Archive for March, 2014

Campaign to end the SGR gains ground

This Web exclusive summarizes the College’s efforts to promote the enactment of the SGR Repeal Act, what the repeal would mean to surgeons, and provides steps for contacting legislators to voice support for the repeal.

Dr. Hoyt

Looking forward – March 2014

Dr. Hoyt offers highlights of a recent visit to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD.. Particularly notable was his tour of the center’s state-of-the-art Military Advanced Training Center, which is focused on caring for military personnel who have undergone limb amputation.

Percentage of U.S. office-based physicians accepting new Medicaid patients in 2011 in each state based on the corresponding Medicaid reimbursement rate expressed as a percentage of Medicare reimbursement.

Medicaid expansion likely to affect the delivery of surgical care

This article provides an overview of the Medicaid program and proposed expansion under the Affordable Care Act, considers the impact of expansion on patient care, and clarifies the factors driving state implementation decisions.

Figure 1. Number of program attendees by year

Health policy program produces surgeon advocates and leaders

This article summarizes the effectiveness of the Heller Executive Leadership Program in Health Policy and Management as revealed by a survey of ACS Fellows who received scholarships from 2003 to 2012.

Preparing for implementation of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act

The Physician Payments Sunshine Act, also referred to as the Open Payments program, is highlighted in this article. It provides information on how surgeons can prepare for its implementation and physicians’ rights to review reports to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service and offers suggestions for challenging false, inaccurate, or misleading reports.

Figure 2. Increase in reimbursement

Gundersen Health System studies effect of modifier 22 on reimbursement for complex operations

This article summarizes the findings of a study conducted at the Gundersen Health System, La Crosse, WI, designed to examine the use of modifier 22, its impact on reimbursement for complex surgical procedures, and the time to payment for surgeons. The authors found that use of modifier 22 resulted in payment increases for all procedures studied, but, for some operations, the time to recover charges rose as well.

PQRS reporting in 2014

This column addresses concerns surgeons may have regarding the 2014 Physician Quality Reporting System program and offers resources for successful participation.

Blameless or blameworthy errors: Does your organization make a distinction?

The aim of creating a safety culture within health care organizations is to balance learning with accountability, assess errors and patterns in a uniform manner, and eliminate unprofessional or intimidating behaviors.

Hospital discharge status

Zero tolerance

This month’s column highlights the occurrence of underage drinking-related motor vehicle injuries in the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB®).

Letters to the Editor

The following comments were received regarding recent articles published in the Bulletin.

The debate continues: ACS at the AMA House of Delegates

This report summarizes the topics addressed by the College’s delegation at the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates meeting in November 2013.

Northern California IQ forum participants, left to right: Drs. Hoyt, Huang, and Weiser; Ms. Ma; Drs. Wong, Marks, Knudson, and Maa.

Health care leaders focus on emergency and trauma care at Northern California IQ forum

The College hosted the Northern California Surgical Health Care Quality Forum on January 14—the 15th stop in a series of national discussions on how quality improvement efforts enhance surgical patient safety and reduce costs.

From left: Ms. Upadhyaya; and Drs. Pan, Kaups, and Maa.

Northern California Chapter engages in ongoing legislative activities

The authors provide an update on the ACS Northern California Chapter’s efforts to advocate for quality care and to educate members about the legislative process.

ACS Trauma Program reaches milestone: 400 center verifications

The Verification, Review, and Consultation Program of the ACS Trauma Programs recently reached a milestone with the accreditation of the 400th trauma center in the U.S.

YFA essay submissions, “Promise of a profession,” due May 1

The College’s Young Fellows Association is accepting essays on “The promise of a profession: The transformation of surgery and surgeons into the next decade.” Essay submissions should be 400–500 words in length and are due May 1, 2014.

Scholars in Residence Program benefits surgical residents and the ACS

The ACS is now accepting applications for the 2015–2017 Clinical Scholars in Residence positions.

ACS offering International Scholarships for surgical education

The ACS’s Division of Education and the International Relations Committee are pleased to announce two international scholarships focused on surgical education and training.

Applications for ACS/Triological Society Award due in May

The ACS and the Triological Society are offering a competitive grant program to provide supplemental funding to an otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon who has recently received a National Institutes of Health Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (K08/K23).

Applications for 2015 ACS Traveling Fellowship to Germany now being accepted

The ACS International Relations Committee announces the availability of the Traveling Fellowship to Germany. The purpose of this fellowship is to encourage international exchange of surgical science, practice, and education and to establish professional and academic collaboration.

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