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  • March 12, 2020 8:00 PM | Anonymous

    The American College of Surgeons (ACS) joined other physician specialty organizations in sending a letter to congressional leaders as they work to reach a compromise on surprise billing legislation. The letter, which was sent to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House Committees on Energy and Commerce, Education and Labor, and Ways and Means, outlines key components for a fair and effective legislative solution to surprise billing. At present, committee leaders are working to reconcile differences in their approaches to tackling the issue with the goal of including language in a broader package to extend certain health care programs beyond May 22.  

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

  • March 12, 2020 8:00 PM | Anonymous

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released final rules March 9 that will implement interoperability and patient access provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act. The final rule put forth by CMS focuses on driving interoperability and patient access to health information by implementing policies that will help patient data flow freely and securely between payors, providers, and patients. The goals of the two rules are aligned in many ways; however, the rule that ONC introduced aims to provide additional opportunities for innovation through secure access to health data and new tools to help patients shop for and coordinate their own care.

    Both rules finalized the adoption of standardized application programming interfaces and information-blocking provisions. Together, these final rules mark the most extensive health care data sharing policies the federal government has implemented, requiring both public and private entities to share health information between patients and other parties while keeping that information private and secure.

    CMS and ONC both offer fact sheets that summarize the finalized policies in these rules. For more information, contact QualityDC@facs.org.

  • March 12, 2020 8:00 PM | Anonymous

    The Resident and Associate Society of the American College of Surgeons (RAS-ACS) invites all ACS Resident and Associate Fellow members to submit an essay to the annual RAS-ACS Symposium debate by the April 3, 2020, deadline. This year’s topic is Surgical Resident Unionization.

    For participating institutions, resident unions provide a mechanism to unify and mobilize residents, who otherwise are departmentally based and decentralized. However, some argue against resident unionization for myriad reasons—from the financial to the cultural.

    To participate in this debate, submit a 1,000-word essay taking either the pro or con position and submit it to the application site no later than 5:00 pm Central on the deadline. Details about the debate topic can be found on the application site. 

    First-place winners of this essay contest will compete in the debate 1:00–3:00 pm Central time, October 4, 2020, at Clinical Congress 2020 in Chicago, IL. The two second-place winners will have their submissions published in the November issue of the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons.

    Submit your essays, and contact Rasnews@facs.org with any questions.

  • March 12, 2020 2:03 PM | Anonymous

    Physicians should utilize the New York State Department of Health website that has up-to-date information on COVID-19 and includes information on known cases of COVID-19, cleaning and disinfection guidance, help for childcare providers and schools, and guidelines for individuals who have recently traveled internationally.
    https://health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/providers.htm

    Reporting
    COVID-19 is a reportable disease.  If novel Coronavirus is suspected, immediately notify the local health department (LHD) where the patient resides.

    Health care providers should review: CDC's Interim Guidance for Healthcare Professionals Evaluating Persons Under Investigation (PUI)

    Free Communication Resources 
    CDC offers free resources including video, fact sheets, and posters. 
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/index.html

    Additional Resources
    CDC Website for Healthcare Professionals 
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/hcp/index.html

     
  • March 06, 2020 4:52 PM | Anonymous

    The New York Chapter's legal counsel has put the following alert together regarding COVID-19.

    The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States is increasing rapidly and health care providers need to be prepared.

    Federal, state and local government agencies recommend that health care providers take various steps during their preparation efforts, including the following.


  • March 05, 2020 4:18 PM | Anonymous

    As the number of cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to rise internationally, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) recommends that all surgeons continue to monitor the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the latest updates and information about it.

    Here you'll find an information section on the CDC COVID-19 website solely dedicated to health care professionals:

    Go to CDC Information for Health Care Professionals

    Although you may not currently be experiencing COVID-19 exposure issues in your practice setting, now is the time to prepare for it. Start by familiarizing yourself with these infection control practices in the event you encounter someone with symptoms. 

    To review protective gear steps, download and view this three-page CDC instructional document.

    ACS will continue to monitor the situation and post updates to this page as needed.

    If you have any information that you think the ACS should be aware of, please email: dhoyt@facs.org

  • February 20, 2020 3:05 PM | Anonymous

    The New York State Doctors Across New York (DANY) program is now accepting applications.

    The DANY initiative includes several programs collectively designed to help train and place physicians in underserved communities,in a variety of settings and specialties,to care for New York’s diverse population. The DANY Physician Loan Repayment (PLR)and Physician Practice Support (PPS)programs make funds available to help recruit physicians to and encourage them to remain in medically underserved areas of the state.

    Funding is provided in exchange for a physician’s commitment to work in an underserved area for a three-year period (DANY service obligation period).

    This is the seventh DANY PLR/PPS cycle of funding. For Cycle VII, both PLR and PPS awards will provide up to $40,000 per year for three years to or on behalf of a physician who agrees to practice in an underserved area for the three-year DANY service obligation period.

    Up to $9million is currently available under this Request for Applications (RFA), which is expected to result in approximately 75three-year awards.

    ,DANY funds can be awarded to: (1) a physician to pay qualified educational debt; (2) a physician to submit the costs of establishing or joining medical practices; or (3) a health care facility to recruit or retain a physician by providing the physician with a sign-on bonus, funds to repay outstanding qualified educational debt, or enhanced compensation. In all cases,100 percent of the funds ultimately must be distributed to the physician or the physician’s practice.

    To learn more please visit: https://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/doctors/graduate_medical_education/doctors_across_ny/

  • February 17, 2020 11:19 AM | Anonymous

    On February 11th, the second iteration of the Governor’s Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) met. The Team is charged with recommending $2.5 billion in Medicaid savings as part of an effort to enact a State Budget by April 1. 

    The meeting reviewed the successes of the previous MRT, a statement of the general charge and activities for the MRT 2, and identifying the highest cost drivers in the Medicaid program that will be under the microscope for revisions.

    Public input will be solicited online as well as through 3 upcoming public forums/evening webinars. The next one will take place on Tuesday February 18th from noon – 3pm, at the Monroe County Community College, High Falls Auditorium, 321 State St., Rochester, NY

    To submit your ideas for Medicaid cost-saving suggestions visit their form online.

    There are 3 meetings of the MRT 2 scheduled including one on March 2 in NYC and a third meeting to be announced for mid-March.  There will also be a Long Term Care advisory group established. 

    Cost Drivers

    In looking at the services for 6.2 million Medicaid enrollees, among the highest cost drivers identified included:

    • LTC and Consumer Directed Personal Care Program (800% growth from 2016 to 2021)
    • Prescription Drugs (36% growth from 2011 to 2019, exceeding 25% medical CPI)
    • Transportation (up 131% from 2011 to 2019)
    • Case management including Health homes
    • Program Integrity (reducing fraud and abuse, and ensuring cost-efficient delivery of care for Medicaid recipients)
    • Distressed Hospitals (160% increase)

    It was also noted that, among the 770,000 “dual eligibles” in New York, only 3% are enrolled in managed care programs.

    The only area where physician care under Medicaid appeared to be directly implicated was the stated 344% increase in the Patient Centered Medical Home program from 2011 to 2019, which pays physicians a PMPM bonus to help manage the care of certain Medicaid patients.  However, DOH also noted that patients enrolled in PCMH also had significantly lower health costs overall than non-PCMH enrollees.  

     
  • February 11, 2020 10:27 AM | Anonymous

    The Call for Abstracts and Videos for Clinical Congress 2020, October 4–8 in Chicago is now open.

    The Owen H. Wangensteen Scientific Forum offers researchers the opportunity to present the results of their original, basic science, clinical, education, health sciences, and translational research.

    The Video-Based Education Sessions aim to educate surgeons and members of surgical teams in order to improve the care of the surgical patient as well as safeguard the standards of care in an optimal practice environment.

    The History of Surgery Poster Session offers surgical history enthusiasts the opportunity to present on subjects of interest related to the history of the field of surgery and its subspecialties.

    Start submitting abstracts and videos today.

    The last day to submit abstracts and videos is Monday, March 2 at 11:59 pm (CST).

  • February 05, 2020 7:23 PM | Anonymous
    The Commission on Cancer (CoC) and the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) are actively seeking medical professionals to join their accreditation site visit teams. Physicians with an interest in learning more about cancer patient care delivery across the country, as well as have a desire to positively impact the quality of that care, are strongly encouraged to apply.

    Accreditation by the CoC and NAPBC quality programs of the American College of Surgeons demonstrates a cancer program’s commitment to providing high-quality, multidisciplinary, patient-centered cancer care. Site Visit Reviewers perform a vital service in the accreditation process through site visits to and evaluation of cancer programs.

    More information is available in the CoC and NAPBC surveyor applications.

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