running an efficient practice. The discussion centered on strategies to motivate cardiovascular specialists with a recognition that senior physicians had a different set of priorities than early-career physicians.

This year the ACC has another compelling lineup for attendees who want guidance on professional development and the business side of cardiology. Here is a sampling:

  • 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Saturday, March 29: “The Cardiology Life Raft: Staying Afloat in Changing Times,” a program for early career cardiologists that addresses the basics of private practice, accountable care organizations, success post-fellowship and how to keep skill sets sharp.
  • 12:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m., Saturday, March 29: Appropriate Use Criteria: Appropriateness May Not Be Reimbursable,” with panelists providing clinical and administrative perspectives as well as insights on compliance measures and operational considerations.
  • 12:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m., Saturday, March 29: “FIT Forum I, Careers in Cardiology,” with tips on contract negotiations, research and long-term career development.
  • 12:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m., Saturday, March 29: “Affordable Care Implementation: Impact on Patients and Providers, A Town Hall Forum,” with perspectives from administrators, hospitals, payers, physicians and patients followed by 20 minutes for questions and answers.
  • 4:45 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, March 29: “Not Just for Coders: How ICD-10 Will Affect Clinicians and the Practice of Medicine,” including a presentation on resources at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that may be of help during the transition from ICD-9.  
  • 4:45 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, March 29: “Building an Adult Congenital Heart Program,” with a look at the necessity, resources, potential financial benefits and other considerations to launching a successful program.
  • 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Sunday, March 30: “Human Factors in Cardiovascular Surgery and Interventions,” addressing work flow, risks, safety models and team training.
  • 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Sunday, March 30: “Reducing Radiation,” with presentations on data collection, operator technique, staff education and equipment settings.
  • 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Monday, March 31: “The Effective Use of Social Media in Medicine Today,” including legal considerations, patient engagement and early-career cardiologists’ viewpoints.
  • 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Monday, March 31: “Preparing for Change: Successfully Navigating from the Safety of Paper Records through Uncharted EMR Waters,” starting with an overview and then a dive into apps and smart phones, value-based purchasing and more.

With a plethora of choices, the challenge is narrowing a schedule down to a practical load. These 10 are just a sliver of offerings at the conference, which runs March 29 to 31 in Washington, D.C. I am still devising a strategy for my time at the conference. Which are your must-see presentations?

Candace Stuart

Cardiovascular Business, editor