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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit          May 21, 2015

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In this issue...


Senator McConnell Urged to Support Patients' Timely Access to New Therapies
Last week SCAI-PAC Chair Thomas Tu, MD, FSCAI, met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) at a Washington, DC, event hosted by SCAI and attended by 14 other medical specialty societies. Dr. Tu thanked Sen. McConnell for his successful effort to repeal the sustainable growth rate (SGR) and urged him to include several important provisions in legislation currently moving through Congress.

Dr. Tu and SCAI’s advocacy staff encouraged the Majority Leader to include provisions that would reduce delays between when on-label procedures are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and when Medicare coverage becomes available for those procedures. Currently, coverage of some procedures that use newly approved devices takes nine months, meaning that Medicare patients cannot access new therapies for almost a year after the FDA approves them. SCAI’s team also urged Sen. McConnell to champion children’s access to treatment with new devices. Learn more about this event and SCAI advocacy efforts on behalf of patients and their families.
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  Global Interventional Medical Devices
Whether you are a healthcare professional, a patient or simply someone looking to know more about the complete solutions offered by Cordis, let us show you how our distinctive approach to working in partnership with you results in innovative interventional products and services to help support sustained patient outcomes.

SCAI Show Booth #218

SCAI Quality Improvement Toolkit Releases New Tool on PCI Documentation
Continuing its mission to tackle quality improvement in the cath lab, the SCAI Quality Improvement Toolkit (SCAI-QIT) has released a brand new tool: the Documentation for PCI Procedures module. Designed by SCAI Secretary Kirk Garratt, MD, MSc, FSCAI and Skip Anderson, MD, FSCAI, this new module is designed to help the Cath Lab Team better understand the implications of incomplete or incorrect documentation of PCI with respect to audits, malpractice, quality, and reimbursement. When you also factor in that the backlog of appeals claims to CMS is more than 500 days, it’s imperative to get the documentation right from the on-set. This is where the Documentation for PCI Procedures module comes in as a tool for cath labs to employ to further bolster their documentation process. Download it now.

The Society is also encouraging all cath lab teams to attend a free webinar discussing how to implement this new tool on Thursday, June 11, at 1 PM ET. The tool's creators and others will discuss applying this module at your cath lab. Topics will include best practices and resources on how to write a procedure note, documenting medical necessity, and ensuring inpatient status – all to be discussed in an interactive discussion. Standards and regulations of CMS, MACs, RACs, Department of Justice, private payers, and the National Quality Forum will be discussed. Find out more and enroll now.

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SCAI 2015 TV: SCAI-WIN Chair Dr. Cindy Grines Discusses Importance of Research for All Act
SCAI is one 38 groups supporting bipartisan legislation to bring gender equality to essential aspects of medical research. The Research for All Act would require the inclusion and separate analysis of male and female animals, tissues and cells in research conducted and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). While the NIH has taken positive steps in this direction, current law does not require researchers to study female animals when conducting basic medical research. More details on the legislation are available here.

In the SCAI 2015 TV video above, SCAI Women in Innovations (SCAI-WIN) Chair Cindy Grines, MD, FSCAI discusses this SCAI advocacy initiative with C. Michael Gibson, MD, FSCAI.

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Society Honors Members for Outstanding Service, Dedication
Awards presented during SCAI 2015 in San Diego recognize outstanding SCAI members for their ongoing contributions to the field of interventional cardiology, the Society and patient care. Honorees span a broad spectrum of practitioners, all of whom have demonstrated a commitment to excellence throughout their careers, helping to shape the Society as well as the lives of patients and mentees.

Honors bestowed upon individuals in San Diego include the Mason Sones Award for Distinguished Service, the inaugural SCAI Helping Hearts Lifetime Service Awards, Master Interventionalists of SCAI, Gregory Braden Memorial Fellow of the Year, and Best of the Best Abstract Awards.
Find out who was honored with these awards

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Image of the Week: OCT of the Left Main Artery

Arnold Seto, MD, MPA, FSCAI, chief of cardiology at Long Beach VA Medical Center, reviews a case involving an 85-year-old patient with a history of hypertension, chronic kidney disease and a recent NSTEMI and key takeaways to keep in mind when performing OCT of the left main artery. Review the coronary angiogram, PCI, OCT and IVUS images and weigh in with your thoughts!

To access more image reviews, CCI content and the latest headlines on OCT/IVUS/FFR, polls and more, please visit the SCAI Imaging Center at

The SCAI Imaging Center is developed and maintained with the generous support of St. Jude Medical. SCAI gratefully acknowledges this support, while taking sole responsibility for all content developed and disseminated through this effort.

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Echocardiography Use in Pediatric Heart Patients
Physician's Weekly
With the rapid advancement of cardiovascular imaging technologies, it is important for physicians to understand how best to incorporate these options into clinical care and how to choose between imaging modalities. Recently, the American College of Cardiology, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, and other expert societies released the first appropriate use criteria (AUC) for suspected heart disease in pediatric patients. The AUC document specifically addressed the use of initial transthoracic echocardiography in outpatient pediatric cardiology.
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TAVR In Low-Risk Patients Holds Steady At 2 Years
Cardiovascular Business
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) continued to hold its own against surgery in low-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis, based on two-year results presented May 19 at EuroPCR in Paris. “From what I can see from the NOTION data, at least in selective, low-risk patients, you can use TAVR instead of SAVR,” Lars Sondergaard, MD, DMSc, told Cardiovascular Business. He presented the two-year data on behalf of the NOTION (Nordic Aortic Valve Intervention Trial) investigators. “But if you want to introduce it as a routine treatment in younger patients, then you need more long-term data.”
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A Weak Hand Grip Could Mean Greater Chance of Early Death or Cardiovascular Problems
Tech Times
A weak hand grip, as an indicator of diminished muscular strength, may be linked with early death, illness or disability, Canadian researchers say. The firmness of a person's grip could be a better assessment of overall health than other diagnostic techniques such as a blood pressure measurement, they suggest, and can be an accurate predictor of possible functional limitations or disabilities later in life.

Related: Get A Grip: Handshakes Better Predict Life Expectancy Than Blood Pressure Via Muscular Strength (Medical Daily)

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A Comparison of Fractional Flow Reserve by Coronary Angiography Vs. Atherosclerotic Plaque Characteristics by Coronary CTA
MD Magazine
In the era of progressive technology, the diagnostic modalities for stable coronary artery disease are various. The original cardiac stress test has been used in the past for many purposes, including diagnosis of obstructive coronary artery disease in a patient with chest pain as well as risk stratification for ischemia. More recently, coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) has emerged as a great tool to diagnose anatomically obstructive coronary lesions. However, for the past few years, obtaining functional and physiologic data such as comparative fractional flow reserve (FFR) has become the gold standard for evidence of ischemia on CCTA similar to invasive angiography.
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Intra-Arterial Treatment for Acute Ischemic Stroke
MD Magazine
The primary objectives of treating acute ischemic stroke are to prevent death and limit functional disability. Similar to acute myocardial infarction (AMI), timely reperfusion using systemic thrombolysis has been shown to improve outcome of acute stroke, namely functional neurologic recovery, but not mortality. But unlike AMI, the role of intra-arterial or endovascular therapy in acute stroke has not been clearly established. The study by Berkhemer and colleagues sought to define the role of contemporary endovascular therapy in acute ischemic stroke patients receiving contemporary therapy.
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Study Finds Wide Variation in Carotid Artery Stenting Outcomes
Medical Xpress
Hospitals performing carotid artery stenting vary considerably in rates of in-hospital stroke or death — from 0 to 18 percent overall and from 1.2 to 4.7 percent when accounting for variation in health of patients at admission, according to a study published in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.
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Botulism Shot to the Heart May Wipe Out Erratic Rhythms
Bloomberg Business
Botulinum toxin, widely embraced as the wrinkle-remover Botox, appeared to also wipe out a common and potentially deadly heart rhythm problem that can occur after open-heart surgery. In a small study of heart bypass patients, surgeons injected the paralyzing toxin into fat pads that can build up around the heart. The results could have broader implications for about 2.7 million people in the U.S. with atrial fibrillation.
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Quitting Smoking Improves Angioplasty Outcome, Study Finds
HealthDay via U.S. News & World Report
Patients who quit smoking when they have angioplasty have better outcomes, a new study finds. Quitting smoking was associated with less chest pain and better quality of life, researchers reported.
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Two Physicians Examine Heart Disease Through a Literary Lens
Medical Xpress
Heart disease has topped mortality charts as the No. 1 killer of men and women for many decades, but a novel analysis of American literary fiction by two physicians finds the disorder's presence in great novels has remained relatively modest. The findings of the research highlight several important themes with serious and not-at-all fictional implications for physicians and their patients struggling to cope with cardiovascular disease, the authors say.
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Job Title Employer Location
Full-time Cardiology Physician Assistant VISTA Staffing Solutions Colorado Springs, CO
Interventional Cardiology Mercy Clinic Crystal City, MO
Cardiology, Physician Assistant Providence Health & Services Spokane, WA

For a complete list of job postings, click here
To post your resume, click here


Date Event Location
June 11 SCAI-QIT Webinar: Documentation of PCI Procedures Online
Aug. 5-7 SCAI TAVR Session @ SOLACI Mexico City
Aug. 12-15 SCAI Fellows Course at LWSIC Chandigarh, India
Aug. 22-23 SCAI China Fellows Course TBA
Oct. 29-31 SCAI at Great Wall International Congress of Cardiology Beijing
Dec. 6-9 SCAI 2015 Fall Fellows Courses Las Vegas
May 4-7, 2016 SCAI 2016 Scientific Sessions Orlando, FL

The news summaries appearing in SCAI This Week are based on original information from news organizations and are produced by Multibriefs, an independent e-mail newsletter publisher. SCAI is not responsible for the content of sites external to SCAI, nor do reports in SCAI This Week constitute the official opinion of SCAI. The SCAI This Week news roundup is provided as a timely update for SCAI members and other healthcare professionals. Links to articles are provided for readers' convenience and may be of use in discussions with patients or colleagues. Questions and comments about SCAI This Week may be directed to Multibriefs at

Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Techniques to Lower Radiation Dose in TAVR Feasible (TCTMD)
Image of the Week: Should We Stent All STEMI?
Eye on Intervention Blog: Physicians Report on SCAI 2015 Trials, Sessions, Hot Topics

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SCAI This Week
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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