March 2017
Association of Black Cardiologists - Policy Pulse
ABC Issues ADVOCACY Agenda – Working for You

The Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC) is working at local, state, and federal levels to eliminate disparities in cardiovascular disease and stroke in Blacks and other minorities with guidance from the ABC Advocacy Committee.  ABC is focused on building strong, effective relationships with varied stakeholders throughout the healthcare community to help advance its advocacy agenda.  Click here to view 
ABC's top legislative and regulatory priorities.

ABC Asks CMS to Delay New EHR Requirements
In October 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final rule implementing the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).  The Final Rule sets forth the guidelines for clinician participation in Medicare's new Quality Payment Program (QPP), which includes one of two pathways: the Merit-Based Payment Incentive Program (MIPS) or Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs).
In that rule, CMS stated that eligible clinicians participating in MIPS will be expected to use electronic health record (EHR) technology certified to the 2015 edition. The overly aggressive timeline for requiring all eligible clinicians to use EHR technology certified to the 2015 edition is being criticized by the physician community, even if CMS maintains a 90-day EHR, or Advancing Care Information, performance period in 2018. For the 2017 MIPS performance period, eligible clinicians have the choice of using EHR technology certified to the 2014 or 2015 editions.
On February 17, 2017, the Association of Black Cardiologists joined 15 other organizations in a letter to the new Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, MD asking that implementation of Stage 3 of the Meaningful Use program and Stage-3 like measures in MIPS program be delayed indefinitely. The letter also requested that eligible clinicians not be required to move to EHR technology certified to the 2015 edition.
Release of proposed requirements for MIPS and APMs for the 2018 performance year is expected before June.

ABC Issues Statement on the Long Journey to Health Equity 
ABC stands behind our long-term commitment to ensuring health equity and equal treatment for all persons regardless of race, ethnicity, gender. social economic class and geography. 

Ushering In The New Era Of Health Equity by Joseph R. Betancourt

New Report Focuses on Pathways to Health Equity  

National Minority Health Month 2017 – April
“Bridging Health Equity Across Communities” is the theme for National Minority Health Month 2017. Throughout April, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (OMH) along with its partners will raise awareness about efforts across health, education, justice, housing, transportation and employment sectors to address the social determinants of health – environmental, social and economic conditions. For more information, visit National Minority Health Month.

HHS Office of Minority Health #Bridge2Health Twitter Town Hall
Featured speakers: Health Equity Partners
WHEN: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM (EDT)
WHERE: Join live on Twitter via @MinorityHealth


Listen to a patient’s first hand account of the impact of the Affordable Care Act and how it ensures equal access to evidence based treatment and appropriate medical care:

A patient's story

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a Drug Safety Communication on Plavix (clopidogrel) that narrowed its indication for use, specifically determining that it does not increase or decrease risk of death in patients with heart disease. This update was issued following an FDA review of the Dual Antiplatelet Therapy trial and other large long-term clinical trials of clopidogrel. Patients are not advised to stop taking clopidogrel due to an increased risk of heart attack and blood clots, and providers are urged to consider the benefits and risks associated with available antiplatelet medications before initiating treatment. Read more on the announcement here. 

The era of patient-centered medicine at FDA

MIPS Infographic
The Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) is one of the two tracks of the Quality Payment Program — the new system for paying physicians under Medicare Part B. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has produced a new resource tool that provides sample Quality, Advancing Care Information, and Improvement Activities measures that may apply to cardiologists. Visit to understand program basics, including eligibility, submission timelines, and how to participate.

Study identifies African-specific genomic variant associated with obesity

NIH All of Us Research Program: Researcher Interests and Needs Survey  

New Funding for NIMHD Centers of Excellence  

Apply Now to the 2017 NIMHD Health Disparities Research Institute

New Funding: Mechanisms and Consequences of Sleep Disparities in the U.S. 
NIMHD is funding research to understand the underlying social, cultural, environmental or biological factors contributing to sleep deficiencies among minority and health disparity populations, and how sleep deficiencies may lead to disparities in health outcomes. Projects should include a focus on one or more NIH-designated health disparity populations (HD populations) in the United States, which include Blacks/African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, sexual and gender minorities, and underserved rural populations. Learn more about the two available funding mechanisms:
Mechanisms and Consequences of Sleep Disparities in the U.S. (R01)  
Mechanisms and Consequences of Sleep Disparities in the U.S. (R21) 

The National Forum presents a webinar on

Improving Outcomes in Heart Failure

April 11 from 3:00 - 4:00 PM EDT

Reserve your spot by clicking here!

Copyright © 2017 Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc, All rights reserved.

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