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

NewsScope: March 17, 2017

ACS Weighs in on Bill to Repeal the Affordable Care Act

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) regarding the American Health Care Act, legislation introduced by Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The letter reiterated the College’s 2017 health care reform principles, including quality and safety, patient access to care, reduction of health care costs, and medical liability reform. In addition, the letter expressed concern regarding some of the language included in the legislation that the ACS anticipates might have a detrimental impact on patient access to surgical care. The College committed to continuing to work with Congress on health care reform in a bipartisan fashion. A copy of the letter is available on the ACS website.

Register Now for CMS Call on Global Codes Postoperative Care Data Reporting

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) encourages members who are subject to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reporting requirements for 10- and 90-day global services to participate in a CMS teleconference, 1:30−3:00 pm EST, Tuesday, April 25. This call will provide information regarding the new reporting requirements, along with reporting resources and tools.

The rule takes effect July 1 and applies to practitioners who furnish 10- and 90-day global services on a CMS list of 293 codes and who are in practices with 10 or more other practitioners in any of nine select states—Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, and Rhode Island. These practitioners will be required to report Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code 99024 for each postoperative visit related to the specified codes for services that they provide to a Medicare beneficiary.

The call will include a question-and-answer period. Coders, billers, and practice managers in the nine select states are encouraged to participate as well. Details about the call, including registration information, are posted on the CMS website.

More information about the global codes policy is available on the ACS website and the CMS website. Surgeons who have difficulty complying with this policy or who have questions should contact the ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy at regulatory@facs.org.

ACS Video Describes QPP Participation Options

During this initial year of the Quality Payment Program (QPP), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is providing physicians with options for participation and to avoid Medicare payment penalties in 2019. CMS considers 2017 a transition year from its previous incentive programs, such as the Physician Quality Reporting System and the Electronic Health Record Incentive Payment Program, to the new Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). In the sixth in a series of American College of Surgeons (ACS) videos, Patrick V. Bailey, MD, MLS, FACS, Medical Director for Advocacy, Division of Advocacy and Health Policy, and Jill Sage, MPH, Manager of Quality Affairs, discuss the participation options available to surgeons. For more information about the QPP and MIPS, visit the ACS QPP Resource Center.

Dr. Henri Ford Accorded Honorary Fellowship in RCSEng

Henri R. Ford, MD, MHA, FACS, FAAP, vice-president and surgeon-in-chief, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; professor of surgery and vice-dean for medical education, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California; and member of the American College of Surgeons Board of Regents, was accorded Honorary Fellowship in the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCSEng) on March 7 in London, U.K.

A world-renowned Haitian-American surgeon, Dr. Ford played a prominent role in organizing and leading medical teams in response to the catastrophic 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Born in Haiti, Dr. Ford regularly returns to his native country to teach, lead operating teams, and assist in developing surgical systems, which the island nation historically has lacked. His accomplishments there are myriad. For example, in May 2015, Dr. Ford led a team of health care professionals that made history by completing the first separation of conjoined twins in Haiti. (Read more about the operation.)

Dr. Ford and his family fled Haiti’s oppressive regime and came to the U.S. when he was 13 years old. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, and trained in general surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY. He completed his pediatric surgical training at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, PA. Prior to joining Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in 2005, Dr. Ford was professor and chief, division of pediatric surgery, and surgeon-in-chief, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Su-Anna Boddy, MS, FRCS, council member for the RCSEng, introduced Dr. Ford at the ceremony and spoke of his accomplishments, and Clare Marx, CBE, DL, PRCS, RCSEng president, formally awarded him the honor.

ACS New SSR Offers Webinar Training Sessions

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has announced the New SSR, hosted by QuintilesIMS. The New SSR is set to go live in spring 2017. The latest version of the registry will have several enhanced features, including improved reporting capabilities, delegate-level access to enter data, and the ability to add custom fields for additional variables you find relevant.

To help you prepare for this transition, the SSR team will host several educational webinars to demonstrate the new system’s capabilities and features. The ACS encourages both current and potential users to participate. To view the available times and register for one of the upcoming webinars, visit the SSR News and Updates web page.

Contact SSR@facs.org if you have any questions.

Register for ACS COT’s Achieving Zero Preventable Deaths Conference

The American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (ACS COT), in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is hosting a trauma care conference designed to disseminate, refine, and implement the recommendations proposed by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s (NASEM) landmark report, A National Trauma System: Integrating Military and Civilian Trauma Systems to Achieve Zero Preventable Deaths after Injury.

This meeting, officially called the Achieving Zero Preventable Deaths: Building a National Trauma Care System and Research Action Plan, will bring together multidisciplinary professionals representing the breadth and scope of trauma care, with the goal of building a National Trauma Action Plan to achieve zero preventable injury deaths. To succeed, this ambitious effort will require the support and commitment of surgeons, trauma care teams, and institutions.

The conference is April 18–19 at the NIH Natcher Conference Center, Bethesda, MD. Register online by April 9, or on site starting April 17. Go to the College’s conference website to register and to obtain details on the program, hotel accommodations, and travel. Contact the COT directly at COT@facs.org with any questions regarding registration or the meeting.