News Items

ASCRS 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting Moves to a Hybrid Meeting

The ASCRS 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting is transitioning to a hybrid event as part of ASCRS commitment to the health and safety of the general public, our members, partners and meeting attendees. Still hosted in San Diego April 24-28, attendees will now have the option to attend in-person or virtually and earn CME Credit.   
These meeting safety precautions are subject to change as we learn more about the current pandemic. Our website will be updated with additional information as it becomes available.  Registration for the meeting opens November 30, 2020.

ASCRS Urges Minorities to Get Screened

This Follows Death of Actor Chadwick Boseman, Who Died Earlier this Year from Colorectal Cancer
In the US, when men and women are combined, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and the second most common cause of death due to cancer. ASCRS, Howard University Healthcare and the National Medical Association calls for increase in screening, evaluation and education in order to effectively diagnose colorectal cancer sooner.
“Chadwick Boseman’s death underscores the disparity in both incidence and mortality rates for colorectal cancer in African Americans,” emphasized Dr. Neil Hyman, President of ASCRS. Dr. Erin King-Mullins, Chair of the ASCRS Diversity Task Force, adds, “African Americans have not seen an overall decrease in colorectal cancer incidence and mortality, and they have a higher rate of cancers in their 40s.”
One reason behind this higher mortality rate of colorectal cancer in African Americans is that they are more likely to have late stage disease at the time of diagnosis. This is a consequence of lower numbers of people being screened and patients not being evaluated when symptoms first develop.
Screening is recommended to start at age 50 and it is covered by most if not all health insurers. However, because African Americans have a higher risk for having colorectal cancer at a younger age, it is recommended that they be screened beginning at age 45.
Through screening, precancerous lesions and early asymptomatic cancers can be identified and addressed. There are several different modalities for colorectal cancer screening, and these include colonoscopy, stool DNA, fecal occult blood test (FOBT), fecal immunochemical test (FIT), barium enema, or virtual colonoscopy (CT colonography).
The risks for developing colorectal cancer are increased for those with a family history of colorectal cancer, or prior history of some other cancers. However, other risk factors such as obesity, diets high in fats, but low in fruits and vegetables, smoking, excessive use of alcohol, and in those with type 2 diabetes may be of greater significance.
The most common symptoms for colorectal cancer are change in bowel pattern or shape of stool that persists for several days, continued sense of the need to pass stool, but can’t, blood from the anus, blood mixed in the stool, abdominal pain, rectal pain, weakness and or fatigue, and unintended weight loss.


The 4,000+ member American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, is the premier society for colon and rectal surgeons and other surgeons dedicated to advancing and promoting the science and practice of the treatment of patients with diseases and disorders affecting the colon, rectum and anus.  Its board-certified colon and rectal surgeons complete a residency in general surgery, plus an additional year in colon and rectal surgery, and pass an intensive examination conducted by the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery.  For more information, visit

2020-2021 Board of Trustees


The Research Foundation of American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons is delighted to announce the election of the 2020-2021 Board of Trustees. The members are:

Reserach Foundation Officers

Ronald Bleday, MD

Vice President
Elizabeth C. Wick, MD

Past President
Scott A. Strong, MD

Harry T. Papaconstantinou, MD

Sonia Ramamoorthy, MD 

Julie Crawford (2020-2023)
Tracy L. Hull, MD (2020-2021)
Neil H. Hyman, MD (2020-2021)
Arden Morris, MD (2018-2021)
Thomas E. Read, MD (2020-2021)
Rocco Ricciardi, MD (2020-2023)
Larissa K F Temple, MD (2020-2023)
Phuong Gallager (2020-2023)
Fergal Fleming, MD (Ex Officio, Research Committee Chair) (2019-2021)

 “We feel very fortunate to have such a broad representation on our Board of Trustees.  The need for research is more important than ever before and I’m confident this group will help take this foundation to the next level,” said Dr. Ronald Bleday, President of the Research Foundation. 

For more than twenty years, the Research Foundation has awarded over 120 grants and $4 million to colorectal surgeons and researchers to investigate a broad spectrum of colorectal diseases and to develop novel surgical techniques pertinent to the care of colorectal patients.

In this rapidly changing medical era, the mission of the Research Foundation is critical in keeping practicing colorectal surgeons at the forefront of colorectal care.  Learn more about the Research Foundation.

Proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Rule Jeopardizes Patient Care, Argues the Surgical Care Coalition

WASHINGTON, August 4, 2020 – The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for calendar year 2021 (CY2021) jeopardizes patient care, specifically surgical care. While the proposed rule takes steps to increase access to care through telehealth, it also has the potential to drastically reduce patients’ access to surgical care, just as many patients have delayed care due to COVD-19.

In the fee schedule announced by CMS, surgeons will see their Medicare payments cut by 9% for cardiac surgery, 8% for thoracic surgery, 7% for vascular surgery, 7% for general surgery, 7% for neurosurgery and 6% for ophthalmology for CY2021.

“We support steps to expand access to care, but this rule takes one step forward and several steps back by disregarding patients’ needs and the surgeons who care for them. The middle of a pandemic is no time for cuts to any form of health care, yet this proposed rule moves ahead as if nothing has changed. The health care system cannot absorb cuts of this magnitude,” said David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, American College of Surgeons Executive Director. “The Surgical Care Coalition believes no physician should see payment cuts that will reduce patients’ access to care. This proposed rule would move forward with significant payment cuts that will only make the situation worse and harm patients.”

The proposed rule affirms, and for some surgical specialties increases, the cuts CMS announced last year, which are set to take effect January 1, 2021. These cuts will reduce payments to nearly all surgical specialties, including by as much as 9 percent for some surgeons. The policy was ill-informed and dangerous to patients even before the pandemic started but could be even more detrimental as our health care system continues to weaken under COVID-19.

To stop these cuts and preserve care for patients, Congress must act now. The Surgical Care Coalition is urging Congress to enact legislation to waive Medicare’s budget neutrality requirements for these E/M adjustments and to require CMS to apply the increased E/M adjustment to all 10- and 90-day global code values.

In a survey earlier this year, one-in-three private surgical practices stated that they are already at risk of closing permanently due to the financial strain of the COVID-19 crisis. In the same survey, it was found that nearly half of surgeons face more difficult financial decisions, and are responding by either cutting their own pay or paying employees in the face of declining revenues. This rule will likely force surgeons to take fewer Medicare patients leading to longer wait times and reduced access to care for older Americans.

About the Surgical Care Coalition

The Surgical Care Coalition advocates for access to quality surgical care for all Americans. The Surgical Care Coalition is comprised of 12 surgical professional associations that proudly represent more than 150,000 surgeons working across the country with a common goal of improving the quality of care, and quality of life, for all patients. The founding members have worked together for nearly three decades to promote sound policy solutions to the U.S. Congress and federal regulatory agencies to solve the biggest challenges in health care.


Media Contact: [email protected]

The 2020 A.S.C.R.S. Virtual Meeting is Here!

Designed with you in mind, the new Annual Scientific Conference Recorded Sessions gives you the flexibility to experience all of the highlights of the ASCRS Annual Scientific Meeting from anywhere.


We’re highlighting nearly 600 video abstracts that were accepted for the 2020 ASCRS Annual Scientific Meeting, along with plenary session videos and much more. We’re also hosting a virtual exhibit hall where you will be able to connect with industry partners and learn more about innovative technology and products. Earn your CME today!

See what Dr. Tracy Hull (Immediate Past President) and Dr. Tim Ridolfi (2020 Program Chair) have to say.


ASCRS Members: You have complimentary access to this platform.


Nonmembers: You may purchase access for $325.00 or join to enjoy all ASCRS member benefits.
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