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

NewsScope: September 6, 2019

ACS Signs Letter Urging Senate Appropriators to Remove Ban on UPI

As part of its ongoing advocacy efforts surrounding patient matching and the Unique Patient Identifier (UPI), the American College of Surgeons (ACS) joined 56 stakeholder organizations in signing a letter urging leadership of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations to remove language from the fiscal year 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. This provision prohibits the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from spending federal dollars to adopt a UPI. The U.S. House of Representatives passed amendment language June 12 that repeals the 20-year ban. 

Removing the prohibition on the use of federal funds to establish a national UPI would provide HHS with the ability to evaluate a range of patient identification solutions, enabling the agency to explore potential challenges and identify cost-effective, scalable, and secure solutions that protect patient privacy. A UPI would help to ensure that surgeons have a more accurate and consistent means of linking patients to their health information across the continuum of care.

For more information, contact Amelia Suermann, ACS Congressional Lobbyist, at

SurgeonsPAC Launches New Activities at Clinical Congress 2019SurgeonsPAC

As the countdown to Clinical Congress 2019 continues, the American College of Surgeons Professional Association Political Action Committee (ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC) will launch new activities to increase contributors, recognize existing VIP members, and raise awareness about the importance of electing the right candidates to Congress. Through a campaign titled Race to a New Congress, 2019 contributors are invited to recruit new SurgeonsPAC members or nominate a strong PAC advocate to be featured at the Clinical Congress PAC booth and in various College publications. The campaign will run through October 11, and participants will be entered to win either a grand prize or SurgeonsPAC-branded giveaways. Resident and Fellow Bingo also will be available to attendees who want to become more involved. Bingo cards will be available at the SurgeonsPAC booth located in the Moscone Center (South Lobby, Ground Level), and completed cards will be entered to win a $250 Amazon gift card. To learn more or to sign up to participate in the Race to a New Congress campaign, contact SurgeonsPAC staff at

Note: Contributions to ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Contributions are voluntary, and all members of ACSPA have the right to refuse to contribute without reprisal. Federal law prohibits ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC from accepting contributions from foreign nations. By law, if your contributions are made using a personal check or credit card, ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC may only use your contribution to support candidates in federal elections. All corporate contributions to ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC will be used for educational and administrative fees of ACSPA and other activities permissible under federal law. Federal law requires ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC to use its best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation, and the name of the employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in a calendar year. ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC is a program of the ACSPA, which is exempt from federal income tax under section 501c (6) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Reminders and Updates on ACS SSR MIPS 2019 ParticipationSurgeon Specific Registry

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Surgeon Specific Registry (SSR) allows you the option to participate in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), which is available in the SSR for the 2019 performance year. Submitting MIPS 2019 data to CMS will allow you to potentially avoid either a flat 7 percent negative payment adjustment or earn a positive payment adjustment of up to 7 percent in calendar year 2021.

To participate, first verify your MIPS 2019 Initial Eligibility via the CMS QPP Participation Status lookup tool by entering your individual surgeon National Provider Identifier (NPI) number before signing up for MIPS 2019 in the SSR. Verify your MIPS 2019 Final Eligibility again in November 2019, which is when CMS finalizes eligibility data. Visit the ACS SSR website for more information about MIPS 2019 participation, including requirements, measures and Improvement Activities (IA) specifications, and educational resources.

The deadline to submit your MIPS 2019 data through the SSR is January 3, 2020.

The SSR is supporting the Quality and IA components of MIPS 2019, and CMS recognizes submitting MIPS data through the SSR as individual, registry-based reporting. MIPS 2019 Clinical Quality Measures reporting includes options for general surgeons and plastic surgeons in addition to a range of other surgical specialties. For MIPS 2019 IAs, surgeons have 88 surgically relevant activities to choose from for attestation, including two new opioid-related IAs.

Furthermore, several MIPS 2019 educational and instructional resources (quick guides and video demonstrations) are available online on the ACS SSR website.

For any SSR programmatic questions, including MIPS participation, contact the ACS SSR Program at, or at 1-312-202-5408. For SSR technical questions or issues (password reset, account reactivation, and so on), contact Technical Support at or at 1-877-600-7237 (toll-free).

Dr. Christopher K. Payne to receive Distinguished Philanthropist AwardDr. Payne

Since 1989, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has acknowledged individuals who have distinguished themselves through their exemplary investments in the mission of the College and in philanthropy with the Distinguished Philanthropist Award. The Board of Directors of the ACS Foundation will present the 2019 Distinguished Philanthropist Award to Christopher K. Payne, MD, FACS, at its annual Donor Recognition Luncheon October 28 in conjunction with Clinical Congress 2019. The award recognizes Dr. Payne for his philanthropic endeavors, service to the surgical profession, and long-lasting impact on the medical community and the ACS.

For more information, visit the ACS Foundation web page or stop by the ACS Foundation booth at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA, during Clinical Congress.