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American College of Surgeons Supports Steps to Shore Up Medicare Payment System In Proposed Federal Budget
Date:2/27/2009

Applauds President's Commitment to Health Reform

CHICAGO, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American College of Surgeons (ACS) supports important steps to address Medicare's broken physician payment system included in President Obama's FY 2010 budget proposal that was released yesterday. In addition, the College applauds the overarching goals of President Obama's health care reform effort to expand access, improve quality, and reduce the growth of spending that were outlined in the President's budget proposal.

"We look forward to working with the Administration on meaningful reform of the current physician payment system," said Thomas R. Russell, MD, FACS, Executive Director of the American College of Surgeons. While it waits for specific proposals to achieve these goals, the American College of Surgeons believes attention should be paid to initiatives that reward care that improves quality and reduces cost.

"We believe health care reform should encourage and reward physicians and surgeons choosing the optimal treatment, whether it's surgical care or some other course of action," Dr. Russell added. "If a health system can reduce costs by removing waste and creating efficiencies, then the whole health system benefits."

A key element to succeeding is to establish a system to measure quality of care and outcomes based on evidence-based medicine and standards of care in a timely manner. In the field of cancer care, the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer (CoC) is a pioneer in measuring performance. All hospitals and free-standing cancer treatment facilities approved by the CoC report clinical data through the National Cancer Data Base and receive evidence-based benchmark comparison reports based on accepted standards of care for breast and colorectal cancers. These measures are endorsed by the National Quality Forum.

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SOURCE American College of Surgeons
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