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

NewsScope: February 8, 2019

Congress Looks to Preserve Protections for Preexisting Conditions

The U.S. House of Representatives held three hearings February 6 focused on the Affordable Care Act and coverage for patients with preexisting conditions, reflecting the new Democratic House majority’s prioritization of the issue of access to comprehensive and affordable health insurance coverage.

More specifically, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies held an oversight hearing titled Impact on the Administration’s Policies Affecting the Affordable Care Act. The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee convened a hearing examining the December 2018 Texas v. U.S. decision—in which a federal district judge ruled that the ACA was unconstitutional—and its impact on patients with preexisting conditions. In addition, a House Education and Labor Committee’s hearing centered on threats to workers with preexisting conditions. This trend will likely continue throughout the legislative session. 

As Congress addresses needed updates to health care reform policy, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) maintains that any changes should preserve protections for patients with preexisting conditions. For more information on ACS health care reform policies, contact Carrie Zlatos, ACS Senior Congressional Lobbyist, at

House Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Gun Violence

Following the State of the Union Address Tuesday, February 5, the House is back to work, with several committees holding hearings on a range of hot-topic issues. The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), convened a hearing titled Preventing Gun Violence: A Call to Action. A panel of witnesses and individuals affected by gun violence offered their views at the hearing, including Joseph V. Sakran, MD, MPA, MPH, FACS, associate chief, division of acute care surgery; director, emergency general surgery; and assistant professor of surgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD. Dr. Sakran provided his personal and unique perspective as both a trauma surgeon and a gun violence survivor. 

Watch a video of the hearing. For more information, contact Hannah Chargin, American College of Surgeons Congressional Lobbyist, at

February 14 Is the Deadline to Submit and Approve 2018 MIPS Data through ACS SSRSurgeon Specific Registry

All surgeons using the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Surgeon Specific Registry (SSR) to comply with the Quality Payment Program (QPP) Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for 2018 must approve the data submission for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in the SSR system. As a courtesy, the ACS SSR has extended the deadline to Thursday, February 14.

To complete and approve your MIPS 2018 data submission, log in to the ACS data platform and in the SSR menu go to “Regulatory,” and select “MIPS 2018 Preview Submission Report.” For specific instructions, refer to page three of the educational guide.

Once the MIPS 2018 data submission has been completed and approved, your MIPS 2018 data will be prepared and submitted to CMS. Visit the ACS MIPS Educational Resources web page for more information and instructions. If you no longer wish to participate in MIPS 2018, cancel your participation so that you will not receive further prompts.

For more information, contact the SSR team at