3 legislative changes impacting ASCs — Aug. 22, 2016

Here are three recent legislative changes that impact ambulatory surgery centers.

CMS proposes 1.2% ASC payment increase in 2017
CMS released its 2017 Medicare Outpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule, which aims to enhance Medicare patients' quality of care. Based on the policy changes in the proposed rule, CMS projects ASC payments would increase 1.2 percent. Based on the policy changes in the proposed rule, CMS projects ASC payments would increase 1.2 percent.

CMS' 2017 OPPS/ASC proposed rule adds 7 new ASC quality reporting measures
CMS is planning to add seven measures to the quality reporting program set for payment determination in CY 2020 and the following years. The seven measures are:

•    ASC-13: Normothermia Outcome — this assesses the percentage of patients having surgical procedures under general or neuraxial anesthesia for 60 minutes or more who are normothermic within 15 minutes of arrival in the post-anesthesia care unit.
•    ASC-14: Unplanned Anterior Vitrectomy — this assesses the percentage of cataract surgery patients who have an unplanned anterior vitrectomy.
•    ASC-15(a-e) — This includes five measures that are collected using the Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgical Center Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey, which is a patient experience survey.

Fight to repeal North Carolina's CON marches on
To repeal North Carolina's controversial certificate-of-need legislation, Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell) added a CON repeal proposal to House Bill 161, "An Act Adopting the Bobcat as the Official State Cat of the State of North Carolina." The state legislature ended its session on July 1 without approving the bill featuring the CON repeal. Katherine Restrepo, a health and human services policy analyst at the John Locke Foundation, argued the state's CON law for ambulatory surgery centers has costly repercussions for patients and insurers. The CON law poses challenges for patients to obtain cost-effective, convenient healthcare services.

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