•Publicly release quality reports only after further
evaluation and improvements occur to ensure that
the reports are valid
•Provide additional federal funding to assist in the development of clinical data registries and other quality
Patient access to surgical care
The ACS has a longstanding policy of supporting
universal access to affordable, high-quality, safe
surgical care delivered in a timely and appropriate
manner. Achieving universal access to such care
requires that our nation maintain a well-trained
and available surgical workforce to meet the needs
of all surgical patients. The shortage of surgeons
in several surgical specialties in many areas of the
country jeopardizes patient access to timely, high-quality surgical care.
Surgical workforce and access to surgical care
•Existing legislation should be modified to allow for
growth of surgical and other specialties as demand for
service dictates. For more detailed recommendations,
see the January 2017 ACS Policy and Position Paper on
Graduate Medical Education Reform.*
•Deliberate efforts should be undertaken to increase the
number of women and minorities training in graduate
medical education programs.
•Nonphysician providers may serve as extenders to augment and facilitate the efforts of surgeons but cannot
and should not replace them.
•Congress should include those surgical special-
ties with documented workforce shortages, such as
general surgery, in the loan forgiveness programs of
the National Health Service Corps.
• The expansion of Medicaid provides coverage for millions of previously uninsured Americans. Any further
efforts directed at health care reform must ensure that
these Americans keep their coverage and that the safety
net upon which they depend is preserved.
•Medicaid is the single largest children’s health insurance program, covering more than one in four
children. It must continue to support these vulnerable children.
•Medicaid should reimburse physicians at levels equal
to those of Medicare.
Ensuring equal access to quality
surgical care for children
•Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program
expires in September of 2017. The reauthorization and
appropriation of funds for this program is vital to ensuring that eligible children have coverage and access to
• The ACS supports preserving coverage for those individuals with pre-existing conditions.
• The ACS supports continuing to preclude lifetime maximums on coverage policies.
•Reforms must address issues of reducing costs, improving coverage, and relieving administrative burdens.
Ensuring responsible physician ownership
•Physicians should have the right to responsibly own,
either individually or through a joint venture (with
MAY 2017 BULLETIN American College of Surgeons
STATEMENT ON HEALTH CARE REFORM
*American College of Surgeons. ACS Policy and Position Paper on GME
Reform. January 2017. Available at: facs.org/~/media/files/advocacy/work-force/ 2017_ahp_gmepaperappendixprimer.ashx. Accessed April 4, 2017.