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

Bulletin Advocacy Brief: December 2

Deadline to Prevent Medicare Payment Cuts Rapidly Approaching—Take Action Now!

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Division of Advocacy and Health Policy (DAHP) remains very concerned that without imminent congressional action, Medicare payment cuts of approximately 9 percent will go into effect on January 1, 2022. While the ACS Washington office is working hard to prevent the payment cuts, strong support from all Fellows, Young Fellows, and Resident and Associate Society members is crucial. Congress still needs to hear from surgeons who are saying, “Stopping these cuts is a top priority—and if they go into effect, surgery and surgical patients will be greatly impacted.”

Your continuing effort truly does matter - calling and writing your senators and representative makes a difference. Take a few minutes to do the following:

In the coming weeks, we encourage you to regularly visit SurgeonsVoice and be on the lookout for engagement opportunities regarding stopping the cuts.

We extend a special thank you to those who have engaged with members of Congress to raise the profile of this important issue. For questions or assistance, contact ACS DAHP staff at ahp@facs.org.

From the Surgical Care Coalition: Videos Explain Need for Action to Prevent Medicare Cuts

The following videos from the ACS-led Surgical Care Coalition do a illustrate the potential impact of these cuts for both providers and for patients.

2022 Medicare Cuts Explained | A Message from Dr. Anton Sidawy & Kristin McDonald
Anton Sidawy, MD, MPH, FACS, ACS Board of Regents Chair, and Kristin McDonald, Manager, ACS Legislative and Political Affairs, explain what Medicare cuts mean for you and for patients.



Angie Weight | A Patient’s Point of View
Watch the heartfelt message of Angie Weight, a neurological surgery patient, who discusses her experience with needing surgery, as well as the importance of access to surgical care and how it saved her life.



Survey of ACS Fellows Sends a Message—Medicare Payment Cuts Risk Longer Wait Times and Delays in Care for Patients

A recent article in Fierce Healthcare describes a Surgical Care Coalition survey of ACS Fellows regarding their thoughts on the potential Medicare payment cuts to surgeons and how it will affect access to care. The results are stark. Many of the more than 2,200 respondents expressed concern that the nearly 10 percent of combined cuts could lead to longer wait times and delays as well as exacerbate a crippling labor shortage.

According to the article, “The survey found 57 [percent] of respondents believe the cuts would lead to longer wait times, while 56 [percent] believe the cuts could contribute to a delay in care.” Furthermore, “Surgeons warn the potential cuts are coming at a time when the health care industry is facing a major labor shortage that is already straining finances,” and 76 percent have felt the effect of shortages in their practices.

Contact your members of Congress through ACS SurgeonsVoice and learn more about the cuts through the Surgical Care Coalition.