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

ACS-Supported Legislation Addresses Access to Care for Patients with Congenital Anomalies

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) signed a January 3 coalition letter to the leadership of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee in support of the Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act (ELSA), S. 560/ H.R. 1379. This legislation would address issues that prevent access to necessary diagnosis and treatment for patients with congenital craniofacial anomalies, such as cleft lip and palate, skeletal and maxillofacial abnormalities, facial paralysis, microtia, hypodontia, and craniosynostosis. Many private health insurance companies cover the primary procedures related to these conditions but routinely deny or delay follow-up or corrective procedures, claiming that they are cosmetic in nature. ELSA would require all private group and individual health care plans to cover medically necessary services to repair or correct a patient’s anomaly.

The subcommittee included a discussion of this legislation in a January 8 hearing, Legislation to Improve Americans’ Health Care Coverage and Outcomes. The ACS appreciates the committee’s attention to this issue and supports its continued advancement in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Read the letter of support. For more information, contact Hannah Chargin, ACS Congressional Lobbyist at


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