Over the past few years, state legislative and regulatory issues have received greater attention at the American College of Surgeons (ACS), with more resources being focused to assist ACS Chapters and Fellows with state advocacy programs and activities. State legislatures are often seen as local laboratories of change, coming up with unique solutions to unique problems—and meeting the needs of citizens in a way that Congress cannot. It is certainly true that the actions of state legislatures have a direct impact on surgeons and the practice of surgery, making it even more important that surgeons be involved in grassroots advocacy.
Even though each state is unique, there are often common trends in state legislation. Medical liability reform, scope of practice, Medicaid reform and reimbursement issues are just a few, with provider taxes joining the list as a more recent trend. The State Affairs staff at the College monitors all 50 states' legislative activity in order to not only defend Fellows from unwelcome legislation, but to proactively identify issues and develop strategies that Chapters can use to make the best use of their resources. Questions regarding the College's state legislative activities should be directed to State_Affairs@facs.org.
Surgery State Legislative Action Center
The Surgery State Legislative Action Center is a collaborative effort of the surgical specialty societies. The purpose of the Center is to engage surgeons to become involved in the legislative process at the state level—promoting initiatives that will enhance both quality of care and access to care for the surgical patient.
State Advocacy Resources
Participating in advocacy activities can seem a bit confusing, especially if surgeons have never done so. Questions arise as to how to do it, what to say, and where further information may be obtained on numerous state legislative and regulatory issues of interest. To learn about the many facets of grassroots advocacy, and to utilize the plethora of web-based information on state-related issues, check out our state resources.
Surgeons as Advocates: A SurgeonsVoice Handbook for Advocacy
Chapter Advocacy Grant Program: “A Day at the Capitol”
State Legislation Tracked by the College
State Grassroots Advocacy on SurgeonsVoice
State Legislative Priorities
Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act