admissions and establish further safety standards when delivering care to chil- dren in an ASC. ASCA is eager to sup- port Steube in this new Congress and looks forward to his work in the health care sector.

US Senate

Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID)

While Larson and Nunes champion ASC issues in the House, Sen. Crapo is

ASCs’ biggest supporter in the Sen- ate. He has served in the Senate for 20 years and, before his election to the Senate, served in the House for six years. Since 2015, he has been the lead Senate sponsor for the ASC Qual- ity and Access Act. A senior member of the Senate, Crapo serves on several high-profile committees. Notably, he has served on the Senate Finance Com- mittee for many years. That committee has direct jurisdiction over Medicare and other health care policies. ASCA appreciates Crapo’s leadership in the Senate and looks forward to support- ing him in the 116th


Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) Coming off a highly con- tested Senate election in 2018, Sen. Blackburn is

on several important committees as a freshman. Specifically, she is a mem- ber of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and is a well-known advo- cate for increased access to health care for our veterans. While this is Black- burn’s first term in the Senate, she served eight terms in the House for Tennessee’s 7th

Congressional District.

Most recently in the House, Black- burn served on the Energy and Com- merce Committee, which holds some jurisdiction over health care. She is a historic cosponsor of the ASC Quality and Access Act. In 2021, when Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) retires from Congress, Blackburn will become the

With a slate of 100 new House members and 11 new senators, ASC stakeholders are eager, once again, to demonstrate in Congress the quality, efficient and cost- effective care that ASCs deliver.”

—Jeff Evans, ASCA

senior senator from Tennessee after serving only two years in the Senate.

Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND)

Sen. Cramer, who was elected after serving in the House, unseated for-

mer Senator Heidi Heitkamp in 2018. Cramer also was a House cosponsor for the ASC Quality and Access Act before moving to the Senate. Thank- fully for ASCs, Cramer recognizes the positive impact the ASC com- munity has on the health care sys- tem. His website describes him as a “strong advocate for the free mar- ket system.” ASCA is optimistic that Cramer will continue his support for ASCs as the junior senator from North Dakota.

Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV)

Sen. Rosen served one term in the House before defeating former Sen-

ator Dean Heller in last year’s elec- tion. Similar to Blackburn, Rosen has made a name for herself in vet- erans’ health care issues. Specifically, in early 2018, as a member of the House, Rosen introduced the Veterans Deserve Better Act. This important

bill was included in the passage of the VA MISSION Act to help reform the Veterans Administration (VA) health care system and was meant to add efficiency in reimbursement for pri- vate sector veterans care. Moving for- ward, since this bill was included in the larger reform package, VA will be required to process claims reimburse- ment in 30–45 days. This is an impor- tant provision to keep an eye on as the VA MISSION Act is implemented. These and dozens of other leg- islators will continue to play a criti- cal role in promoting the ASC com- munity. While 2018 was a relatively slow year for health care policy, ASC issues still received significant atten- tion. During the summer of 2018, the House passed the ASC Payment Transparency Act, which would: 1. add an ASC representative to the Centers for Medicare & Medic- aid Services’ (CMS) Advisory Panel

on Hospital Payment; and

2. disclose criteria CMS uses to de- termine the ASC Medicare-cov- ered procedure list.

This bill did not pass the Senate,

but 2019 provides new opportunities to promote ASC legislation. The provisions above, which were originally proposed in the ASC Qual- ity and Access Act, again comprise ASC legislation alongside the follow- ing mainstay ASCA priorities: 1. Permanently codify that the Hos- pital Market Basket inflationary index be used to update the ASC payment system

2. Create transparency in quality re- porting between ASCs and hospi- tal outpatient departments so pa- tients can compare both settings side-by-side.

For more information on the US Congress and other federal legisla- tive activity, write Heather Ashby at

ASC FOCUS APRIL 2019 | 17 Outpatient

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