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

NewsScope: November 16, 2018

ACS COT Firearm Strategy Team Workgroup Issues Recommendations

The American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (ACS COT) Firearm Strategy Team (FAST) Workgroup released an initial set of recommendations November 14 to move a path forward to the development of an effective and durable strategy for reducing firearm injury, death, and disability in the U.S. The recommendations are published online as an article in press on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons website ahead of print publication.

The article presents 13 recommendations from a workgroup of 22 surgeons (median experience of 28 years caring for trauma patients), including 18 members who are passionate firearm owners. Hunters, sport shooters, self-defense proponents, law enforcement professionals, and surgeons with previous military experience from a geographically representative sample across the nation served on the workgroup, along with four surgeon leaders from the ACS COT and the ACS Board of Regents.

These recommendations are offered in an advisory capacity and include strategies and tactics to increase firearm safety, reduce the probability of mass shootings, reduce firearm-associated violence, address mental health factors, and encourage federally funded firearm injury research while preserving the right to own and use a firearm.

“We hope this carefully developed report provides a framework for discussing policy issues related to firearm violence, which has become a public health crisis in the U.S.," said ACS Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS. "These injury prevention recommendations may also open up a wider dialog with others who share our similar interest in addressing firearm violence as a public health problem.”

Key Takeaways Regarding MPFS and QPP Final Rule Posted

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has posted a document that outlines key changes in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) final rule for the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) and the 2019 Quality Payment Program (QPP). The final rule and its effects on payment to surgeons will be described in greater detail in the January 2019 issue of the Bulletin, and the ACS will continue to develop resources to assist Fellows in meeting the requirements for these programs.

For more information, contact the Regulatory and Quality Affairs team, ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy, at regulatory@facs.org.

ACS SSR MIPS 2018 Participation Options AvailableSurgeon Specific Registry

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Surgeon Specific Registry (SSR) offers the option to participate in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for the 2018 performance year. Submitting MIPS 2018 data to CMS will allow you to potentially either avoid a negative payment adjustment or earn a positive payment adjustment in calendar year 2020. The SSR is supporting the Quality and Improvement Activities (IA) performance categories of MIPS 2018, and CMS considers MIPS data submitted through the SSR to be individual and registry-based reporting. Visit the ACS SSR website for more information about MIPS 2018 participation, including requirements, specifications, and instructional resources.

MIPS 2018 Quality Measures reporting includes options for general surgeons, trauma surgeons (at present, only available to participating TQIP surgeons), and a variety of other surgical specialties. In addition, a new electronic Patient Reported Outcome (ePRO) measure that is based on the S-CAHPS (Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Surgical Care Survey). Surgeons have 86 surgically-relevant IAs to choose from for attestation.

Several educational videos on MIPS 2018 participation via the SSR are accessible on the ACS SSR website. The following four steps must be completed to participate:

  1. Sign-up for (consent to) MIPS 2018 participation
  2. Enter your MIPS 2018 data
  3. Review your MIPS 2018 data
  4. Approve your MIPS 2018 data submission (coming soon)

The deadline to submit your MIPS 2018 data through the SSR is January 31, 2019.

For details about MIPS 2018, visit the ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy’s Quality Payment Program (QPP) Resource Center. For any SSR programmatic questions, including MIPS participation, contact the ACS SSR Program at SSR@facs.org.

ACS Introduces New Video: The Future. Through the Eyes of a Surgeon

As health care changes, it is critical that surgeons continue to have a strong voice and seat at the table in all patient care decisions. A video encouraging Fellows to become actively involved in helping the ACS take bold steps and speak with a unified voice on behalf of patients was released during Clinical Congress. The ACS encourages Fellows to share the video with colleagues and at your chapter meetings.

Nominations for Board of Regents, Officers-Elect Due February 22

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) 2019 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 February 22, 2019.

The 2019 NCF will select nominees for the three Officer-Elect positions of the ACS:

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

The 2019 NCBG will select nominees for pending vacancies on the Board of Regents to be filled at Clinical Congress 2019. Nominations are open to surgeons of all specialties, but particular consideration will be given this nomination cycle to those in the following specialties:

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

For information only, the current members of the Board of Regents who will be considered for reelection are (all MD, FACS) Anthony Atala, James W. Gigantelli, and Fabrizio Michelassi.

Visit the Bulletin website for a list of criteria for each nominating committee, as well as further details on how to submit a nomination and the nomination process.

Nominations may be submitted to officerandbrnominations@facs.org. If you have any questions, contact Emily Kalata, Staff Liaison for the NCF and NCBG, at 312-202-5360 or ekalata@facs.org.