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

Legislative and Regulatory Updates

ACS and 11 Other Surgical Organizations Launch Surgical Care Coalition to Stop Medicare Cuts

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) announced June 18 that it is partnering with 11 other surgical associations to launch the Surgical Care Coalition. The mission of the coalition is to protect patients from disruptions in access to surgical care resulting from imminent cuts to Medicare payment.

The coalition is focused on getting Congress and the Administration to understand how these payment cuts will hurt patients and their care teams. These cuts threaten patients’ access to timely surgical care and will affect the quality of life for the people we care for every day.

Delayed operations during the COVID-19 crisis have negatively affected hospital finances and surgeons’ private practices—important small businesses in many communities. Based on a survey of U.S. surgeons, more than 5,000 members of our community anticipate that the pandemic and planned cuts could have serious consequences on their practices. Among the findings:

  • One in three private practice surgeons are concerned they will have to shut down.
  • 45 percent of surgeons have made a financial sacrifice by cutting their own pay or by paying employees despite falling revenues.
  • 35 percent of surgeons suffered negative financial consequences due to COVID-19, such as taking on debt and laying off or furloughing employees.

The Surgical Care Coalition is focused on putting these issues on the nation’s agenda and stopping the payment cuts to surgeons. We are asking Congress to step in and ensure Medicare patients continue to have the best access to the best care when they need it and where they need it.

We will share more information about ACS efforts to advocate for you on Capitol Hill as part of our new digital newsletter, Bulletin: Advocacy Brief, which will be published every other week starting in July.

Follow the coalition on Twitter and LinkedIn, and use your voice to oppose the Medicare payment cuts to protect your patients.

*New Financial Resources Updates* from ACS Practice Protection Committee

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Practice Protection Committee recently made significant updates to the following portions of its “Financial Resources” document, particularly highlighting new funds for those providers who serve Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) patients.

  • Paycheck Protection Program—New loan forgiveness application forms to include a shortened EZ form that is intended to significantly reduce the amount of paperwork required and make the application process more user friendly.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program—The Small Business Administration is again accepting applications for loans through this program, which can provide both rapid advances of up to $10,000 and larger loans with favorable terms.
  • Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund—Application procedures for provider relief funds are now available for those who serve Medicaid and CHIP populations and have not previously received disbursements from this fund.

The document can be accessed here.