SAHJ winter 2013 newsletter SASCI & ISCAP

  • September 03, 2013

I would like to start by thanking my Exco for their continued hard work and dedication to the sub-speciality of interventional cardiology and the role SASCI plays.

To recap the following are your Exco members and their respective portfolios.

Farrel Hellig (President, AfricaPCR, International congresses)
Dave Kettles (Vice President, Guidance)
Cobus Badenhorst (Treasurer)
Adie Horak (Secretary, Rotational atherectomy)
Graham Cassel (ex Officio President)
Sajidah Khan (Educational including ESC eLearning Platform and AfricaPCR)
Mpiko Ntsekhe (Academic, AfricaPCR)
Chris Zambakides (Academic, CTO)
Len Steingo (Coding, Funders and Website)
Mark Abelson (Coding and Funders, LAA Closure)
Jean Vorster (SA Heart Congress 2014 Scientific Program)

Gill Longano and Liezl Le Grange remain for ISCAP and Industry representatives continuing to 2014 are Tracey du Preez, Craig Goodburn and Hans Buyl

Our Associated Members Group (ISCAP) continues its high activity levels and we request that you support them through assisting with giving lectures when requested and creating opportunities for your team to get involved with the Society (at branch or national level). Please see a complete news review within this Newsletter.

I would like to thank our corporate supports for their continued and unwavering support over the past ten years. They are Amayeza, Angio Quip, Aspen, AstraZeneca, Baroque, B Braun, Biotronik, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Boston Scientific, Cardio Output, Cipla Medpro, Cordis, Disa Vascular, Edwards, Medtronic, Paragmed, Pharma Dynamics, Surgical Innovations, Terumo, Torque Medical, Viking, Volcano and Winthrop.

It is my pleasure to confirm that AfricaPCR 2014 will take place from 13 – 15 March 2014 In Cape Town (at CPTICC). The scientific program’s planning is well advanced and will cater for both the high level interventionalist and those still building capacity. This will truly be “For Africa, by Africa”. The African AfricaPCR Board members are Farrel Hellig (SASCI), Tom Mabin (SA Heart Educational), Mpiko Ntsekhe (PASCAR), Sajidah Khan (Academia) and Harun Otieno (Kenya).    

SASCI will continue to support SA Heart Congresses and contribute to the scientific program. Jean Vorster (SASCI) has been tasked to assist Sajidah Khan and the SA Heart Durban Branch in developing a valuable interventional program for SA Heart Congress 2014 (to be held in October 2014).   

Other noteworthy activities - 

SASCI and Tom Mabin’s TAVI Appeal Hearing took place on 15 March 2013 in Pretoria after the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) initially ruled “in favour” of Medshield not funding TAVI based on the funders own rule exclusion. The ruling of the appeal committee was received in April and is in our (patient) favour. The Medical Aid was directed to pay for the TAVI procedure in full and it is viewed that the Medical Aid cannot exclude therapy only based on their own rules (even if these are approved by CMS). The Medical Aid has subsequently lodged an appeal and the Appeal Board hearing took place on 26 July 2013. The decision is expected by latest mid-September. SASCI is cautiously optimistic that the original ruling will be upheld. 

This process is extremely important as the CMS is mandated to look after the interests of the medical aid member and protect their rights. Please go to if you need more information on CMS or refer your medical aid patients if needed.  

A SASCI delegation consisting of Farrel Hellig, Len Steingo, Graham Cassel, David Jankelow and George Nel met with Discovery Health to discuss pertinent issues (including TAVI, Coding, Bioresorbable Scaffold, Cardiac CT Scan, as well as alternate reimbursement models. Discovery and SASCI are working on an alternative reimbursement model in which the cardiologist will receive a fee for the suspected diagnosis of coronary artery disease irrespective of whether a CT coronary angiogram or conventional angiogram is performed. Review of this initial pilot data will help direct future reimbursement models. The programme will be voluntary. Details coming from these discussions will be circulated to the membership for comment prior to any implementation.

Educational for members and fellows:

During EuroPCR 2013 SASCI once again had high visibility with two joint “How should I treat?” sessions (with Croatia, Cyprus and Serbian Societies as well as Polish Society). In addition SASCI participated in a new learning program based on presentation of “complication cases” chaired by Graham Cassel. Live cases to the main PCR auditorium from Farrel Hellig’s unit at Sunninghill also took place.

SASCI has been invited to participate in a Joint Country Society Session during the TCT 2013 Congress (San Francisco, 27 October to 1 November). Graham Cassel and Dave Kettles will spearhead this initiative and we would like to invite all South Africans to attend this session if you are at TCT.

South African Fellows once again have the opportunity to attend the annual Society for Cardiac Angiography and Intervention (SCAI) Fellows Program in Las Vegas (December 2013). The four SA recipients are Alfonso Pecoraro, Zaid Moosa, Pumeshen Bisetty and Tawanda Tau. This program is made possible through generous support from SCAI and Boston Scientific. SASCI also facilitated the process to ensure that a Mauritian delegate also gets the opportunity to attend this year and we are working on expanding future SCAI invitations to other African countries.    

Visiting Professor Program - SASCI can confirm that Prof Tony Gershlick (University of Leicester, UK) will visit South Africa during February to April 2014 as our Visiting Professor. Prof David Holmes is diarised for early 2015. Medtronic is thanked for their overall support of this program and Pharma Dynamics for reconfirming the financial support for the Visiting Professor evening lecture series.     

The 9th Annual SASCI Fellows Program (2014) will take place in Johannesburg under the leadership of Chris Zambakides. We plan to continue to grow the African and Mauritius delegations and expand on the interactive nature of the presentation.    
Sajidah Khan will be the South African national coordinator for the new ESC eLearning Platform. This program will focus on web based Fellows training offering training in 6 sub-specialties with the first module being interventional cardiology. Planning for the introduction in 2014 (of this substantive training program) is well advanced and receiving guidance from the respective Heads of Medical Schools.  

SAMA CPT Coding - Mark Abelson and Len Steingo continue to work on this project. Z-codes – Utilisation data has been submitted to SAMA for codes 1272 (coronary sinus lead implantation) and 1274 (aspiration of thrombus from coronary artery or saphenous vein bypass graft) and we are awaiting their response.

A dedicated CTO portfolio within the SASCI Exco has been created with the aim to create awareness and improve CTO procedure outcomes through education and training. CTO is a lengthy procedure which calls for patience and precision. If members are interested in learning these procedures they can contact Chris Zambakides and Farrel Hellig. Crossroads held a theoretical workshop in mid-2013 on CTO’s. A SASCI CTO workshop is considered for 2014.

There has also been a great deal of interest in rotational atherectomy and therefore a dedicated portfolio has been established, led by Adie Horak. SASCI co-ordinated rotablator workshops are planned for 2014.

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