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3 legislative changes impacting ASCs — Dec. 22, 2016

Here are three legislative changes impacting ASCs.

CMS broadens participation in APMs for orthopedic, cardiac care
CMS is allowing more physicians to participate in Medicare's advanced alternative payment models for hip procedures, femur procedures, bypass surgery and heart attack care. While CMS requires hospitals in the affected geographic areas to participate in the new models, participation is voluntary for physicians. The model for orthopedic care is the Surgical Hip and Femur Fracture Treatment Model. The three cardiac models include: the Acute Myocardial Infarction Model, the Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Model and the Cardiac Rehabilitation Incentive Payment Model.

MedPAC to recommend ASCs submit cost data, eliminate 2% pay update
MedPAC plans to recommend ASCs submit cost data to CMS and eliminate the anticipated 2 percent pay update for 2018. The group took a 2 percent budget sequester on Medicare payments into consideration when making their recommendations for 2018. Medpage reported the group came to a consensus on their recommendations but plan to hold a final vote next month. CMS does not have to take MedPAC's recommendations.

President Obama signs the 21st Century Cures Act into law
President Barack Obama on Tuesday capped a year of bipartisan negotiations and signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law. Section 4012 directs the creation of a searchable website for Medicare beneficiaries to compare out-of-pocket costs and total expenses between ASCs and hospital outpatient departments. Section 16003 protects physicians performing cases at ASCs from meaningful use penalties they'd face if they don't adopt a certified EHR; there currently isn't a certified EHR for ASCs. This legislation also gives HHS the ability to approve a certified EHR for ASCs.

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