Legislative


The American College of Osteopathic Surgeons Advocacy to promote the College’s unique role in healthcare. Through working with members and other surgical associations, ACOS is able to enhance its policy agenda consisting of a variety of issues impacting osteopathic surgeons. These issues include Medicare physician payment, medical liability reform, quality and patient safety, graduate medical education financing and governance, trauma systems, cancer and research funding, scope of practice, health information technology, and more.

The Flexibility in Health IT Reporting Act of 2015 (HR 270) seeks to give providers at all stages of meaningful use the option to use a shortened three-month reporting period, instead of the full year of reporting required by the final rule issued last year. This would extend the policy in place in 2014 that allowed providers to report for only three months to avoid penalties. However, many providers struggled with this requirement. The bill has strong support from provider groups that were outraged when CMS issued the full year requirement after CMS reports confirms that only 4 percent of physicians and 35 per­ cent of hospitals met 2014 Stage 2 meaningful use requirements.

H.R. 293 introduced in January 2015 will exempt pharmaceutical companies from reporting, under the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, when they provide material of value for educational and other purposes. The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Ways and Means.

The Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act (H.R. 865) provides medical liability lawsuit protection for healthcare professionals providing uncompensated services to victims of federally declared disasters.

The Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act (H.R. 921) which will clarify licensure and medical liability status to sports medicine professionals who provide certain medical services in a secondary state. The legislation will exempt patient encounters that take place in ambulatory surgery centers from counting toward meaningful use requirements.

The Electronic Health Fairness Act (H.R. 887) exempts patient encounters that take place in ambulatory surgery centers from counting toward meaningful-use requirements.

The Expanding Nutrition’s Role in Curricula and Healthcare Act (H.R. 1411) requires the Health Resources and Services Administration to establish a program of three- year competitive grants to accredited medical schools for the development or expansion of an integrated nutrition and physical activity curriculum. The curriculum must: 1) be designed to improve communication and provider preparedness in the prevention, management, and reversal of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer; and 2) address additional topics regarding individuals in at-risk populations, as practicable, including physical activity and training programs, food insecurity, and malnutrition.