Heart Rhythm Society Visits Capitol Hill To Gain Support For Important Legislation Impacting The Field of Electrophysiology

Group of seasoned physicians request the introduction of a bill to help regulate auditor requests and the support of a bill that teaches life-saving skills to school children

June 12, 2013

Media Contact

Ken Demith
Heart Rhythm Society

Washington – Today, members of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) are visiting 35 congressional offices on Capitol Hill to raise visibility and support for two proposals: the “Medicare Program Integrity Improvement and Education Act” and the “Teaching Children to Save Lives Act.” HRS is advocating for the support of these two bills because both intend to deliver outcomes aligned with the Society’s mission to improve the care of patients by advancing research, education and optimal health care policies and standards.

While visiting Congressional offices, HRS is asking lawmakers to introduce the “Medicare Program Integrity Improvement and Education Act.” The legislation seeks to improve Medicare’s program integrity auditors by increasing transparency and accuracy in audits conducted by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) contractors. This includes providing information and education on common coding and billing errors and omissions that lead to improper payments.The proposed legislation is intended to reduce the regulatory burden on physicians and physician group practices associated with auditor requests.

Additionally, HRS is requesting co-sponsorship support for the “Teaching Children to Saves Lives Act,” a bill that would provide grants to local educational agencies or public elementary and secondary schools to teach students across the country the lifesaving skills of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).

“SCA is a leading cause of death in the U.S., killing nearly 300,000 people annually – including about 6,500 young people. Many victims do not survive SCA, in fact, less than one in ten survives,” said Hugh Calkins, MD, FHRS, president of Heart Rhythm Society.  “We are asking Congress to support the Teaching Children to Saves Act Lives Act in order to help the Society and other organizations educate and train more people in CPR and AED response to increase the survival rates of SCA.”

HRS' ongoing congressional advocacy efforts focus on issues of critical importance to heart rhythm physicians, scientists, allied health professionals and patients. Issues include coverage and payment for heart rhythm procedures and services; access to safe medical devices and advanced technology; funding for arrhythmia-related research; and sudden cardiac arrest prevention.

Today’s advocacy efforts are led by twelve key members of HRS’ Health Policy Leadership Committee, including: Drs. Richard I. Fogel, Hugh Calkins, Rachel J. Lampert, Andrea M. Russo, Sana M. Al-Khatib, Paul D. Varosy, David J. Slotwiner, William R. Lewis, Thomas F. Deering, Deepak Bhakta, George Van Hare and Fred M. Kusumoto.

“We are optimistic that there will be positive outcomes resulting from our meetings on Capitol Hill today and hope to work with lawmakers to drive forward these important issues that are widely affecting the healthcare community,” stated Calkins.

About the Heart Rhythm Society

The Heart Rhythm Society is the international leader in science, education, and advocacy for cardiac arrhythmia professionals and patients, and the primary information resource on heart rhythm disorders. Its mission is to improve the care of patients by promoting research, education, and optimal health care policies and standards. Incorporated in 1979 and based in Washington, DC, it has a membership of more than 6,000 heart rhythm professionals in more than 72 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.HRSonline.org.