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ADVOCACY UPDATE 

JULY 16, 2020

Welcome to the Second Issue of the Surgical Care Coalition Newsletter

Since our last newsletter, we have launched a platform on our website where you can take action to stop Medicare cuts that could reduce access to care for older Americans. This issue also looks at recent findings on outpatient practices during COVID-19 and includes an interview with a coalition member on NBC Dallas-Ft. Worth. 

Take Action: Tell Congress to Stop the Cuts

In our last issue, we explained how planned 2021 payment cuts to Medicare would reduce payments for surgical care and could force surgeons to see fewer Medicare patients, which would lead to reduced access to care for older Americans and lower their quality of life (read more). 

To prevent these cuts, Congress needs to waive Medicare’s budget neutrality requirements. We need your help. Contact your Senators and Representatives in Congress and ask them to ensure your Medicare patients continue to have the best access to the best care—when they need it and where they need it. Write to your Senators and Representatives.

Patient Impact: Outpatient Practices in the “New Normal”

It’s no secret that outpatient practices have had to adapt to a “new normal” during COVID-19. The Commonwealth Fund recently published research that outlines how these practices have changed to prevent COVID-19 transmission and ensure social distancing measures. According to the findings, visits to physicians have rebounded across all regions of the United States, but they remain significantly lower than before the pandemic began. States that had more severe lockdowns in the early stages of the pandemic suffered a greater reduction in patient visits, while those that maintained a relative state of openness experienced less dramatic effects. Read the full report.

ICYMI: Coalition Member and ACS Executive Director David Hoyt Interview on NBC Dallas

Executive Director of the American College of Surgeons David Hoyt recently appeared on NBC Dallas-Fort Worth to highlight the incredible work being performed by surgeons in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the financial effects incurred. He told NBC, "Surgeons are trained to care for intensive care unit patients and surgeons step up, that’s what they do,” and that the pandemic “has had a substantial effect [on surgeons] just like it has in every other aspect of the economy.” Watch the full interview.

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