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

ACS Responds to JAMA Study on Surprise Billing

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) this week released findings from a study that indicates patients undergoing elective surgery with in-network primary surgeons often were billed for some out-of-network costs. In response, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) offered the following comments reiterating the organization’s commitment to protecting patients from receiving surprise medical bills:

No patient who undergoes a surgical procedure should receive an unexpected bill for care delivered by medical professionals who are not in the patient’s health plan network. 

When patients undergo surgery—either an elective procedure or because of an unexpected event—they are putting their lives in the hands of a surgical care team, led by a surgeon. Consenting to an operation requires a tremendous amount of trust from the patient and his or her family, and an equal amount of skill from the surgeon and his or her team.

Delivering excellence in care is paramount to what surgeons do and, with trust, is the foundation for the patient-surgeon relationship. In fact, excellence begins before a patient enters the operating room and extends well after the operation is complete. Our mission is to serve all with skill and fidelity, which includes protecting patients from harm.

That is why we will continue to advocate for legislation that protects patients from receiving surprise bills. We have actively done so in the past and will not stop until a solution is in place that protects patients while also ensuring surgeons can deliver the best, highest-quality care.

Our position on surprise billing reflects what we have advocated for over the past several years. We support efforts to prevent patients from receiving surprise medical bills. Patients should be kept out of disputes between insurers and physicians. We will continue to press Congress to pass 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.

Read about the College’s work to address surprise billing.

Don’t Miss Early-Bird and Hotel Registration Deadlines for 2020 Leadership & Advocacy SummitLeadership & Advocacy Summit

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) will host the Leadership & Advocacy Summit March 28–31 at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel. The deadline to receive the group room rate at the Renaissance is March 1, 2020, and reservations received after this date are subject to rate and space availability. Register online for the Summit by March 9, 2020, to take advantage of the early-bird registration rate.

The Leadership Summit begins Saturday, March 28, with a Welcome Reception open to all registrants, followed by a full day of programming Sunday, March 29. Speakers will address key topics including implementing impactful ideas in health care delivery; getting the best out of your team; adding innovation, diversity, and inclusiveness to your practice; being an inspirational, multifaceted, and authentic surgical leader; empowering young surgeons to reach their potential; and more. The keynote speaker for the Leadership Summit will be Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams, U.S. Surgeon General.

The Advocacy Summit will follow Sunday evening with a dinner and keynote address, followed by a full day of sessions Monday, March 30. Sessions planned will highlight the political environment in Washington, DC, and speakers will outline critical health care issues that affect the surgical community and surgical patients. On Tuesday, March 31, attendees will apply this knowledge during in-person meetings with members of Congress and congressional staff to continue to educate legislators about ACS advocacy priorities.

For information about the Leadership Summit, contact Brian Frankel at, or 312-202-5361; and for the Advocacy Summit, contact Austin O’Boyle at or 202-672-1511.

Nominations for ACS Board of Regents, Officers-Elect Due February 21

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) 2020 Nominating Committee of the Fellows (NCF) and the Nominating Committee of the Board of Governors (NCBG) will be selecting nominees for leadership positions in the College. The deadline for submitting nominations is Friday, February 21, 2020.

The 2020 NCF will select nominees for the three Officer-Elect positions of the ACS:

  • President-Elect
  • First Vice-President-Elect
  • Second Vice-President-Elect

The 2020 NCBG will select nominees for pending vacancies on the Board of Regents to be filled at Clinical Congress 2020. Nominations are open to surgeons of all specialties, but particular consideration will be given this nomination cycle to Fellows in the following specialties:

  • Burns and critical care surgery
  • Gastrointestinal surgery
  • General surgery
  • Surgical oncology
  • Transplant surgery
  • Trauma surgery
  • Vascular surgery

For information only, the members of the Board of Regents who will be considered for reelection are Gary L. Timmerman, MD, FACS, a general surgeon from Sioux Falls, SD, and Douglas E. Wood, MD, FACS, a cardiothoracic surgeon from Seattle, WA.

Visit the Bulletin website for a list of criteria for each nominating committee, as well as details on how to submit a nomination and the nomination process. Nominations may be submitted to If you have any questions, contact Emily Kalata, Staff Liaison for the NCF and NCBG, at 312-202-5360 or