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

ACS Testifies on MACRA Implementation

Frank G. Opelka, MD, FACS, Medical Director, Quality and Health Policy, American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Advocacy and Health Policy, testified May 8 on behalf of the ACS at a U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing, Medicare Physician Payment Reform after Two Years: Examining MACRA Implementation and the Road Ahead. Dr. Opelka highlighted the College’s concerns about implementation of the provisions in the Medicare Access and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) Reauthorization Act (MACRA), specifically the lack of quality metrics applicable to surgery and the resulting negative impact on value.

He shared the ACS’s vision for meaningful measurement of surgical quality, including setting evidence-based standards for care, ensuring that the right infrastructure and systems are in place through measurement and verification, and incorporating data at the point of care to inform surgeon and patient decision making. Based on the Optimal Resources for Surgical Quality and Safety, referred to as the “Red Book,” the ACS proposed a surgical quality measurement structure that has three components: verification of key standards of care, clinical outcome measures, and patient-reported outcomes.

Dr. Opelka highlighted the ACS vision as a path forward for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Congress. The College appreciated the opportunity to testify before a congressional committee on MACRA implementation as Congress continues its oversight of the law.

Read the ACS testimony or watch the hearing. For further information on congressional oversight of MACRA, contact Kristin McDonald, Manager, Legislative and Political Affairs at