April 6, 2018
3 min read

STS News, Spring 2018 -- Your technical skills in the operating room are, of course, essential to developing a thriving cardiothoracic surgical career. But understanding how your procedures should be coded, navigating contract negotiations, and finding a good mentor also are important elements in ensuring your success. To assist cardiothoracic surgeons with all aspects of practice management, the Society offers a wealth of tools on its website, which you can find at sts.org/resources. Offerings in this section of the website include:

Coding and Reimbursement Resources

Submit specific coding questions to the Coding Help Desk. This tool is designed to assist STS members and their staffs with coding, billing, and reimbursement challenges.

Risk Calculators

Risk calculators provided by the Society can be valuable resources for patient consultations. The STS Short-Term Risk Calculator allows you to calculate a patient’s risk of mortality and morbidities following coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery, aortic valve replacement, mitral valve replacement, and more, based upon data from the STS National Database; the ASCERT Long-Term Survival Probability Calculator, based upon data from the STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, allows you to calculate survival probability following isolated CABG in patients aged 65 years and older.

Clinical Practice Guidelines and Expert Consensus Statements

Take advantage of these clinical decision-making aids. Sixteen cardiothoracic surgical topics are covered in the Society’s clinical practice guidelines, which are based on an exhaustive review of scientific evidence published in the medical literature. STS Expert Consensus Statements represent the collective opinions of expert panels on clinical topics; the most recent statement focuses on resuscitation of patients who arrest after cardiac surgery.

Practice Management Columns

Access an archive of Practice Management columns from past issues of STS News and read about topics such as the importance of collaborating with cardiologists, how to navigate an employment model environment, and bundled payments for CABG.

Career Resources

Get career advice, especially if you are in your first 7 years of practice:

  • An extensive document provides answers to frequently asked questions on topics such as clinical interactions, program development, personal finances, contracting, and research.
  • A new blog offers practical tips on all aspects of early career development. Topics include how to obtain research funding as a new investigator, balancing clinical, academic, and administrative responsibilities, and communicating with referring physicians; new posts are planned monthly.
  • Find out how to connect with your fellow cardiothoracic surgeons on social media. You can access a feed of the @CTSurgCareers Twitter account, as well as learn about upcoming TweetChats.
  • A just-released video roundtable features STS members Vinay Badhwar, MD, Shanda H. Blackmon, MD, MPH, Melanie A. Edwards, MD, and David D. Odell, MD, MMSc discussing the importance of mentorship, what the Society is doing to promote mentorship for early career surgeons, and defining the relationship between mentor and mentee.

If you have suggestions on additional practice management resources that you’d like to see from STS, contact the Education Department.