I am writing to make you aware of a Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC) meeting that will be held on July 22 to examine the scientific evidence for lower-extremity peripheral artery disease (PAD) treatments that aim to improve health outcomes in Medicare beneficiaries. The stated goal of the MEDCAC meeting is "address areas where evidence gaps exist related to lower extremity PAD."
SCAI responded quickly to CMS's announcement about the MEDCAC meeting. SCAI Peripheral Vascular Disease Committee Chair and VIVA Physicians President Michael R. Jaff, DO, FSCAI, has led our effort to assemble a multi-society team of experts to deliver a comprehensive, coordinated set of presentations to the MEDCAC panel. Late last week, we learned that that CMS has accepted our full slate of expert panelists who will speak on behalf of SCAI as well as the American College of Cardiology (ACC), American College of Radiology (ACR), American Heart Association (AHA), Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR), Society for Vascular Medicine (SVM), and VIVA Physicians (VIVA). All seven of these groups share a common goal of ensuring patients' access to high-quality, medically necessary care.
We view this panel as an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the value of early diagnosis and appropriate treatment to save limbs and lives. Our priority is to work with our partners and with CMS to arrive at policies that are in the best interest of our patients. In the weeks to come, we will keep you informed about the MEDCAC meeting and the discussion that takes place there. I hope you will continue to contact me with your concerns and feedback.
As an aside, but an important one: If you have not seen The New York Times "Mending Hearts" series that launched this past weekend, I urge you to take a look at these two positive stories about the progress we are making to defeat cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death and disability in the United States.
James C. Blankenship, MD, MHCM, FSCAI
2015-16 SCAI President
- Opening Comments & Themes: SCAI President-Elect Ken Rosenfield, MD, MHCDS, MSCAI
- Patient Perspective: Gerald Brode
- Underdiagnosis and Undertreatment of PAD: Joshua Beckman, MD
- Asymptomatic Patients with PAD: John R Bartholomew, MD, and Robert Lookstein
- Intermittent Claudication Patients: Michael R. Jaff, DO, FSCAI, and Herb Aronow, MD, FSCAI
- Critical Limb Ischemia Patients: Mehdi H. Shishehbor, DO, MPH, PhD, FSCAI
- Evidence Gaps in Treatment Decision-Making: Sanjay Misra, MD
- PAD Treatment Disparities and Impact on Outcomes of Medicare Beneficiaries: James B. Froehlich, MD, MPH