Heart Rhythm Society Health Policy Initiatives
Advocating for HRS members to respond to the rapidly evolving healthcare environment
The Heart Rhythm Society's mission is to improve the care of patients by promoting research, education and optimal health care policies and standards. To support this mission and the vision to end death and suffering due to heart rhythm disorders, the Society advocates for policies that support access to heart rhythm care. With these efforts, the Society also ensures that the heart rhythm care community has the necessary tools to navigate the complex, health care environment HRS is a convener and a collaborator with multiple stakeholders. HRS is valued as the experts in heart rhythm care and serves as a resource and a partner to U.S. federal agencies, medical and professional societies, industry partners, organizations with shared missions and patient advocacy organizations.
Collaboration with the American Medical Association, specialty societies, regulatory agencies, manufacturers and quality improvement organizations to improve access to treatments and appropriate specialty and sub-specialty care.
Reimbursement of Heart Rhythm Care Services
- HRS and ACC partner to support the development and updates of Medicare policies relevant to heart rhythm care. Recent coverage policies include the update of the pacemaker, ICD and MRI National Coverage Determinations as well as new policies for left atrial appendage occlusion and the leadless pacemaker.
- HRS partners with private insurance companies on their coverage policies to ensure appropriate access to quality care.
- During the last five years, HRS played a critical role in developing and valuing codes for the leadless pacemaker, the subcutaneous ICD, and the subcutaneous cardiac rhythm monitor, as well as defending reimbursements for device interrogation and programming services.
- HRS has a role in the AMA's House of Delegates, voting on policies that affect everything from public health policy to setting the AMA's lobbying priorities. Our participation in the AMA strengthens our relationship with other members of the Cardiovascular Section Council.
- HRS offers a Coding Hotline for members to submit questions about how to code for heart rhythm care services.
Partners for the Promotion of Quality Care
- HRS partners with the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) on the IAC Cardiac Electrophysiology Accreditation, which provides facility accreditation specific to cardiac electrophysiology in the following testing areas: Testing and Ablation; Device Implantation; Device Explantation and Chronic Lead Extraction.
- HRS partners with the AHA on "Get with the Guidelines-AFIB" to promote evidence-based quality patient care and improved outcomes.
Promote Patient Safety in Partnership with the FDA.
HRS maintains a strong working relationship with officials at the FDA. HRS offers recommendations to the federal government, manufacturers, physicians and patients about cardiac rhythm device safety including device performance, surveillance, data analysis, device malfunctions, and therapy advisories. The Initiatives includes:
Safety Alerts and Recalls
- The Therapy Advisory Working Group convenes on an as-needed basis, to review any EP device-related advisory issue or safety notification that may affect our HRS members and their patients. This Working Group is comprised of the President, the President-Elect and the Chair of the Health Policy Committee. To address the growing cyber threats, HRS and FDA organized the 2017 HRS Cybersecurity Summit. The proceedings of the Cybersecurity Summit were published in Heart Rhythm in July of 2018.
- HRS participates in a FDA's multi-stakeholder initiative to transition long-term direct patient follow-up assessments in post-approval studies to a "real world evidence" approach.
Set standards and promote high quality, evidence-based heart rhythm patient care.
HRS Interoperability Workgroup
- HRS convenes and collaborates with HRS members, the four largest cardiac rhythm management vendors, electronic medical records vendors, remote monitoring vendors with the FDA's participation. The goal is to promote standardized nomenclature and interoperability to address issues specific to clinical workflow, information sharing and improved heart rhythm care by:
- Updating existing ISO/IEEE nomenclature to clarify definitions and expanding the nomenclature to identifying the most important data elements for vendors.
- Updating the Implantable Device - Cardiac - Observation (IDCO) Profile to allow for the exchange of standardized nomenclature using CRM (cardiac rhythm management) data standards.
- HRS published guidance addressing the importance of interoperability, reviewing the current HIT environment and, detailing the Society's efforts in this field.