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

ACS Program Updates, Resources and Announcements

ACS Continues Search for New Executive Director

After a long and successful tenure, David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, will complete his exemplary service as ACS Executive Director in December 2021. Dr. Hoyt's leadership and accomplishments allow us to embark on the search for our new Executive Director as the largest organization of surgeons in the world and a powerful voice for innovation, quality, education and research.

Applicants must be Fellows of the College. If you know of potential candidates who might be interested in the position, encourage them to visit www.imsearch.com/7749. Consider encouraging potential candidates of diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented minorities, women and specialty surgeons, among others. Early applications are strongly encouraged.

To learn more about the position or submit an application, visit www.imsearch.com/7749.

2021 ACS/Pfizer Award Nominations Open January 4, 2021, with New Award Category

The ACS/Pfizer Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Awards recognize and celebrate ACS Fellows and members whose altruism, vision, leadership and dedication provide models to emulate and whose contributions have made a lasting difference.

Typically, there are five award categories for which an individual can be nominated—humanitarian, domestic volunteerism, international volunteerism, military and resident. For 2021, a sixth category, the Academic Global Surgeon, has been added. The ACS/Pfizer Academic Global Surgeon Award will be given in recognition of those surgeons who are committed to giving back to society by making significant contributions to surgical care through organized educational activities. The award is intended for ACS Fellows in active academic global surgical practice who are committed to applying research, training and evidence-based advocacy to make significant contributions to surgical education and care in regions of inequities, or retired Fellows who have been involved in academic global surgery during their active practice and into retirement. Surgeons of all specialties are eligible for this award.

The awards nomination page, accessible through the Operation Giving Back website, will open on January 4, 2021. The nomination period will close on March 1, 2021. We strongly encourage you to submit nominations on behalf of your surgical peers deserving of an award in the various categories.

Contact OGB with any questions at ogb@facs.org or nbell@facs.org.

ACS SSR MIPS 2020 Data Submission Deadline Approaching! Submit by January 6, 2021

The ACS Surgeon Specific Registry™ (ACS SSR) still allows you the option to participate in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Merit-based Incentive Payment System using the SSR for the 2020 performance year. Verify your 2020 eligibility first using your individual National Provider Identifier number before signing up for MIPS 2020 Participation. The deadline to complete and approve your MIPS 2020 data through the SSR is January 6, 2021.

CMS has approved the ACS SSR to provide MIPS 2020 participation as a Qualified Registry for the Quality and Improvement Activities components for the 2020 performance year. Submitting MIPS 2020 data to CMS will allow you to potentially either avoid a flat 9 percent negative payment adjustment, stay neutral, or earn a positive payment adjustment of up to 9 percent in calendar year 2022.

Hardship Exception Information

Also note that it is understood that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all clinicians across the U.S. and territories. For the 2020 performance year, CMS will be using the Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances policy to allow clinicians, groups and virtual groups to submit an application requesting reweighting of one or more MIPS performance categories due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic (or other hardship) has impacted your performance data for the 2020 MIPS performance period, you can submit an exception application until December 31, 2020. Only for COVID-19 exemptions, the application deadline was extended by CMS to February 1, 2021. To learn more, visit Exceptions Application Fact Sheet.

ACS SSR Educational Resources

To assist surgeons who choose to report MIPS 2020, the SSR is offering the MIPS 2020 Education Program allowing surgeons to earn up to 1.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Learn more about the MIPS 2020 Education Program and claiming CME credit at MIPS Program & System Education-Surgeon Specific Registry.

The ACS SSR is offering several educational webinars for surgeons who want to make the most of the SSR. Learn about new features in the SSR and how to review, reflect upon and learn from your case data, no matter whether you are new to the SSR or an experienced user. Register for a 60-minute SSR webinar now.

For any SSR programmatic questions, including MIPS participation, contact the ACS SSR Program at SSR@facs.org, or at 312-202-5408. For SSR technical questions or issues (password reset, account reactivation and so on), contact Technical Support at ACSTechSupport@iqvia.com, or 877-600-7237 (toll-free).

ACS and Royal College Announce Collaboration to Expand Credits Available to Canadian Royal College Fellows

The ACS and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada are pleased to announce a new collaboration that expands the diversity of Section 3 credits available to Royal College Fellows and participants in the Royal College's Maintenance of Certification Program.

The ACS and the Royal College have long shared a commitment to advance professional practice and support lifelong learning that will achieve beneficial outcomes for patients and health care systems. With this collaboration, approved surgical accredited learning and assessment activities of the ACS that meet the requirements of self-assessment programs have been added to the Royal College's MAINPORT ePortfolio.

The accredited activities are recognized through a credit recognition agreement signed October 20, 2020, between the Royal College and the ACS. They are identified with a Royal College accreditation statement.

Impact on Royal College Fellows and MOC Participants

The credit recognition agreement officially began on November 1, 2020. It affects Royal College Fellows and MOC participants in the following ways:

  • Any approved ACS activities that Royal College Fellows and MOC participants complete starting on November 1, 2020, may be submitted for Section 3 MOC credit under Self-assessment Programs.
  • Activities completed prior to November 1, 2020, must be submitted for Section 2 MOC credit under Personal Learning Projects.

Building on a Long-Standing Relationship

According to David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, ACS Executive Director, "This collaboration between the Royal College and ACS will make available important ACS resources for surgeons, including Fellows of both Colleges, and enhance the care they provide to their patients. Surgeons will be able to avail high-quality ACS education programs that involve assessments and feedback and receive appropriate credit for Section 3 of the Royal College's MOC program. This collaboration will also bring the two Colleges closer together in achieving major goals in surgical care and surgical education."

"Our close, collaborative relationship with the ACS, which we truly value, has made it possible to deliver these high-quality educational opportunities to our membership. With this agreement, we're meeting the needs of our Fellows and MOC participants and enabling them to deliver the best specialty care to patients in Canada and around the world," said Susan D. Moffatt-Bruce, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FACS, chief executive officer, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

For more information, visit the ACS web page and the Royal College Maintenance of Certification Program web page. ACS Members can direct questions to CPDA@facs.org, Royal College CPD providers can contact cpd-accreditation@royalcollege.ca, and Royal College Fellows can contact membership@royalcollege.ca.

ACS TQIP Annual Scientific Meeting and Training Concludes, But Content Remains Available

The first virtual Trauma Quality Improvement Program (TQIP) Annual Scientific Meeting and Training concluded on December 10, bringing together trauma medical directors, program managers, coordinators, PI clinicians, and registrars from participating and prospective TQIP hospitals and providing an online venue in which to interact with key leaders from trauma centers around the country. While the meeting is over, the content remains available until February 10! Click here to register–for free–and access the presentations.

Rewarding Research: Dr. Caitlin Hicks Receives 2021–2026 George H.A. Clowes Career Development Award

The ACS Scholarships Committee congratulates Caitlin W. Hicks, MD, of John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, as the 2021 recipient of the George H. A. Clowes, Jr., MD, FACS, Memorial Research Career Development Award.

Dr. Hicks submitted her research, "A Peer-Based Benchmarking Approach for Reducing Unnecessary Procedures in Vascular Surgery, " and was chosen among her peers to receive funding for this research starting in July 2021.

Dr. Hicks has broad experience performing both federally funded and privately funded research. In 2016, Dr. Hicks became the principal investigator and national director of the Improving Wisely Project to measure practice patterns of over-use using de novo consensus definitions of appropriateness. She has also led several multicenter collaboratives and research studies to examine and improve patient safety, including interventions to measure, benchmark and reduce adverse events in health care such as hospital-acquired infections. The Clowes award will help fund continued efforts in her research.

Visit the scholarships section of the ACS website for more information about this award, or e-mail scholarships@facs.org.

Can't Miss Event! Hot Topics in General Surgery Tweet Chat Coming Up on Wednesday

Mark your calendars for a Tweet Chat on Hot Topics in General Surgery, 4:00–5:00 pm CT Wednesday, December 16. Participate in a live conversation with moderators Bryan K. Richmond, MD, MBA, FACS, professor of surgery and chair, department of surgery, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Charleston; and Hiba Abdel Aziz, MBBCH, FACS, Chair, Fellowship Subcommittee of the International Relations Committee; Vice-Chair, Chapter Activities-International Workgroup; and senior consultant, Department of Surgery, Hamad General Hospital.

Topics to be covered include robotic TAPP repairs; patients with traumatic brain injury who are taking an antiplatelet; endoluminal stenting for foregut leaks/perforations; detecting intimate partner violence; and more. The moderators will answer your questions—and we welcome your participation. Follow along live on the College's @AmCollSurgeons Twitter.

Career Opportunities

New Career Opportunities: Openings for Thoracic Surgeon, Chief of Trauma Surgery, General Surgeon, and Neurosurgeon

With the ACS Surgery Career Connection, you can search more than 1,000 surgeon-specific positions and submit your application. The ACS Surgery Career Connection site is the premier resource to connect highly qualified surgeons with the best career opportunities across the country. Find your next career opportunity. Log on today!

Tailor your Surgery Career Connection search to target the opportunities of interest to you.