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

College Leads Congressional Letter to CMS on the Need for Surgery-Specific Quality Measures

Following up on the advocacy efforts of American College of Surgeons (ACS) Fellows at the 2019 Leadership and Advocacy Summit, several key members of Congress are circulating a sign-on letterconcerning quality measures under the implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) Reauthorization Act (MARCA). Led by Reps. Raul Ruiz, MD (D-CA); George Holding (R-NC); Brian Higgins (D-NY); and Larry Bucshon, MD, FACS (R-IN), the letter encourages the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to work with stakeholders to develop and test a quality framework that focuses on high-value processes, clinical outcomes, and patient-reported outcomes or experiences. Under the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), most employed surgeons are ranked based on measures in the CMS Web Interface, which evaluates compliance with primary care services, such as immunizations, blood pressure control, diabetes control, and tobacco cessation. These measures may be important to a patient’s overall health, but they are not meaningful to a patient’s episode of surgical care nor do they facilitate surgical quality improvement.

It is important that as many members of Congress as possible sign on this letter. Voice your support and ask your member of Congress to sign this letter through SurgeonsVoice.  

For more information on physician payment reform efforts, contact Carrie Zlatos, ACS Senior Congressional Lobbyist, at czlatos@facs.org.

Read the full issue of NewsScope.