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

ACS Responds to Washington Post Opinion Piece on Surprise Medical Billing

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) responded to a recently published Washington Post opinion piece describing a patient’s experience with surprise medical billing, in which the patient had an upsetting interaction with the surgeon regarding treatment costs. As the patient was being prepared for an emergency appendectomy, she was told that she would be responsible for the surgeon’s full fee because the provider was out of the patient’s insurance network. The ACS letter to the editor, written by Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, was published January 17.

"The American College of Surgeons strongly agrees no patient should experience this. As the largest surgical association, we are dedicated to improving the care of surgical patients and to safeguarding standards to ensure the highest quality and best outcomes,” Dr. Hoyt stated in the response.

However, in spite of the dim view of the surgical profession that the patient may have had after this interaction, “Skilled surgeons are critical to treating acute issues such as the one the writer had and dedicated to treating these conditions without regard to the patient’s ability to pay.”

Dr. Hoyt noted that patients should not be put in the middle of payment disputes between insurers and providers. The College will continue “to encourage legislation that protects patients from surprise medical bills, promotes access to appropriate medical care, and encourages insurers to negotiate in good faith with physicians to establish adequate provider networks and fair remuneration," he added.

Read about the ACS’ views and work to find a solution to surprise medical billing on the ACS website.

ACS Joins Physician Community Letter on Surprise Medical Billing

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) signed a letter to the House Committees on Ways and Means and Education and Labor as they consider policy solutions to the issue of surprise medical bills. The letter highlights the medical community’s commitment to working with Congress to develop an equitable legislative solution to protect patients from surprise medical bills, while also facilitating a process to quickly, efficiently, and fairly resolve physician and health plan billing disputes. The ACS remains actively engaged as Congress looks toward addressing surprise medical billing before the end of May.

For more information, contact Carrie Zlatos, ACS Senior Congressional Lobbyist, at czlatos@facs.org.

2019 SurgeonsVoice Grassroots Activity Makes an ImpactSurgeonsVoice

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Advocacy and Health Policy (DAHP) reported numerous legislative successes last year, including the introduction or reintroduction of more than 16 ACS-supported bills. These accomplishments are attributable in large part to surgeon-advocate engagement via SurgeonsVoice. Thousands of participants contacted members of Congress about key health policy priorities, resulting in nearly 6,000 grassroots actions. To date, activity surrounding surprise or unanticipated medical billing had the highest participation rate of any issue campaign, with more than 1,100 Fellows, residents, and young surgeons working to effect change.

Surgeons’ voices and expertise continue to play a critical role in helping to educate and inform policymakers. As Congress continues to consider important health care legislation that will affect surgical patient care, all ACS members are encouraged to engage in advocacy.

To learn more and participate, visit the SurgeonsVoice web page.

ACS-Pfizer 2020 Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarian Awards Nominations Open

Operation Giving BackThe American College of Surgeons (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 on patients in the U.S. and around the world. The nomination period for the 2020 awards is open through February 15.

The five award categories for which an individual may be nominated are as follows: humanitarianism and domestic, international, military, and resident volunteerism.

Applications will be evaluated by the ACS Board of Governors Surgical Volunteerism and Humanitarianism Workgroup. Awardees will be announced in September and recognized at the ACS Clinical Congress 2020 in Chicago, IL.

Do you know a surgeon who is eligible and deserving of one of the awards? Submit a nomination today by logging in to your ACS account and visiting the Operation Giving Back (OGB) nominations page.

Read more about the awards, and contact OGB with any questions at ogb@facs.org.