Bucshon bill to generate data on areas with general surgeon shortages

Legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) on Thursday would undertake efforts to better understand areas of the country that face the greatest shortages of general surgeons.

The Department of Health and Human Services would be directed to undertake a study that helps document general physician shortages in urban, suburban and rural areas of the country under the Ensuring Access to General Surgery Act, H.R. 2906.

“As a practicing surgeon for nearly 15 years, I understand that access to general surgery services can significantly improve health outcomes and save lives,” Bucshon said. “Unfortunately, many of our rural communities in Indiana, and across the country, are facing a shortage of general surgeons, which can prevent many of our citizens in those areas from receiving the care they need.”

HHS would be directed to collect data related to health outcomes, utilization of general surgeons, aging populations and changing delivery systems to help shape policy decisions going forward.

“This legislation will provide important data and information on how we can best develop solutions to address this growing challenge,” Bucshon said.

Bucshon introduced the House bill with bipartisan support from U.S. Reps. Ami Bera (D-CA). U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.