3. Representation: The third provi- sion would require CMS to add an ASC representative to its Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Pay- ment (HOP). The HOP makes de- cisions that affect both HOPD and ASC facility fees and eligible pro- cedures. In March of 2019, there was progress on this concept, as the Hospital and Ambulatory Policy Group at CMS invited Terry Bohlke, former president of the ASCA Board of Directors, to serve on the HOP.

4. Administrative Transparency: The fourth provision would re- quire CMS to disclose which criteria trigger the exclusion of a procedure from the ASC ap- proved list. In the calendar year 2021 OPPS/ASC proposed rule, CMS included this provision in one of its proposals to create a formal process by which pro- cedures may be moved onto the ASC payable list.

The ASC Quality and Access Act is

ASCA’s main priority on the legislative front, and we are grateful for consistent leadership from the bill’s champions to advance the legislation. In June 2019, the House Committee on Ways and Means advanced legislation that includes the representation and administrative trans- parency provisions of that act.

Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act

In March 2019, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Col- lins (R-ME) and Representatives Don- ald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Donald McEachin (D-VA) and David McKinley (R-WV) introduced the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Can- cer Screening Act (H.R. 1570/S. 668). If enacted, this legislation would pro- vide many benefits to patients, includ- ing the removal of unexpected costs and limiting the financial restraints that dis-

courage many people from getting this screening. Upon introduction, more than 160 representatives and senators had already signed on to support this effort. ASCA has advocated for this legisla-

tion for many years and regularly works with a broad coalition of healthcare asso- ciations on this issue and legislation.

NO PAIN Act The Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction In the Nation (NO PAIN) Act, was intro- duced in both chambers near the end of the first session. This is a new piece of legislation that ASCA supports. If enacted, this legislation would require the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) secretary to consider separate reimbursement for drugs and


Visit ASCA’s website every week to stay up to date on the latest government affairs news affecting the ASC industry. Every week, ASCA’s Government Affairs Update newsletter is posted online for ASCA members to read. The weekly newsletter tracks and analyzes the latest legislative and regulatory developments concerning ASCs. GovtAffairsUpdate

devices that help curtail post-operative opioid use in both ASCs and HOPDs. In addition, this legislation would require CMS to provide a report to Congress detailing similar barriers that might exist in Medicare for therapeutic approaches to acute pain.

Legislation on Surprise Medical Billing Through the 116th Congress, both cham- bers considered legislative solutions to end balance billing, which often comes as a surprise to patients. The first ses- sion saw the most formal activity, with relevant committees in both chambers considering and advancing legislation. Throughout the whole Congress, ASCA worked with other healthcare associa- tions to educate policymakers about the pitfalls of various proposals to ensure that providers’ perspectives and con- cerns were understood and addressed. In the Senate, Chairman Lamar Alex- ander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) of the US Sen- ate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) sought stakeholder feedback in May 2019 on that committee’s initial proposal. In June 2019, ASCA submitted comments on how they believe the HELP Commit- tee can strengthen the legislation to fur- ther reduce healthcare costs for patients and families. Later that month, HELP advanced its proposal, which the full Senate did not act on before session-end. In the House, the Committees on

Education and Workforce, Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce each considered legislation on this topic. Although these committees advanced legislation for the full House to con- sider, that chamber did not pass a bill in the first session as Democratic members were still working on the contours of an inter-party agreement on the issue.

Steve Selde is ASCA’s assistant director of Government Affairs. Write him at sselde@


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