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

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Federal Legislative Priorities

Make a difference today by learning more and contacting your member of Congress on these important issues.

Bipartisan Background Checks Act

The ACS supports the Bipartisan Background Check Act of 2019. This legislation would require all firearm sales to go through the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) as established under the Brady Handgun and Violence Prevent Act.

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Breast Cancer Research Stamp Reauthorization Act

The Breast Cancer Research Stamp Reauthorization Act of 2019 would reauthorize the Breast Cancer Research Stamp for eight years.  Since its release in 1998, more than one billion of these stamps have been sold in the United States, raising more than $87.8 million for cutting edge breast cancer research.

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Cancer Research and Prevention Appropriations Requests

The ACS and the CoC strongly support the goal of maintaining and enhancing funding of National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) programs in order to build upon the momentum gained throughout the last few years.

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Ensuring Access to General Surgery Act

The ACS is urging policy makers to recognize, through the designation of a formal surgical shortage area, that surgeons are an essential component of a community based health care system.

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Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA)

The ACS and the CoC support the Palliative Care Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) which would establish Palliative Care and Hospice Education Centers to improve the training of health professionals in palliative care.

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Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA)

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is actively advocating for the successful reauthorization of PAHPA, while also urging consideration and inclusion of some of our trauma-related priorities.

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Prevent Bleeding Loss with Emergency Devices (BLEEDing) Act

The ACS Committee on Trauma (COT) is leading the effort to save lives by teaching the civilian population to provide vital initial response to stop uncontrolled bleeding in emergency situations. 

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Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the Commission on Cancer (CoC) support the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act which would eliminate an unintended cost barrier for Medicare beneficiaries to life-saving colorectal cancer screening.

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Legislative Successes in the 115th Congress

Congress passed and the President signed a number of bills into law supported by the American College of Surgeons (ACS). A few of the addressed ACS policy priorities highlighted below.

Easing Meaningful Use (MU) Requirements—A burdensome mandate that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) continue to make MU standards increasingly stringent over time.

Ensuring Access to General Surgery—Guides HHS to study workforce shortages in general surgery and provide a report to Congress to encourage further action.

Funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for a Decade—Brings stability to this essential program, ensuring that children have access to health care and preventive care options, including surgery.

Repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board—Completely eliminates this unelected, unaccountable body that could levy disproportionate cuts on physicians.

Increasing Flexibility of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS)—Provided an extension period of flexibility for the cost component of MIPS, and a gradual and incremental transition for the Performance Threshold.

Preventing Further Mandates on Physicians in the Opioid Package—The ACS actively advocated for patient and provider education-focused solutions to address the opioid crisis and discouraged “one-size-fits-all” legislative mandates on prescribers.

Funding for Cancer Research Hits 15-Year High—Funding for the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, and the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot mean more cures for more patients world-wide.

Addressing School Violence—New federal grants designed to assist schools with safety training and enhancements to school property.

Streamlining the Reporting Process for Background Checks—Enhances the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Supporting New Trauma Research—Stresses the importance of trauma research and pediatric trauma care.

Promoting Stop the Bleed®—Language recognizing the importance of Stop the Bleed training included in legislation and highlighted by members of the House and Senate through Congressional Record Statements commemorating the 2018 National Stop the Bleed Day (March 31, 2018).

Updating and Improving Cancer Research and Treatment for Children—The comprehensive Childhood Cancer STAR Act modernizes and improves research and treatment for children with cancer.

Reauthorizing and Funding Children’s Hospital GME—This significant funding for children’s hospitals assists with the training of pediatric physicians for five years.

Funding Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) for Another 5 Years—Provides critical funding to EMSC, which is the only federal program dedicated to improving emergency care for children.

Lessening Burdens by Creating Electronic Prior Authorization—Allows for creation of electronic transmission standards for Part D drugs.