ACS Supports Bills to Improve Access to Emergency Care
The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is supporting two bills that would improve access to emergency medical services. The Health Care Safety Net Enhancement Act of 2015 (H.R. 836), sponsored by U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) along with 23 original cosponsors, would provide liability protection to physicians. It has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce for further consideration.
The Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act of 2015 (H.R. 865), sponsored by U.S. Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and David Scott (D-GA), would ensure disaster victims’ access to medically necessary care in a declared emergency. It also was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, as well as the House Judiciary Committee, where it awaits action. U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is expected to introduce similar legislation soon in the Senate.
ACS recently sent letters of support to the sponsors of H.R. 836 and H.R. 865.
Trauma Bills Reintroduced in House
The American College of Surgeons, along with the trauma coalition, succeeded in ensuring that two important trauma bills have been reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. H.R. 647, the Access to Life Saving Trauma Care for All Americans Act, and H.R. 648, the Trauma Systems and Regionalization of Emergency Care Reauthorization Act, were reintroduced by Reps. Mike Burgess (R-TX) and Gene Green (D-TX). H.R. 647 reauthorizes language from the Public Health Service Act to fund trauma centers—funding that is set to expire this fiscal year. Meanwhile, H.R. 648 reauthorizes Trauma Care Systems Planning Grants, which support state and rural development of trauma systems, as well as pilot projects for implementing and assessing regionalized emergency care models.