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September 21, 2015.
when MIPS final rules have been developed, or until at least 75
percent of physicians and hospitals are successfully meeting
Stage 2 requirements. The legislation also encourages interop-erability and simplifies reporting requirements for Medicare
At press time, Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Richard Neal
(D-MA) were expected to introduce a resolution recognizing
the importance of voluntary accreditation by the Commission
on Cancer (CoC) in ensuring access to high-quality cancer care.
CoC accreditation demonstrates a cancer program’s commitment to providing comprehensive care to patients and their
families. It also is useful in cancer centers’ efforts to continuously
evaluate performance and make improvements where necessary.
Accreditation encompasses a variety of factors and ensures that
patients have access to tools and services, ranging from early
distress screening to survivorship care plans. At present, the CoC
accredits approximately 1,500 cancer programs across the U.S.,
which treat more than 70 percent of newly diagnosed cancer
patients each year. The ACS will be working with the CoC to
conduct a grassroots push for co-sponsorship of the resolution,
as well as focus on efforts to get the legislation enacted.
Fellows’ involvement is crucial
Although Congress has addressed some critical health care issues
during the last year, Fellows must not become complacent. The
issues outlined in this article represent those receiving the most
attention on Capitol Hill. However, the College is advocating on
other issues as well, including pricing transparency, trauma initiatives, medical liability reform, workforce initiatives, adequate
funding for research, and other legislation that affects surgeons’
ability to provide the highest quality care to their patients. For
a comprehensive catalog of the ACS legislative portfolio, visit
www.surgeonsvoice.org. This online resource describes key issues
of the day and provides the necessary tools and information to
become a seasoned surgical advocate. ♦