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

2019 APM Incentive Payment Information Available on QPP Website

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently updated the Quality Payment Program (QPP) website to include details on 2019 Alternative Payment Model (APM) Incentive Payments. In November, CMS announced that the agency will be disbursing payments to eligible clinicians who are Qualifying APM participants (QPs). The 2019 APM Incentive Payments are based on a QP’s 2017 performance. Surgeons can view APM Incentive Payments by logging on to the QPP website using their HCQIS (Health Care Quality Information Systems) Authorization Roles and Profile (HARP) credentials. CMS also provides additional information on the APM Incentive Payments in the 2019 APM Incentive Payment Fact Sheet.

For additional information, e-mail qualitydc@facs.org

ACS Urges Funding for Cancer Research in Year-End Appropriations

The American College of Surgeons signed on to a letter that the coalition One Voice Against Cancer sent to congressional appropriators urging them to finalize year-end spending legislation and increase funding for the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, and cancer programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as they move toward completion of the fiscal year 2020 appropriations process. Read the letter here. The ACS continues to work with stakeholders and monitor the year-end appropriations process.

For more information about cancer-related issues or appropriations requests, contact Amelia Suermann, ACS Congressional Lobbyist, at asuermann@facs.org.

ACS and American Pediatric Surgical Association Address Pain Control after Surgery for Children and Teens

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) and American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA) recently released patient education resources on the ACS website to inform parents and teens about safe pain control after an operation.

The Safe and Effective Pain Control After Surgery for Children and Teens brochure was thoroughly researched using the best evidence available and developed as a resource for surgeons to address appropriate pain management options for young surgical patients who have unique pain relief needs. The brochure features a guide for parents and children/teens to help them decide when to take medications based on the types of activities performed in the days following an operation.

The brochure includes information to help young patients and their parents lower the risk of misuse and diversion of opioids to inappropriate persons, understand the proper use of these medications for severe pain, and safely store and dispose of prescription medications. It also includes an insert that describes nonmedication therapies, commonly prescribed medications and their side effects, and a customizable, fillable form for patients to list their medications, doses, and times of administration following an operation. 

“APSA is proud to have collaborated with the ACS on these important parent resources. Our care goes beyond the operating room to ensure pediatric patients are comfortable after surgery and, equally important, that we create a space where families are comfortable asking about and understanding pain medication use, options, and risks,” said APSA President Joseph P. Vacanti, MD, FACS. 

“These new resources are a vital tool that will help surgeons work with parents to safeguard children’s care during the postsurgery phase and also provide a framework for a presurgery discussion between parents, young patients, and surgeons,” said ACS Executive Director David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS. “We’ve made these resources publicly available for free on our website so everyone who needs this information has access to it. We encourage all to take advantage of it.” 

View the resources on the ACS website.

Deadline to Participate in ACS SSR MIPS 2019 Is January 3, 2020Surgeon 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) and is still available in the SSR for the 2019 performance year. The deadline to enter and approve your MIPS 2019 data through the SSR is January 3, 2020.

Submitting MIPS 2019 data to CMS will allow you to potentially either avoid a flat 7 percent negative payment adjustment or earn a positive payment adjustment of up to 7 percent in calendar year 2021.

If you have not done so already, verify your MIPS 2019 “Final Eligibility” via the CMS QPP Participation Status lookup tool by entering your individual surgeon National Provider Identifier number before signing up for MIPS 2019 in the SSR.

The SSR is supporting the Quality and Improvement Activities (IA) components of MIPS 2019, and submitting MIPS data through the SSR is considered individual, registry-based reporting by CMS. Visit the ACS SSR website for more information about MIPS 2019 participation, including participation options, reporting requirements, educational/instructional resources, and specifications for Clinical Quality Measures and IAs.

For any SSR programmatic questions, including MIPS participation, contact the ACS SSR Program at SSR@facs.org, or at 312-202-5408.

For SSR technical questions or issues (password reset, account reactivation, and so on), contact Technical Support at ACSTechSupport@iqvia.com, or at 877-600-7237 (toll-free).

Nominations for ACS Board of Regents, Officers-Elect Due February 21

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 21, 2020.

The 2020 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 2020. Nominations are open to surgeons of all specialties, but particular consideration will be given this nomination cycle to those in the following specialties:

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

For information only, the members of the Board of Regents who will be considered for re-election are Gary L. Timmerman, MD, FACS, and Douglas E. Wood, MD, FACS.

Visit the Bulletin website for a list of criteria for each nominating committee, as well as 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.