DECEMBER 2015  -

Dr. Jonathan Reiner Testifies at Congressional Hearing
Dr. Reiner testified on Wednesday, December 9, 2015, at the Subcommittee on Health, hearing entitled, "Examining Legislation to Improve Health Care and Treatment." Dr. Reiner has been working with leaders of Congress for more than five years to enact legislation to increase survival rates of sudden cardiac arrest. On December 2, 2015, Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) and Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA) introduced H.R. 4152, the Cardiac Arrest Survival Act, to expand immunity from civil liability related to the use of automated external defibrillator devices (AEDs), eliminating the threat of frivolous lawsuits. "More than 350,000 Americans experience a sudden cardiac arrest every year and 9 out of 10 will die as a consequence. Automated external defibrillators can promptly resuscitate many of these patients but a confusing array of laws governing these simple to use lifesaving devices has impaired their widespread placement. The Cardiac Arrest Survival Act of 2015 (H.R. 4152) will create a uniform level of liability protection for businesses wishing to implement this essential and easy to use technology. This law has the ability to save countless lives," stated Dr. Reiner.  

Dr. Marco Mercader Performs First-In-Human Test of New Catheter
After three years of preliminary studies, Dr. Mercader attended the First-in-Man testing of his new catheter designed to improve "ablation" treatment of atrial fibrillation. The ablation procedure uses a catheter positioned in the heart to "knock out" spots in the inner lining of the heart chamber that are the source of abnormal heart rhythms. This new technology allows cardiologists to continuously "see" the inside of the heart with light and better target areas of the heart needing treatment. Collaborators Dr. Vivek Reddy, MD, Director of Arrhythmia Services at The Mount Sinai Hospital and Dr. Petr Neuzil, Director of Cardiology, Homolka Hospital in Prague successfully used Dr. Mercader's LuxCath optical tissue interrogation system in eleven patients suffering from atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation. This is a major milestone in the development of a visualization and optical tissue interrogation tool for cardiac ablation procedures based on Dr. Mercader's research team at George Washington University.

Dr. Steve Farmer Appointed to the ACC Task Force on MACRA
The Medicare Access and CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), was signed into law on April 16, 2015, to repeal the flawed sustainable growth-rate formula adjustment to Physician Fee Schedule.  Dr. Farmer, Associate Professor of Medicine in the GW Cardiology Division is a national expert on healthcare payment policy. He was selected to represent the American College of Cardiology on the design of a new medical payment system to be incorporated into MACRA.   Passage of MACRA reflects a major shift towards a health care system focusing on quality of value rather than the current fee-for-service model.  With Dr. Farmer's advice, the American College of Cardiology, seeks to have a leadership role in defining healthcare policy developments through this Task Force.