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

ACS Responds to Draft Legislation to Lower Health Care Costs

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) submitted a response June 5 to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on its bipartisan draft legislation, the Lower Health Care Costs Act. The goal of the legislation is “to deliver better health care outcomes and better health care experiences at lower costs.” The ACS commented on a number of provisions in the bill, including a heightened focus on increased transparency and steps to improve the exchange and availability of health data. The ACS also expressed its support of a comprehensive approach to maternal health care. 

However, the ACS expressed strong concerns regarding legislative language that seeks to address surprise billing. The draft bill provides three options for stakeholders to choose from: force physicians to be in-network for all of the plans in which the hospitals they practice are in-network; an arbitration process that has a benchmark payment tied to the median in-network rate—a concept that the ACS is already on record as opposing; and a straight payment benchmarked to the median in-network rate. The ACS will continue to emphasize the potential consequences of resolving the issue of surprise billing with these troubling solutions.

Read the ACS response. For further information, please contact Kristin McDonald, Manager of Legislative and Political Affairs, at