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16 From 2016: ASNC Year in Review and a Heartfelt Thank YOU!

Dear Colleagues, 
As we begin a new year, I find myself looking back on 2016, grateful for the opportunity to have served as president of ASNC and honored to have worked with all of you to advance our mission of improving cardiovascular outcomes through image-guided patient management. Now, as we pause before diving into 2017, your ASNC team is evaluating the past year's efforts and accomplishments and setting goals for 2017. Join us as we count down our top 16 memories of 2016, look to the future and thank you, our many volunteers, for leading the way. 
Brian G. Abbott, MD, MASNC
2016 President, ASNC 
16- Transforming Medicare's AUC Mandate: 2016 started with an advocacy win. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) set out regulations pursuant to a mandate that would require all practitioners to document consultation of appropriate use criteria (AUC) anytime they ordered an advanced imaging test. ASNC leaders spoke with Congressional leadership in February during the Society's annual fly-in and led development of a 16-member coalition that convinced CMS to delay the mandate, giving the imaging community time for multidisciplinary education, information sharing and the thoughtful introduction of AUC-based decision support aids to focus on optimal patient care. Thank you to ASNC's Advocacy Committee, led by William Van Decker, MD, MASNC, and William Lane Duvall, MD, MASNC, for working with our partners, various agencies and Congress. Learn more

15- Leading the Way for Evidence-Based Use of Cardiac PET: The role of PET is becoming an increasingly important imaging option for cardiovascular patients, and ASNC is ensuring that clinicians have the tools they need to select the right test for the right patient at the right time. In 2016, ASNC collaborated with the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging to publish ASNC Imaging Guidelines/SNMMI Procedure Standard for Positron Emission Tomography Nuclear Cardiology Procedures and the ASNC/SNMMI Joint Position Statement on the Clinical Indications for Myocardial Perfusion PET. ASNC thanks Vasken Dilsizian, MD, and Timothy M. Bateman, MD, MASNC, for leading the writing committees that developed these timely and valuable documents for the field. Visit ASNC's PET Resource Center. 

14- Consolidating the Latest Evidence on SPECT: In 2016, ASNC unveiled ASNC Imaging Guidelines for SPECT Nuclear Cardiology Procedures: Stress Protocols and Tracers —a new, comprehensive resource detailing the latest imaging technology developments, stress modality advances, updated radiotracer dosing recommendations and, for the first time, recommendations for ¹²³I MIBG imaging. ASNC thanks lead author Milena Henzlova, MD, PhD, and the writing committee for developing this important guideline as well as Jubilant DraxImage and INVIA for supporting ASNC's translation of the guideline into Chinese and Spanish.  

13- Delivering Anywhere–Anytime Online CME/CE via ASNC.org: Throughout 2016, clinicians and their teams accessed ASNC's 40+ online educational programs and logged onto ASNC webinars thousands of times, from all around the globe, to access high-quality CME/CE/MOC credits, guideline updates and news about evolving health policy issues. We thank Education Committee Chair Donna Polk, MD, FASNC, for leading ASNC's online education program and look forward to the webinars slated for early 2017, including new offerings on (1) MACRA solutions and (2) myocardial perfusion imaging in women with suspected coronary artery disease. Access ASNC webinars from anywhere at any time. 

12- Breaking New Ground in Cardio-Oncology: To help ensure that the 14.5 million people who are living in the United States today with a current or prior cancer diagnosis receive the best cardiovascular care possible in 2016, ASNC published The Role and Clinical Effectiveness of Multimodality Imaging in the Management of Cardiac Complications of Cancer and Cancer Therapy . ASNC thanks the document's writing committee and lead author Raymond Russell, MD, PhD, FASNC, for this valuable resource for understanding how cardiac imaging may be used in the prevention, diagnosis and management of cardiovascular-related aspects of cancer therapy and for their leadership as the field of cardio-oncology emerges.  

11- Welcoming a New Generation & Shaping the Future: ASNC continues to provide opportunities for future generations of nuclear cardiologists, nurses and technologists to shape the field. In 2016, ASNC saw a 73 percent increase in membership by early-career clinicians and a steady growth in attendance at ASNC's Nuclear Cardiology for Fellows-in-Training and Nuclear Cardiology Board Prep Course. Through ASNC's Leadership Development Program and committees, these future leaders are participating in educational, research, advocacy, quality and professional development initiatives. We extend an enthusiastic welcome to them. 

10- Reaching the World Through International Partnership: ASNC Excellence Everywhere. That was our unofficial slogan in 2016, as ASNC volunteers participated in international educational events in Austria, China, Cuba, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Turkey; worked with colleagues around the globe to deliver ASNC guidelines in Chinese and Spanish; and welcomed more than 125 new members via ASNC's International Emerging Markets Membership program. We thank ASNC's International Advisory Panel, chaired by Joao Vitola, MD, PhD, and co-chaired by Mouaz Al-Mallah, MD, FASNC; our partners at the Chinese Society of Nuclear Medicine, European Society of Nuclear Medicine, Inter-American Society of Cardiology, International Atomic Energy Agency, Latin American Association of Nuclear Medicine and Biology and Mexican Society of Cardiology; and GE Healthcare and Syntermed for sponsoring ASNC's innovative International Emerging Markets program. For more information or to apply.

9- Inspiring Creativity with ASNC's Choosing Wisely® Challenge: ASNC's commitment to right-test-at-the-right-time patient care came to life in 2016, when nuclear cardiology teams from around the country competed in ASNC's Nuclear Cardiology Choosing Wisely Challenge —a campaign designed to inspire members to think outside the box about implementable solutions for improving imaging delivery. ASNC congratulates Felix Krainski, MD, Besiana Liti, DO, and William Lane Duvall, MD, MASNC, who won first prize for their proposal “An Outpatient Pathway for Chest Pain Visits to the Emergency Department Reduces Length of Stay, Radiation Exposure and Is Patient-Centered, Safe and Cost-Effective,” as well as the runners-up and all of the competitors. Thanks to Bracco Diagnostics Inc. for support of ASNC's inaugural Nuclear Cardiology Choosing Wisely Challenge. 

8- Making Learning Easy & Fun with New JNC Features: 2016 saw a range of new Journal of Nuclear Cardiology features developed by Editor-in-Chief Ami E. Iskandrian, MD, PhD, MASNC, and the Editorial Board to make your JNC a user-friendly, enjoyable experience. New features include Powerpoint slides provided with key articles to support ASNC members' presentation needs; Spanish translation of the lead article abstract in every issue; the new “Molecular Corner,” which features short perspective articles from this evolving field; audio-interviews with authors of select papers; and the introduction of themed issues, including the “CAD and Myocardial Ischemia in Women” and “What Is This Image?”—a contest designed to challenge readers' interpretation skills while they compete for prizes. Ensure you've renewed your ASNC membership so you don't miss a beat—or a single JNC.  

7- Achieving New Heights with ASNC Education: In 2016, more than 8,000 registrants joined in ASNC's live conferences, webinars, online videos and meeting-on-demand programs, with participants exploring a wide range of topics, such as AUC, image interpretation, PET, SPECT, radiation dosing and radiation safety, and cardiac imaging in women. For more than 15 years, ASNC has been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to offer CME credits to nuclear cardiology physicians and by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists to offer CE credits to nuclear cardiology technologists. ASNC thanks its many faculty and program directors for their many contributions to ASNC and its members. See all our educational offerings

6- Improving MACRA: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services agreed with many of ASNC's recommendations for important changes to MACRA, including details on how the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) will be implemented; dropping the requirement for cross cutting measures in qualified data clinical registry reporting; identifying high-priority measures if outcome measures are unavailable (such as appropriate use); and announcing the Pick Your Pace program, which will allow clinicians to report varying levels of data for performance year 2017. ASNC will continue to engage with CMS to ensure that MIPS implementation does not cause unreasonable administrative burdens for clinicians. 

5- Advancing the Care of Women: In 2016, ASNC and the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology (JNC) published a special themed issue focusing on imaging and women's cardiovascular health. ASNC thanks guest editors JNC Editor-in-Chief Ami E. Iskandrian, MD, MASNC, Sharmila Dorbala, MD, MPH, FASNC, and Leslee J. Shaw, PhD, MASNC, for developing this unique edition, which features many female authors and delivers analysis of the role of various imaging modalities in diagnosing and treating women who have or are at risk for heart disease. ASNC also unveiled “Women with Suspected Ischemic Heart Disease: What is the Best Diagnostic Approach?” an educational video featuring Program Chair Jennifer Mieres, MD, MASNC, Leslee Shaw, PhD, MASNC, Viviany Taqueti, MD, and James E. Udelson, MD, discussing approaches to evaluating, risk-stratifying and testing women with suspected ischemic heart disease. ASNC thanks Astellas Pharma Global Development, Inc., for educational grant support of this program. 

4- Collaborating with Referring Providers: More than 285 physicians participated in ASNC's “Appropriate Use in Nuclear Cardiology” satellite program held at the American College of Physicians 2016 Internal Medicine Meeting in Washington, D.C. This program, a component of ASNC's forthcoming Refer Wisely Resource Center, promotes multidisciplinary learning about imaging and aims to improve the rate of appropriate referrals. Thanks to ASNC's satellite session faculty, James E. Udelson, MD, MASNC, Brian Abbott, MD, MASNC, and Allen Taylor, MD

3- Sharing MACRA Solutions via ASNC's ImageGuide Registry: Participation in ASNC's ImageGuide Registry grew by more than 80 percent, as practices throughout the country are taking advantage of the registry's value for lessening the burden of MACRA reporting requirements, enhancing laboratory efficiency, reducing patient radiation exposure, minimizing downstream costs and improving patient care. ASNC thanks ASNC's Registry Oversight Committee, chaired by Peter L. Tilkemeier, MD, FASNC, who took steps to ensure that the ImageGuide Registry achieved Qualified Clinical Data Registry status with CMS for the second consecutive year and in 2016 expanded to include 13 new performance measures. 

2- Topping the Charts at ASNC2016: Off the charts for energy, optimism and value! That's what we heard from ASNC2016 attendees who traveled from throughout North America, Latin America and as far away as India to participate in Nuclear Cardiology's most focused meeting, where attendees learned about the evolving pathways for PET and SPECT, shared knowledge about MACRA and value-based healthcare initiatives, delved into emerging technologies and networked together on behalf of the specialty. Thanks to the ASNC2016 Program Committee, chaired by Randall Thompson, MD, FASNC, as well as the faculty, attendees and generous corporate partners. Save Sept. 14-17, 2017, for ASNC2017 in Kansas City, MO.

1- Breaking Records for Participation & Growth Thanks to ASNC's members all over the world, your society is growing, achieving its strategic goals and ensuring that cardiovascular patients receive optimal imaging care. In 2016, more than 600 new members—200 of them fellows-in-training— joined ASNC, and we broke records for member participation and committee activity. Thanks to ASNC's Membership Committee, chaired by Randall Thompson, MD, FASNC, and to every one of ASNC's 4,100 members for joining in our effort to lead the field and support education, advocacy, quality and professional development. 

Happy New Year from ASNC! 

Please join ASNC in greeting the new year and the many opportunities it will bring for working together as we grow the field, advance our mission and share the value of Nuclear Cardiology. We look forward to collaborating with you, and wish you a very happy and successful 2017! 

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