Atrial Fibrillation Optimal Treatment Task Force

The Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Optimal Treatment Task Force was formed by the Alliance in 2011 to act as an umbrella group where organizations can collectively advocate for increased research and improved education on balancing stroke and bleeding risk in the treatment of AFib in older patients.  The Task Force is made up of patient and professional organizations who are working together to raise awareness of AFib, help experts form consensus on optimal risk assessment, and provide consistent messaging about AFib treatment.

Task Force Activities

  • January 2011 – Expert Consensus Roundtable
    In order to forge consensus on the best way to make anticoagulation decisions, the Task Force convened an expert roundtable in Washington, D.C.  The resulting consensus statement makes important recommendations on the use of stroke and bleeding risk tools, the decision to anticoagulate, and the incorporation of patient preferences. Read the roundtable briefing book and the resulting whitepaper.
  • October 2011 – AHRQ Key Questions for Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation
    The Task Force filed comments on key questions related to AHRQ’s Effective Health Care Program’s comparative effectiveness review of stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation. AHRQ included a version of these questions in the final report. Read the comments.
  • March 2012 – PCORI National Priorities for Research Comments
    The Task Force filed comments on the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) National Priorities for Research and Research Agenda, urging the inclusion of topics on appropriate risk assessment in AFib treatment.  PCORI held a roundtable to develop targeted funding announcements for AFib treatment and invited two Task Force members to participate to shape these research opportunities. Read the comments.
  • September 2012 – PQRS Proposed Rule for Revisions to 2013 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Comments
    Comments on CMS’ (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) Proposed Rule for Revisions to the 2012 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, asked for inclusion of a modified version of measure #1525, Chronic Anticoagulation Therapy in the final rule for the 2013 Physician Quality Reporting System.  Read the comments.
  • October 2014 – Atrial Fibrillation Task Force Symposium
    A symposium hosted by the Task Force included representatives from federal agencies, patient advocacy groups, and medical professional societies who discussed factors leading to under-treatment of elderly AFib patients.  The resulting whitepaper identified gaps in current clinical practice, outreach, education, research, and policy. Read the resulting Call to Action Whitepaper.
  • November 2015 – Healthy People 2020
    The Task Force called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to add specific Healthy People 2020 goals for stroke prevention in older patients with AFib. Read the letter.
  • March 2015 – Sign-On Letter for AFib and Falls Prevention Language in Fy16 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill
    The Task Force submitted suggested language to House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees requesting inclusion of language in the FY16 Appropriations Bill.  The language urges NHLBI, NINDS, and other NIH agencies, institutes and offices to support PCORI and NIA’s national initiative focused on falls prevention in older adults.  It also encourages CDC to focus its Vital Signs publication on best practices for stroke prevention in AFib patients.  This language was included in the final FY2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill.  Read the sign-on letter.
  • May 2015 – NHLBI Strategic Research Priorities
    The Task Force submits a critical challenge on the need for improved bleeding risk assessment tools to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute as part its strategic visioning process to identify priorities for future research.  This critical challenge was included in the final strategic plan released by NHLBI in August 2016. Read our comments.