Archive for February, 2014

Looking forward – February 2014

In this month’s column, Dr. Hoyt highlights ACS efforts over the last couple of years to assist the U.S. Congress in the development of a realistic and equitable payment system, including support of implementing a Value-Based Update—a patient-centered model aimed at improving quality while controlling spending.

Medicare reform: A look at the House Ways and Means proposal

This article provides an overview of legislation under consideration in the House Ways and Means Committee, which seeks to contain Medicare spending by increasing cost sharing for Parts B and D. A breakdown of various provisions in the bill, a look at the literature on cost sharing, and a discussion of the politics behind the proposed legislation are highlighted.

Merging Medicare Parts A and B: Potential effects on beneficiaries, surgeons, and other stakeholders

The time is ripe for Medicare Parts A and B to merge, according to this article, which examines the potential effects of such a merger on the delivery of patient care, the federal government, and providers.

2014 fee schedule and CPT code changes will affect surgical practice

Several changes to payment policy and coding and reimbursement will take effect in 2014. Although the Medicare physician fee schedule and coding changes introduce several important payment and coding policies that will affect all physicians, this article focuses on updates particularly relevant to surgery and other related specialties.

Will acute care surgery and surgicalists help to avert an emergency care crisis?

The department of surgery at Emory University, Atlanta, GA, hosted an inaugural Acute Care Surgery Conference last year to examine the role of acute care surgery in addressing the emergency workforce crisis. This article provides an overview of the meeting, discusses its relevance in the context of the emergency care workforce shortage, and makes recommendations on future directions for trauma and acute care surgery.

Repealing the SGR

An update on the permanent repeal of the Medicare sustainable growth rate is the focus of this month’s column, including ACS efforts in developing a single bipartisan bill.

The quest for safe surgical care: Are we missing the obvious?

This column focuses on the coordination and behavior of the surgical team as a foundation for safe conduct in the operating room.

Less invasive option for small hepatocellular carcinoma: Thermal ablation as first-line therapy?

The authors of this month’s column examine less invasive options, such as thermal ablation, for curing patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

2013 Pediatric Report: Pediatric consumers

The 2013 Pediatric Report of the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB®) is highlighted in this month’s column. The purpose of this report is to inform the medical community, the public, and decision makers about a variety of issues that characterize the current state of care for injured pediatric patients in the U.S.

New program aims to improve quality of surgical care in Illinois

The Illinois chapters of the American College of Surgeons and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois are collaborating on a program that offers selected hospitals in the state the opportunity to join the Illinois Surgical Quality Improvement Collaborative—a program designed to improve the safety and quality of surgery in the state.

Lancet Commission on Global Surgery convenes

The newly formed Lancet Commission on Global Surgery will focus on surgery in low- and middle-income countries encompassing all perioperative specialties as well as nonclinical aspects of surgical care, including management, financing, and infrastructure.

ACS supports December Health Affairs theme issue on emergency care

The December 2013 issue of Health Affairs focuses on “The Future of Emergency Medicine: Challenges and Opportunities”—a special issue of the publication that was developed with support from the ACS.

COT to host 33rd Point/Counterpoint Surgery Conference June 1–4

The College’s 33rd Annual Point/Counterpoint Acute Care Surgery Conference—a meeting designed for general surgeons and other specialty surgeons, as well as emergency physicians and intensivists—will meet June 1–4 in National Harbor, MD.

2013 Clinical Trials Methods Course provides opportunity for learning and networking

An overview of the American College of Surgeons’ 2013 Clinical Trials Methods Course, held at the end of last year at the College’s headquarters in Chicago, is provided in this news brief.

ACS to cosponsor seminar at SESC Scientific Meeting

The American College of Surgeons and the Southeastern Surgical Congress (SESC) will convene a joint half-day seminar on February 23 during the SESC’s annual scientific meeting.

Call for nominations for ACS Officers-Elect

The 2014 Nominating Committee of the Fellows will select nominees for the three Officer-Elect positions of the ACS: President-Elect, First Vice-President-Elect, and Second Vice-President-Elect.

Call for nominations for ACS Board of Governors

The College has issued a call for nominations for Fellows to serve on the ACS Board of Governors.

2014 Volunteerism and Humanitarian Award nominations due February 28

The ACS, in association with Pfizer, Inc., is accepting nominations for the 2014 Surgical Volunteerism Award and Surgical Humanitarian Award.

Disciplinary actions taken

This report details the disciplinary actions the ACS Board of Regents took at its October 5, 2013, meeting.

Chapter news – February 2014

ACS chapters meetings, events, and award presentations are summarized.

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