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Advocacy Newsletter - July 22, 2010

Medical isotope update: Your ACC and the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) this week sent a letter to Sen. Christopher Bond (R-MO) urging action on H.R. 3276, the American Medical Isotope Production Act of 2009. According to the letter, "the legislation is beneficial in restraining the immediate threats arising from the lack of access to a reliable, consistent supply of medical isotopes that thousands of American patients rely on every day." To read the full letter, click here.

Where will you be in September? Don't miss the ACC's 2010 Legislative Conference, Sept. 12-14 in Washington, D.C. A great agenda is in the works, as are special events hosted by the ACC Political Action Committee. Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about the key issues facing the practice of cardiology and, more importantly, meet directly with your members of Congress and/or their staff. Registration closes on August 6. For more information, click here.

Are you ready for ICD-10? Medical coding in U.S. health care settings is slated to transition from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10 as of Oct. 1, 2013. Everyone who is covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) must make the transition, not just those who submit Medicare or Medicaid claims. The compliance dates are firm and not subject to change. Practices not ready by the deadline will not have their claims paid. The ACC is encouraging practices to ask their clearinghouse, billing service or software vendor what needs to happen to be ready for ICD-10. For more information about ICD-10 Implementation, go to CardioSource.org. In addition, a MLN Matters Special Edition article is available on the CMS website.

ARBs and cancer risks? In a notice posted on its website last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it is conducting a review of angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) after a recently published study in Lancet Oncology suggested they may be associated with a small increased risk of cancer. According to the notice, the FDA plans to review the available data on these medications, and evaluate additional ways to better assess a possible link between use of ARBs and cancer. The agency will update the public when this review is complete. In the meantime, the FDA recommends that ARBs continue to be used as recommended in their approved labels. Your ACC is on top of this issue. In fact, Jeffrey Anderson, M.D., F.A.C.C., chair-elect of the ACC/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and Vice Chair of the 2010 UA/NSTEMI Focused Update, discusses the issue in a recent ACC in Touch blog post. Stay tuned to The Advocate and Cardiology magazine for continued updates.

Attention MRA/MRI providers! All physicians, providers and suppliers submitting claims to Medicare contractors for Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA) services should note the following change. As of June 3, Medicare contractors now have the discretion to cover or not cover all indications of MRA (and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)) that are not specifically nationally covered or nationally non-covered. Existing national coverage for both MRI and MRA will be maintained. Read the complete article.

Questions/Comments contact ACC Advocate Editor Steve Erickson at advocate@acc.org.
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