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IAC Echo - Newsroom

Enhancements to Online Accreditation
NEW FEATURES INCLUDE CASE STUDIES CHECK, ENHANCED PASSWORD RESET

In keeping with IAC’s commitment to continuously streamline the online accreditation process, the IAC is pleased to announce new enhancements available to applicant facilities:

Pre-submission Case Requirements Check

IAC is now offering a pre-submission case requirements check for applicant facilities (Vascular Testing, Echocardiography, Nuclear/PET, MRI, CT/Dental). At this time, this is an optional step that facilities may utilize prior to finalizing their application. The pre-submission case requirements check will be performed by IAC staff and was designed to rectify errors and inappropriate case study selection made by facility users prior to final application submission in an effort to provide a more efficient application submission process. To learn more about the process and how to access this new feature, visit intersocietal.org/iac/casecheck.htm.

Enhanced Password Reset Process

We are pleased to announce that IAC has also enhanced the process for resetting a password for Online Accreditation. By clicking the Forgot Your Password? link on the account login screen, then verifying account details, it is now easier to access your account if you have forgotten or lost your User ID or password. Tips for Securing Your Online Accreditation Login Information»

For additional help or questions about your online account, please contact IAC staff at 800-838-2110 or e-mail online-app-help@intersocietal.org.

Proposed Changes to IAC Echo Standards Now Open for Comment
Comments May Be Submitted to IAC Now Through May 5th, 2014

MARCH 5, 2014 | Beginning March 5th, 2014, the public may visit the IAC website at www.intersocietal.org/iac/comment_period.htm to comment on any of the proposed Standards for Adult or Pediatric until May 5th, 2014. In order to provide comments, the IAC Comment Form must be completed and submitted electronically by the provided deadline.

At the close of the comment period, the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors will review any submitted comments, consider modifications as needed and vote for final approval of the Standards. Facilities are notified of changes to the published Standards, and the current version of the Standards can be viewed or printed from the IAC Echocardiography website at www.intersocietal.org/echo/main/echo_standards.htm.

IAC Changes Fee Structure for Multiple Sites

FEBRUARY 2014 | Effective March 1, 2014, the fees for facilities applying for multiple sites will change. New multiple site fee structure (effective 3/1/2014):

VASCULAR, ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY, NUCLEAR/PET
Per site fee for multiple sites:

  • $1,200 per site for sites 2-3
  • $960 per site for sites 4-10 (20% discount)
  • $750 per site for each site over 10

MRI/CT
Each mobile location per unit (without permanent scanner) over one location:

  • $1,200 per site for sites 2-3
  • $960 per site for sites 4-10 (20% discount)
  • $750 per site for each site over 10

For complete details on echo fees, visit the Fees page»

Congratulations to IAC Forum Essay Winners

The IAC extends congratulations and gratitude to the facility staff representatives who were selected to come Washington, D.C. this fall to participate in The IAC Forum.

IAC Forum Group

Staff leaders of IAC accredited facilities that have continuously proven a commitment to quality were invited to submit essays to attend The Forum. Above, the winners from the essay contest are pictured (LEFT TO RIGHT): Naftoli Neuburger, MD - Naftoli Neuburger, MD, PC; Beth Gulyasy, RDCS - Technical Director of UPMC Heart & Vascular Institute; Noura Aman, BS, RVT, RDCS - Vascular Lab Technical Director at Mission Internal Medicine Group; Cathy Dickens, BS, RDCS - Technical Director at Children’s Hospital of Richmond; Thomas Schneider, MD, RVT - Vascular Lab Medical Director at St. Joseph Health Center; Amy Corbett, BS, RDMS, RVT - Technical Director at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore; Jessie Riley, MA, RT(N) - Technical Director/Nuclear Cardiology Supervisor at Lexington Medical Center; Cesar Rodriguez, RT(R)(CT), CNMT, RSO - Director of Medical Imaging at Laredo Cardiovascular Consultants, P.A.; Nigel Thomas, RDMS, RT(R), RVT - Technical Director at Fairfax Radiological Consultants; Kathleen Hannon, MS, RVT, RDMS - Technical Director of Clinical Diagnostic Vascular Lab at Mass General Hospital; Doug Wuebben, BA, AS, RDCS - Pediatric and Adult Echo Technical Director at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, S.D.


IAC Forum

The first ever IAC Forum brought together a variety of stakeholders to provide critical thoughts and explore the value and direction of IAC accreditation. The more than 100 attendees represented each of the IAC divisions. The commitment, dedication to the process and ideas for improvement shared specifically by these individuals was very evident and their participation invaluable. The event resulted in extensive, valuable feedback that the IAC will utilize as the roadmap as future plans are designed. See photos from the event»

IAC Earns ISO 9001:2008 and 27001:2005 Certifications

OCTOBER 17, 2013 | The Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) has earned certification for compliance with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)’s 9001:2008 and 27001:2005 standards.

IAC Earns ISO Certification

IAC staff (left to right) Sandra Katanick, IAC CEO; Cindy Weiland, IAC Chief Compliance Officer; Kenneth Kirby, IAC Chief Information Officer; and Mary Lally, IAC Deputy CEO

According to Geoffrey A. Rose, MD, FACC, FASE, IAC Chairperson, “Just as IAC accreditation demonstrates to the outside world a facility’s commitment to quality and quality improvement, so ISO certification demonstrates IAC’s commitment to a disciplined approach in assaying that quality and protecting that information.”

Upon completion of an extensive systems evaluation, IAC now possesses certification and is designated as a quality certified organization in two specific areas:

  • ISO 9001:2008, Quality Management System certification assures the incorporation of a process approach when developing, implementing and improving the effectiveness of a quality management system designed to enhance customer satisfaction. It includes obtaining the results of process performance and effectiveness, and continual improvement of processes based on objective measurement.
  • ISO 27001:2005, a rigorous certification for information security management, defines the information security controls and other forms of risk treatment required to prevent and defend against potential data system vulnerabilities. The certification ensures that the information security controls continue to meet security needs on an ongoing basis.

Read the complete press release»

CMS Contractor Modifies Accreditation Requirements
for J14 Facilities Performing TTE Services
Maine, Mass., N.H., R.I. and Vt. Will Transition to NGS Medicare

SEPTEMBER 2013 | The states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont (currently Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) Jurisdiction 14) will be transitioned to a new CMS contractor in October 2013. The MAC Jurisdiction 14 will be moved from NHIC, Corp. and will now be contracted by NGS Medicare under Jurisdiction K effective October 18, 2013 for Part A providers and effective October 25, 2013 for Part B providers (A detailed document of all changes, can be found here.).

As part of this transition, updated LCDs will be implemented by NGS for the applicable states. These LCDs can be found on the CMS website as Future LCDs [LCD ID: L27360 and LCD Title: Transthoracic Echocardiography (TTE)]. NGS Medicare requires the following for reimbursement as related to accreditation (shown in italic):

While it is not the Contractor's intention or jurisdiction to credential providers, Medicare does expect a satisfactory level of competence from providers who submit claims for services rendered. It is well known that substandard studies often lead to preventable repetition of studies and overutilization of services. The acceptable levels of competence are outlined as follows:

For the technical portion, an acceptable level of competence is fulfilled when the image acquisition is obtained under any one of the following conditions:

  1. The service is performed by a physician; or
  2. The technical service is performed by an individual who is credentialed as either a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers or as a Registered Cardiac Sonographer (RCS) through the Cardiovascular Credentialing International; OR
  3. The service is performed at a laboratory (e.g. office, IDTF), credentialed by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission in Echocardiography (formerly ICAEL). Any non-physician personnel used by an IDTF to perform tests must demonstrate the basic qualifications to perform the tests in question and have training and proficiency as evidenced by licensure or certification by the appropriate State health or education department. In the absence of a State licensing board, the technician must be certified by an appropriate national credentialing body. The IDTF must maintain documentation available for review that these requirements are met.

For the professional portion, an acceptable level of competence is fulfilled when the interpretation is performed by a physician meeting any one of the following requirements:

  1. The physician is board certified in Cardiovascular Diseases; or
  2. The physician has Level II training in transthoracic echocardiography, as defined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association/ American College of Physicians Task Force on Clinical Competence in Echocardiography, or the equivalent of Level II training as set forth in that document.

For Facilities, quality requirements should encompass approved ACC/AHA/ASE training standards for physicians, accreditation by IAC Echocardiography (formerly ICAEL) for facilities, and certification of cardiac sonographers by recognized national credentialing organizations as the appropriate quality standards.

PLEASE NOTE: The policy details above detailing accreditation requirements are only a portion of the full reimbursement directive, please search for the full policy [LCD ID: L27360 and LCD Title: Transthoracic Echocardiography (TTE)] on the CMS or your jurisdiction’s appropriate A/B MAC website.

This information was copied directly from the CMS website and is only offered as a notice to the echocardiography community. The IAC recommends all facilities that may fall under this requirement contact their CMS contractor immediately to ensure they will be in compliance with the policy at the time of the transition. NGS Medicare offers transition information on their website, www.ngsmedicare.com (click on the Jurisdiction K Transition information icon in the left sidebar).

Now Available! Lapel Pins, Embroidered Patches & Patient Information Brochures for Accredited Facilities

JUNE 2013 | Show the patients and communities you serve your dedication to quality patient care! The IAC offers accredited facilities the following new optional products, now available for purchase. Place your order directly from your Online Accreditation account.

  • Patient Information Brochures & Holder ($25)
    Great for your lobby or waiting area, use this display to educate your patients on your commitment to quality care. This attractive set features one pack (250-ct) of preprinted brochures, and a clear acrylic brochure holder bearing the IAC logo and mission, Improving health care through accreditation. Holder measures 4.25” w x 7.25” h x 2.5” d. Please note: Brochures are modality-specific. A sample brochure is included as part of the certificate package.
  • Embroidered Patch ($7 each, 2 or more are $5 each)
    Perfect for displaying your achievement on your lab coat or uniform. This round, 2.5” IAC embroidered patch makes a strong statement with a white background, brown and green logo, brown edge and comes with an iron-on backing. Outer circle reads “Member of Accredited Facility,” ensuring that it can be worn proudly by all staff members. Please note: Patches are modality-specific. One (1) complimentary patch is included as part of the certificate package (Effective June 1, 2013).
  • Lapel Pin ($10 each, 2 or more are $7 each)
    Celebrate your facility’s achievement with the IAC lapel pin. This 1” jewelry-quality pin is die struck with stamped soft enamel, plated in real gold and has a butterfly clutch backing. Outer circle reads “Member of Accredited Facility,” ensuring that it can be worn proudly by all staff members. Please note: Lapel pins are modality-specific. One (1) complimentary pin is included as part of the certificate package. (Effective June 1, 2013)

Note: If you have not previously accessed Online Accreditation, you will not be able to order these items online. Only administrators of the Online Accreditation account have the appropriate credentials to login and order these items.

If you do not have access to Online Accreditation but wish to place an order, please e-mail marketing@intersocietal.org and we will e-mail you an order form to mail in.

IAC Releases Changes to Adult and Pediatric Echo Standards

JULY 15, 2013 | As an accreditation organization, IAC Echocardiography is committed to maintaining a program that balances the changing needs of both the echocardiography community and the general public by influencing the quality of patient care provided. The Standards are the most important component of that commitment. Composed by physicians and sonographers from the IAC sponsoring organizations, the Standards are reviewed periodically by the Board of Directors and revised as needed. 

Download/View the New Standards»

As a component of the accreditation process, once approved by the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors, proposed Standards are posted to the IAC Echocardiography website for a 60-day public comment period. Standards that are affected by the most recent public comment period (April 1, 2013 to June 1, 2013) are included in this published version. 

Standards that are highlighted become effective January 15, 2014. Facilities may apply using either the new Standards or the previous version for a period of six months. Applications submitted after January 15, 2014 must be in compliance with the new Standards

Now Available! Lapel Pins, Embroidered Patches & Patient Information Brochures for Accredited Facilities

JUNE 2013 | Show the patients and communities you serve your dedication to quality patient care! The IAC offers accredited facilities the following new optional products, now available for purchase. Place your order directly from your Online Accreditation account.

  • Patient Information Brochures & Holder ($25)
    Great for your lobby or waiting area, use this display to educate your patients on your commitment to quality care. This attractive set features one pack (250-ct) of preprinted brochures, and a clear acrylic brochure holder bearing the IAC logo and mission, Improving health care through accreditation. Holder measures 4.25” w x 7.25” h x 2.5” d. Please note: Brochures are modality-specific. A sample brochure is included as part of the certificate package.
  • Embroidered Patch ($7 each, 2 or more are $5 each)
    Perfect for displaying your achievement on your lab coat or uniform. This round, 2.5” IAC embroidered patch makes a strong statement with a white background, brown and green logo, brown edge and comes with an iron-on backing. Outer circle reads “Member of Accredited Facility,” ensuring that it can be worn proudly by all staff members. Please note: Patches are modality-specific. One (1) complimentary patch is included as part of the certificate package (Effective June 1, 2013).
  • Lapel Pin ($10 each, 2 or more are $7 each)
    Celebrate your facility’s achievement with the IAC lapel pin. This 1” jewelry-quality pin is die struck with stamped soft enamel, plated in real gold and has a butterfly clutch backing. Outer circle reads “Member of Accredited Facility,” ensuring that it can be worn proudly by all staff members. Please note: Lapel pins are modality-specific. One (1) complimentary pin is included as part of the certificate package. (Effective June 1, 2013)

Note: If you have not previously accessed Online Accreditation, you will not be able to order these items online. Only administrators of the Online Accreditation account have the appropriate credentials to login and order these items.

If you do not have access to Online Accreditation but wish to place an order, please e-mail marketing@intersocietal.org and we will e-mail you an order form to mail in.

EmblemHealth Requiring New York Facilities Performing Echocardiography Services to Be Accredited By 7/1/2013
IAC Designated As An Approved Accrediting Organization

APRIL 17, 2013 | Effective July 1, 2013, EmblemHealth is implementing a new Outpatient Imaging Self-Referral Payment Policy (SRPP) to replace the Radiology and Cardiology Imaging Privileging programs for plans underwritten by HIP. Under the new payment policy, EmblemHealth will reimburse cardiologists for approved echocardiography and nuclear studies only if they are performed by accredited facilities.

The Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) has been designated as an approved accrediting organization. Without accreditation through one of the approved organizations by July 1, 2013, your facility will not receive reimbursement.

View this and other active policies on the IAC websites: Visit the IAC Echocardiography website (intersocietal.org/echo) and select Reimbursement > Payment Policies in the green menu bar at the top.

Proposed Changes to IAC Standards and Guidelines for Echo Accreditation Now Open For Public Comment - THIS COMMENT PERIOD IS NOW CLOSED

APRIL 1, 2013 | Beginning April 1, 2013, the public may visit the IAC website at www.intersocietal.org/iac/comment_period.htm to comment on any of the proposed Standards for Adult or Pediatric until June 1, 2013. In order to provide comments, the IAC Comment Form must be completed and submitted electronically by the provided deadline.

At the close of the comment period, the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors will review any submitted comments, consider modifications as needed and vote for final approval of the Standards. Facilities are notified of changes to the published Standards, and the current version of the Standards can be viewed or printed from the IAC Echocardiography website at www.intersocietal.org/echo/main/echo_standards.htm.

IAC Announces Proposal Acceptance for 2013 Research Award Program and Broadens Eligibility

FEBRUARY 15, 2013 | With the objective of funding innovative and meritorious research relevant to facility accreditation, the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) Research Committee invites IAC sponsoring organizations and their members, government agencies, health care insurers, academic institutions and other nonprofit organizations to submit proposals regarding accreditation and quality improvement for the 2013 IAC Research Award Program. Read more»

Updates to Online Accreditation Allow Facilities to View Financial Details, Order Promotional Items

JANUARY 15, 2013 | The IAC has released several new enhancements to the Online Accreditation application that will significantly assist facilities with accessing their financial details.

  • Purchase Extras - Once granted accreditation, facilities can now order additional items (certificates, door clings, certificate plaques) for their facility electronically.
  • Transaction History - Facilities can now view past and pending financial transactions with IAC including the ability to view and print receipts.
  • Follow Up Payment - This allows users to submit a new payment or modify a payment that was not accepted.

The IAC will continue to make enhancements to Online Accreditation to make the process as simple as possible. Stay tuned for more updates!

Changes to the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors

JANUARY 2013 | The IAC is pleased to announce the following changes to the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors.

NEW OFFICERS ELECTED
David A. Orsinelli, MD, FACC, FASE, President
Merri Bremer, MEd, RN, RDCS, President-Elect
John Dent, MD, FACC, FASE, Vice President
Louis Bezold, MD, FACC, FASE, FAAP, Secretary
Geoffrey Rose, MD, FACC, FASE, Ex-Officio
Raymond Stainback, MD, FACC, FASE, Immediate Past-President

NEW BOARD MEMBER
The IAC is pleased to welcome new board member Vera Rigolin, MD, representing the American College of Cardiology.

For complete details on the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors, please visit www.intersocietal.org/echo/main/who_we_are.htm.

News Archive (Articles Prior to 2013)

2012 (click on the article name to view PDF)

2011 (click on the article name to view PDF)

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