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

Nearly 400 Stakeholders Support Transparent Prior Authorization Requirements

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) joined more than 370 national and state patient, provider, and other health care stakeholder organizations in signing a letter to Congress in support of H.R. 3107, the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act. This legislation will help to protect patients from unnecessary delays in care as it takes steps to streamline and standardize prior authorization under the Medicare Advantage program.

Based on a consensus statement on prior authorization reform adopted by leading national organizations representing physicians, medical groups, hospitals, pharmacists, and health plans, H.R. 3107 would facilitate electronic prior authorization, improve transparency for beneficiaries and providers alike, and increase Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services oversight of how Medicare Advantage plans use prior authorization.

Visit SurgeonsVoice to take action and encourage your member of Congress to sign on as a cosponsor of H.R. 3107. Read the ACS support letter for H.R. 3107.

For more information, contact Carrie Zlatos, ACS Senior Congressional Lobbyist, at czlatos@facs.org.

PAC Welcomes Congressman-Elect Greg Murphy, MD, FACS

The American College of Surgeons Professional Association Political Action Committee (ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC) congratulates ACSPA member and Greenville, NC, urological surgeon, Greg Murphy, MD, FACS, on his successful campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives. Dr. Murphy won the special general election for North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District September 10 with more than 58 percent of the vote, securing his spot as the most recent physician candidate elected to Congress.

"SurgeonsPAC welcomes Congressman-elect Greg Murphy with open arms, was proud to support his race, and looks forward to working with him in his official capacity,” said SurgeonsPAC Board of Directors Chair, William G. Cioffi, MD, FACS. SurgeonsPAC played an integral role in helping to educate various medical specialties about Dr. Murphy’s race, including hosting several physician community-supported fundraising events in Washington, DC.

For more information about SurgeonsPAC disbursements to federal candidates running for Congress, visit SurgeonsPAC.org or contact Katie Oehmen, Manager, ACSPA-SurgeonsPAC and Grassroots at koehmen@facs.org.

Errors in MIPS score? Request a Review from CMS by September 30

Surgeons who participated in the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in 2018 can now access their performance feedback by logging in to their accounts on the Quality Payment Program (QPP) website.

The 2018 MIPS performance feedback reports include MIPS final scores and associated payment adjustments. The payment adjustment applies to covered professional services furnished under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule in 2020. Surgeons who believe their 2020 payment adjustment factor calculations contain errors may submit a request for CMS to review their performance feedback and final score calculations through the Targeted Review process until September 30, 2019. A targeted review request can be submitted through the QPP website and logging in with HCQIS (Health Care Quality Information Systems) Access Roles and Profile System (HARP) credentials. CMS may request additional documentation to support the request, but if a targeted review request is approved, CMS may update the final score and/or associated payment adjustments as soon as technically feasible.

More information about the Targeted Review process can be found in the 2018 Targeted Review Fact Sheet or on the QPP website. Any additional questions should be directed to qualityDC@facs.org.

More than 1 Million People Have Been Trained to Stop the BleedStop the Bleed

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Stop the Bleed® program recently announced that more than 1 million people have been trained to control major bleeding through its Stop the Bleed course. The milestone was reached through dedicated global outreach efforts by the ACS and partner organizations to provide access to bleeding control training courses that teach people how to become immediate responders in the event of life-threatening circumstances.

"Training over a million people to stop the bleed indicates that we are well on our way to empowering the public to save a life when someone nearby is severely bleeding,” said Lenworth M. Jacobs, Jr., MD, MPH, FACS, Medical Director of the ACS Stop the Bleed program, and Chair of the Hartford Consensus. “However, our long-term ambition is to train 200 million people, so we will continue our work to ensure that we reach that goal.”

Stop the Bleed courses typically last approximately 90 minutes and feature a presentation and hands-on training where attendees learn how to apply pressure at the site of bleeding; pack a wound with hemostatic gauze to promote blood clotting and control bleeding; and correctly apply a tourniquet.

"In just three short years since the ACS Committee on Trauma began offering bleeding control training courses through our network of trauma centers, we have seen the program grow exponentially, helping people from all over the world learn these vital lifesaving skills,” said Eileen Bulger, MD, FACS, Chair of the ACS Committee on Trauma (COT).

The ACS COT looks forward to continuing to expand the training opportunities and partnering with professional organizations, state and federal legislators, and industry to ensure that Stop the Bleed training and equipment are available around the world.

Read more about this milestone. Learn more about Stop the Bleed and find a course near you by visiting stopthebleed.org.