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

Other Federal Legislative Issues


ACS Responds to Senate Report on Speeding Medical Innovation

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has responded to a report released by Senate Health Education Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN), along with Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) in late January, titled Innovation for Healthier Americans. At the time of the report’s release, Sens. Alexander and Burr requested feedback from the medical community. The ACS response, sent February 24, touches on several important topics, including the need to safely speed up the approval process for new treatments, the importance of sustained research funding, drug shortages, reforms to how clinical trials are structured, and the need for enhanced data sharing and standards. The expectation is that the HELP Committee will compile all of the responses it receives and release draft language sometime later this year.

21st Century Cures Initiative

After eight hearings, five white papers, and roundtables across the country, the House Energy and Commerce Committee released an initial discussion document outlining specific proposals that have been shared throughout the 21st Century Cures initiative. The document seeks to continue the dialogue of the past year, encouraging continued discussions among patients, innovators, researchers, providers, and other experts with the common goal of accelerating the pace of curing diseases in the U.S. This release marks the beginning of the Cures legislative phase to accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of new cures and treatments. The committee is seeking feedback on the proposals outlined in this document, which the ACS DAHP responded to with a letter to the committee. The committee included several issues of importance to the College in the document such as language to rescind the global surgery services rule, adding the continuing medical education Sunshine Act exemption, and establishing a program to help young emerging scientists. The committee is working to ultimately introduce 21st Century Cures legislation and send a bill to the President by the end of the year.

ACS Letter for 21st Century Cures Initiative

Health Care Reform

Learn more about our efforts in health care reform.


Download Comments to Congress on How to Enhance Health Care Data

On August 13, 2014, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) sent a letter to Congress in response to their request for information on how to enhance the availability and utility of health care data. In the letter, the College acknowledges the potential for improving the quality of patient care through leveraging available data streams―particularly through robust data registries.

The College believes that such registries could represent one of the most essential elements for transitioning to alternative payment models. The ACS sponsors and supports five quality programs with data registries, and while they have proven to be powerful tools for improving patient safety and the quality of care, they are a small portion of the data available and necessary to achieve true modern data analytics. The letter makes further recommendations including ensuring access to all meaningful data sources and establishing a set of open-source common standards for health data.


Overview: 2013 Top 10 Federal and State Legislative Advances


Supported by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the House of Representatives unanimously passed the Taking Essential Steps for Testing (TEST) Act on September 19. The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions also approved the Act, which is now on the Senate Legislative Calendar for consideration. This legislation modifies the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) to ensure labs that conduct human specimen testing do not lose their license (or CLIA certificate) when they accidentally send a test sample to another lab. In recent cases, an honest mistake that causes no threat to patients has resulted in hospitals and labs losing their license for two years. If a hospital has its CLIA certificate revoked, the impact on the surgical community could be significant. Hospitals will have to make other costly arrangements to provide clinical laboratory testing, which is a vital part of diagnosis and treatment for patients. To help move the TEST Act forward, David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, ACS Executive Director, sent a letter of support to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), who introduced this legislation in their respective chambers.


Comments on the House Tri-Committee Draft Health Care Reform

In a June 30, 2009, statement, the American College of Surgeons, along with 20 other surgical specialties, responds to draft legislation on health care reform recently introduced by the House Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and Education and Labor Committees. Read the Statement on the House Tri-Committee Draft Health Care Reform.