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News from the American College of Surgeons

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kevin Walter | 202-672-1525 or
Sally Garneski | 312-202-5409

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American College of Surgeons Comments on Introduction of Ensuring Access to General Surgery Act

Legislation would help address current and growing shortage of surgeons

WASHINGTON, DC (June 15, 2017) The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has expressed its support for today’s introduction of legislation in the U.S. House and Senate (H.R. 2906 and S. 1351) that would direct the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to conduct a study of general surgery shortage areas. The legislation further would give the Secretary of HHS the authority to issue a formal general surgery shortage area designation based on the study results.

“In light of growing evidence demonstrating a shortage of general surgeons, the American College of Surgeons believes that research is necessary to determine exactly what constitutes a surgical shortage area, and subsequently where these areas exist,” said Christian Shalgian, Director of the ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy. “Determining where patients lack access to surgical services will provide Health and Human Services with a valuable new tool for increasing access to the full spectrum of high quality health care services. Incentivizing general surgeons to locate or remain in communities with workforce shortages could become critical in guaranteeing all Medicare beneficiaries, regardless of geographic location, have access to quality surgical care.”

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About the American College of Surgeons

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 80,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit www.facs.org.