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MESSAGE FROM THE CEO An ASC Wish List


W


ith a new administration in the White House, a new secretary at the US Department of Health and Human Services and health care front and center in


Congress, one thing is certain: change is on the horizon. With change comes opportunity, though, so we have put together a short ASC wish list for the new administration.


Number one on that list is to get a payment policy to ensure that ASCs’ annual Medicare payment updates equal those that hospital outpatient departments (HOPD) receive each year. This is not a new request, but it is a critical one. ASC payment updates are now based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), which does not reflect the rising costs of health care. The hospital market basket used to determine HOPD payment updates more accurately reflects the increasing costs that ASCs encounter. Payment updates that would stop the growing divergence between ASC and HOPD payment rates would be a good first step toward ensuring that Medicare beneficiaries have continued access to the top-quality, lower- cost care that ASCs provide. President Donald Trump has established his intention to reduce federal administrative


and regulatory burdens. In keeping with that idea, we are proposing that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) do away with the ASC approved procedures list. Instead, Medicare should simply reimburse ASCs for the same procedures that it reimburses HOPDs.


Producing and maintaining a separate list of approved procedures for ASCs adds a


layer of bureaucracy to the Medicare program that is unnecessary given the quality and safety records associated with ASCs. ASCs are already performing many procedures that are not on Medicare’s approved procedures list for their commercially insured and self-paying patients and are achieving outstanding outcomes. The current procedures list only prevents Medicare beneficiaries from gaining access to that same care in the more affordable, higher value ASC setting. One of the most consistent messages President Trump has sent is his deep-seated


Seeking Authors


ASC Focus is seeking the contribution of articles by guest authors. If you have the expertise and time to write for us, we’d be interested in hearing from you.


Please see our editorial guidelines at www.ascassociation.org/Focus and submit your story proposal to smukerji@ascassociation.org.


6 ASC FOCUS APRIL 2017


support for US business. As small businesses that employ local residents and pay taxes, ASCs are an economic driver in their communities. We ask that this new administration back policies that help ASCs survive and thrive. Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle support the ASC model of care and the steady progress that ASCs are making to improve outpatient surgical care. Our list concludes with a wish that this administration will capitalize on the broad-based support ASCs enjoy and encourage policies, like price and quality transparency, that will encourage more migration of cases into the ASC setting. To help make our wish list a reality, join us in visits to Capitol Hill during ASCA


2017, May 3–6, in Washington, DC, to advocate for policies that ASCs need. Visit www.ascassociation.org/asca2017/advocacy for more information.


Bill Prentice Chief Executive Officer


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