American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Advisory Council for General Surgery News: Winter 2016-2017

Greetings from the ACS General Surgery Advisory Council

The Advisory Council for General Surgery last met at the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress 2016 in Washington, DC, to discuss topics and activities relevant to the practice of general surgery. For additional information on the following updates, please reach out to the Advisory Council’s Communication Subcommittee:

Updates from the Council

CMS Quality Payment Program

The Medicare Access and Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015 repealed the broken sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula and created the Quality Payment Program (QPP), which is a new physician payment system based on value rather than volume. There are two pathways for surgeons to participate in QPP: (1) a Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and (2) advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs). At present, limited options are available for surgeons to participate in APMs; thus, most surgeons will be in the MIPS program. There are actions that surgeons will need to take in 2017 in order to prepare for the reporting requirements that go into effect in 2019. The ACS Quality Payment Program Resource Center was created to help navigate the new Medicare Physician Payment System.

Surgical Patient Education

The ACS Surgical Patient Education Program, which provides education materials to help assist patients with their pre- and postoperative care, will introduce a surgical wound management skills training program in January 2017 with a video series that teaches patients how to change dressings, pack wounds, and use a vacuum-assisted wound device.

Qualified Clinical Data Registries

The Surgeon Specific Registry (SSR) and the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program Data Registry are recognized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as qualified clinical data registries. The SSR will undergo redesign in the spring of 2017 to help make it easier to meet qualifications for MACRA.

Board of Regents Update

Notable priorities of the Board of Regents include the following:

  • Enhance the Operation Giving Back program to include ACS-branded educational products to help patients in other countries and in underserved areas of the U.S.
  • Develop new initiatives addressing timely topics including firearm injury prevention, elimination of preventable deaths after injury, and the training of first responders in hemorrhage control via the Stop the Bleed campaign. The Stop the Bleed campaign is a joint effort by the ACS and the Hartford Consensus™ to assist first responders in a bleeding control emergency.
  • Provide College guidelines for suitable operating room attire.
  • Build collaborative efforts between the ACS and The American Society of Anesthesiologists to meet the challenges associated with the perioperative home.
  • Establish a collaborative workgroup with representation from the ACS, the American Board of Surgery (ABS), associate program directors, residency review committees, and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to generate strategies for the future of surgical residency training.
  • Promote cooperation between the ABS and the ACS regarding Maintenance of Certification.