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

Legislative and Regulatory Updates

Grassroots Action Needed to Promote Congressional Sign-On Letter to Stop Medicare Payment Cuts

Reps. Ami Bera, MD (D-CA), and Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN), are leading a sign-on letter to U.S. House of Representatives leadership urging congressional action on imminent Medicare payment cuts before the end of the year. The letter, which is addressed to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), highlights growing financial uncertainty within the Medicare payment system and the need for systemic reforms to the payment system to speed the transition to value-based care. Additionally, it urges Congress to provide stability to health care professionals by averting imminent payment cuts, including extending the expiring 3.75 percent payment adjustment Congress provided last year. The deadline for members of the U.S. House of Representatives to sign the letter to House leadership is October 8, 2021.

Last year, record-breaking participation from surgeon advocates across the country played a key role in delaying the proposed cuts to Medicare physician payment. Once again, it is imperative to activate our strong grassroots network to demonstrate support for this critical issue and ensure Congress considers timely legislative action.

Act now! Write your representative and urge them to sign the letter to House leadership prior to the October 8 deadline. For more information, contact ACS DAHP staff at ahp@facs.org.

New Funding Opportunities and Resources Available for Surgeons Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Several opportunities and changes to COVID-19 financial relief programs recently have been announced that may be of interest to Fellows. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous federal programs have been instituted to support physicians, hospitals and other health professionals who have suffered financial losses or incurred additional costs related to preventing the spread of the virus or other aspects of pandemic response. The ACS has collected information on many programs and made it available on the Practice Protection Committee page of the website. Recent changes include a new opportunity for more than $25 billion from a Phase 4 general distribution from the Provider Relief Fund and the American Rescue Plan Rural fund, an increase in the maximum loan amount in the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program from $500,000 to $2 million, and a final extension of student loan repayment relief through January 31, 2022.

More information on these changes and how to apply for or benefit from them can be found on the financial resources page.