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  • September 21, 2023 4:54 PM | Anonymous

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released proposed rules for 2024 that could have implications for surgeon payment, inpatient versus outpatient procedures and coding, and more.

    See how the ACS responded.

  • September 07, 2023 12:12 PM | Anonymous

    Twenty-one states introduced legislation this year to either institute or expand moral conscience laws called Medical Conscience Objection laws. These measures seek to protect health care professionals who refuse to perform an abortion or provide transgender services. The exception is emergency rooms, where the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act takes precedence.

    Background: In 1973, federal regulations known as the Church Amendments were implemented after the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. Under the Church Amendments, any institution receiving funds from the federal Department of Health and Human Services may not require health care providers to perform abortion or sterilization procedures if doing so would violate their religious or moral principles. Additionally, providers who refuse to perform these services may not be discriminated against for their decision.

    Why it matters:
    While initially seeking to provide legal protections for health care professionals refusing to provide abortion or sterilization services, the bills introduced this year go even further to include contraception, gender-affirming care, and other services. (article)

  • August 29, 2023 9:16 AM | Anonymous
    American Medical Association State Advocacy Roundtable

    Earlier this month, the ACS State Affairs team attended the AMA’s State Advocacy Roundtable event for staff of state and national medical organizations. Over 30 state medical societies, represented by 55 staff, and 21 national medical associations, represented by 30 staff attended the event, along with 28 AMA staff.

    Several topics were discussed during the three-day event, including prior authorization, scope of practice, physician unions, Medicaid, and non-compete clauses. Throughout the event, the AMA provided information and resources to assist the attendees as they discussed successful and not so successful campaigns in the state legislatures.

    While the AMA provided many resources, the greatest takeaway from this meeting is making new and strengthening old relationships within the state advocacy ecosystem. Building those relationships only makes the ACS stronger when action needs to be taken in a state.

    National Conference of State Legislatures

    The ACS State Affairs team attended and hosted an exhibit at the 2023 National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit in Indianapolis, Indiana. Each year, state legislators and their staff from across the country flock to the NCSL Legislative Summit to learn about policy trends and innovative solutions they can apply to legislative issues in their home state. For the past decade, ACS co-hosted an exhibit with other national medical organizations titled, “Physicians Advocating for Patients.” This year, the ACS State Affairs team took the opportunity to showcase the STOP THE BLEED® campaign through raffling off three enhanced STOP THE BLEED® kits. David Welsh, MD, FACS, currently serving on the ACS Board of Regents, was a special guest of the exhibit, and along with the ACS State Affairs team, was able to directly engage with over 40 state legislators and their staff.

    Other participating medical organizations in the 2023 Physicians Advocating for Patients exhibit included the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants, the Federation of State Medical Boards, the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, the American College of Emergency Physicians, and the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Planning for the 2024 NCSL Legislative Summit is already underway and is scheduled to take place August 5-7 in Louisville, Kentucky.



    To view a complete list of bills ACS State Affairs is tracking, visit our online State Legislative Tracker.

  • August 24, 2023 7:44 PM | Anonymous
    Make an Advocacy Impact at Home: Urge Lawmakers to Prioritize Physicians and Patient Access

    While College leadership continues working to prevent Medicare payment cuts, you can use ACS resources and tools to advocate for ACS legislative priorities in your home state and Congressional districts.

    New Practice Management Resources Provide Financial Planners and Detail Closing a Practice

    The ACS Practice Management web page was recently updated with information on two topics of use for surgeons, including those in private practice: Certified financial planners and considerations for closing a practice.

    Medical Students: Access Free National Professional Development Seminars

    Medical students interested in advancing their knowledge in key clinical and professional developments areas are encouraged to take advantage of the free ACS National Professional Development Seminars for Medical Students.

  • August 04, 2023 4:14 PM | Anonymous

    In New York | Visit our website for priority legislation

    A 7901 – Scope of Practice

    Introduced by Assemblymember Joahn McDonald (D), A 7901 provides for the licensure of naturopathic doctors; defines naturopathic medicine as primary health care, including specimen collection and ingestible sensors; allows them to be called “doctor”; the use of injection therapy (intravenous, intramuscular, intra-articular, subcutaneous, and intradermal), limited to a formulary of substances; prohibited from surgery as a medical procedure; emergency or trauma care. The bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Higher Education Committee.

    S 1679A – Scope of Practice

    Introduced by Senator Michelle Hinchey (D), S 1679A provides for the licensure of naturopathic doctors; defines naturopathic medicine as primary health care, including specimen collection and ingestible sensors; allows them to be called “doctor”; the use of injection therapy (intravenous, intramuscular, intra-articular, subcutaneous and intradermal), limited to a formulary of substances; prohibited from surgery as a medical procedure; emergency or trauma care. The bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Higher Education Committee.


    New law addressing Alabama’s physician shortage takes effect August 1

    Senate Bill 155, The Physician Workforce Act signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey (R) May 23, takes effect August 1. Designed to address the state’s physician shortage, the new law:

    • removes the Special Purpose Exam (SPEX) requirement for out-of-state physicians;
    • allows international medical graduates (IMGs) to apply for a state medical license a year earlier in training; and
    • creates a program where graduate physicians — those who did not match to a residency program — can practice under a supervising physician as they wait to reapply for residency.

    Background: The law is to alleviate the physician shortage to recruit new physicians and retain those already working in the state. The bill is the result of discussions with members of the Medical Association of Alabama. The Alabama Board of Medical Examiners will begin drafting regulations to govern the graduate physician program.

    Why it matters: The physician workforce is dwindling in the state and legislators believe by removing some of the barriers to licensure, they will be able to attract and retain more physicians.

    Office of Inspector General (OIG): High Rates of Prior Authorization Denials by Some Plans and Limited State Oversight Raise Concerns About Access to Care in Medicaid Managed Care

    Three factors raise concerns about Medicaid managed care organizations use of prior authorization inappropriately delay or deny care for Medicaid enrollees:

    • The high number and rate of denial of prior authorization requests;
    • The limited oversight of PA denials in most states; and
    • The limited access to external medical reviews.

    Background: Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) ensure enrollees have access to covered services. Allegations the MCOs are inappropriately delaying or denying care for thousands, including treatment for cancer and cardiac conditions.

    Why it matters: More state oversight is needed to ensure Medicaid enrollees have access to medically necessary and covered services. States should: review the appropriateness of MCO prior authorization; collect data on MCO prior authorization decisions; work to identify and address inappropriate prior authorization denials. Read the OIG report.

  • June 23, 2023 4:24 PM | Anonymous

    In New York | Visit our website for priority legislation

    A 6697B  – Professional Liability ENACTED

    Introduced by Assemblymember Helene Weinstein (D), A 6697B amends state law regarding professional liability damages to include: reasonable funeral expenses; reasonable medical care, including but not limited to doctors, nursing, attendant care, treatment, hospitalization of the decedent, and medicines; grief or anguish caused by the decedent's death; loss of love, society, protection, comfort, companionship, and consortium; and loss of nurture, guidance, counsel, advice, training, and education resulting from the decedent's death. Governor Kathy Hochul (D) signed the bill into law June 22.


    American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD)

    The American College of Surgeons delegation to the AMA HOD introduced and supported a resolution regarding confidentiality of quality assurance (QA) titled, Resolution 254 – Eliminating the Party Statement Exception in Quality Assurance Proceedings.

    The Resolution was written in response to a recent legal decision in New York (Siegel v. Snyder) that broadened discoverability of QA proceedings. Previously, only statements proven to have been made by parties to a case (defendants) were discoverable. Since the Snyder ruling, all statements at QA proceedings are discoverable unless they can be proven to not be a defendant’s statement.

    As a result, a growing number of medical centers no longer allow physicians who were involved in medical events to share their perspective in QA meetings, greatly diminishing the effectiveness of these sessions and increasing the risk of liability.

    The Resolution asked for two specific things pertaining to this incredibly timely and important shift: 1.) ask the AMA to reaffirm and strengthen its current position to highlight the importance of in support of the QA privilege; and 2.) advocate for the elimination of the Party Statement Exception, which is the root of the loss of speaker protection.

    The Resolution received testimony of support in Reference Committee B and the full HOD voted to Adopt. The Resolution had the support of the following groups: American College of Surgeons, American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Medical Society for the State of New York, and American Urological Association.

    Remote Patient Monitoring

    Recent studies are showing the benefits of remote patient monitoring (RPM) as a specific telehealth modality for tracking patient recovery in the comfort of their own home. Coverage during the COVID public health emergency allowed for RPM utilization and study.

    Thirty-four state Medicaid programs provide reimbursement for RPM, but most have some type of restriction (must be a home health agency, restricting the clinical conditions and the type of symptoms to be monitored). The Center for Connected Health Policy is tracking RPM telehealth policy at both the state and federal level and can be viewed on their website.

    State Legislative Action to Lower Pharmaceutical Costs

    The cost of prescription drugs has been a priority for state legislatures across the country in 2023. The National Academy for State Health Policy has a tracker with the latest information on state legislation, including state legislation on pharmacy benefit managers, importation, and consumer cost sharing. View the map here.

  • June 02, 2023 4:31 PM | Anonymous

    In New York | Visit our website for priority legislation

    On June 6th, the New York State Legislature passed Assembly Bill (A) 6698 and Senate Bill (S) 6636, also known as the Grieving Families Act, which would expand the types of damages awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit without caps on damages. If signed into law, these bills will increase medical malpractice insurance premiums in the state of New York by nearly 40 percent and therefore increase overall healthcare costs to the patient. In partnership with the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) and other physician organizations, the New York Chapter of the ACS campaigned against the legislation. While there is a chance Governor Hochul could veto the Grieving Families Act, the New York State Legislature has enough votes to override her veto. Efforts will now be focused on urging the Governor to veto the legislation as well as educating members of the New York State Legislature of the negative impact these bills could have on the delivery of surgical care in the state.

    K 647 – Cancer

    Introduced by Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal (D), K 647 asks Governor Hochul to proclaim November 11, 2023, as Lung Cancer Screening Awareness Day in the state. The bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Calendar.


    Shortage of non-sterile, single-use pneumatic tourniquet cuffs

    The FDA issued a letter to healthcare providers about localized shortages of non-sterile, single-use pneumatic tourniquet cuffs, which are mostly used in elective limb surgeries and in emergency settings; the agency recommended that healthcare providers use alternative devices or reuse existing devices after sterilizing them. Read the FDA notice here.

  • May 17, 2023 7:25 PM | Anonymous

    Earlier this year, a bill passed by the state legislature greatly expanding damages awardable in wrongful death actions was vetoed by Governor Kathy Hochul. New versions of the bills, A.6698 and S.6636, were recently introduced without addressing any of the real concerns physicians raised about the previous legislation.  This legislation will enable the awards of new categories of damages, expand the statute of limitations, and result in nearly 40% growth in liability costs.

    State lawmakers only have until June 8th to act on this bill.

    Surgeons cannot work in an environment where the state legislature increases their already enormous liability insurance cost burden, which exceeds every other state in the country. Worst of all, these costs disproportionately impact physicians working in underserved communities.

    Please contact your local Assemblymembers and Senators urging them that renewed legislation to update New York’s wrongful death law must be balanced to address the extraordinary medical liability costs in our state.

    What We're Reading

    AMA: One in Three Physicians Previously Sued in Their Career
    Nearly half of physicians age 55 and over have been sued in an inefficient system where most claims are dropped or decided in favor of physicians

    A new analysis shows the widest variation in claim frequency is attributed to the medical specialty that defines the clinical focus of a physician. In general, surgical specialties are at highest risk. Obstetricians/gynecologists (ob-gyns), general surgeons, other surgeons and orthopedic surgeons are at highest risk of being sued during their careers.

    Given the heavy cost associated with a litigious climate and the significant financial toll it takes on the nation’s health care system, the AMA continues to work with state and specialty medical associations and other stakeholders in pursuit of both traditional and innovative medical liability reforms that strike a reasonable balance between the needs of patients who have been harmed and the needs of millions of Americans who need affordable, accessible medical care.
    Medical Liability Reform– Now!

  • May 11, 2023 7:12 PM | Anonymous

    On Wednesday, May 10, 2023, the New York Chapter hosted a training at the New  York State legislative offices.  The event was sponsored by Senate Health Committee Chairman, Senator Gustavo Rivera.   Attendees included representatives from the Senate, Assembly, the Medical State Society of New York, and other interested stakeholders. As a result of the training, legislative offices are interested in learning more about hosting trainings in their districts. The Chapter continues to support legislation (A3868) that would place STB kits in schools across New York.

    Additionally due to the Chapter's efforts, the Governor Hochul has officially proclaimed May as STOP THE BLEED month in New York! 

    We look forward to making this an annual event.


    The Chapter is grateful to the NY Division of the New York State Trauma Society for helping to coordinate, volunteer and provide the free training. We'd also like to thank Kurt Edwards, MD, FACS, Chief of the Division of Trauma and Critical Care in the Department of Surgery at Albany Medical Center for providing opening remarks and helping to advocate for efforts to advance STB in the state.

  • March 16, 2023 2:40 PM | Anonymous

    The ACS Committee on Medical Student Education is hosting a free webinar, “What to Expect Now That You’ve Matched,” Wednesday, March 29, 7:00–8:00 pm CT, to mark this momentous occasion. The webinar will feature a panel of residents:

    • Nikhil Bellamkonda, MD | University of Utah | Otolaryngology 
    • Ryoko Hamaguchi, MD | Mass General Brigham | Plastic surgery
    • Jacob Mago, MD | Albany Medical College | General surgery
    • Paulina Villanueva, MD | The Ohio State University | Vascular surgery
    • Midori White, MD | The Johns Hopkins Hospital | General surgery

    Attendees will be able to submit questions ahead of time when they register, as well as submit questions to the panelists during the live session.

    For those unable to attend, a recording of this webinar will be posted on the National Professional Development Seminars for Medical Students webpage. 

    Register in advance to participate. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email containing the information necessary to join the webinar.

    For more information, contact Cassie Buchignani at

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New York Chapter American College of Surgeons
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