4 Things You Should Know About the ASC Quality and Access Act of 2011

In June, Reps. Pete Sessions (R-TX) and John Larson (D-CT) and Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) introduced the Ambulatory Surgery Center Quality and Access Act of 2011 into the U.S. Congress. It has since been endorsed by almost 20 more members of the House and Senate, as well as a number of organizations, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American College of Surgeons, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians and Outpatient Ophthalmic Surgery Society.


Here are four things you should know about the bill, as identified by the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association.


1. Legislation would change the way ASC payments are updated in the Medicare system. Currently, CMS uses the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), but the legislation would give ASCs the same update factor as hospitals — the hospital market basket.


2. Legislation would provide the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with the authority to implement a value-based purchasing program for ASCs. VBP programs are designed to reward high-performing facilities with bonus payments generated from savings that accrue to the Medicare system. The savings would be generated by surgeries migrating from hospital outpatient departments to ASCs.


3. Legislation would level the playing field on patient disclosures between ASCs, HOPDs and physician offices. The bill would overturn the CMS Conditions for Coverage mandate that patients receive disclosures a day in advance of surgery being performed in an ASC.


4. Legislation would require an ASC representative be appointed to the Advisory Panel for Ambulatory Payment Classification Groups. This is the panel that determines which procedures can be performed in the outpatient department, a prerequisite for adoption on the ASC list.

To learn more about and view the bill, visit the ASCA webpage dedicated to it at www.ascassociation.org/ascact2011.


Related Articles on the ASC Quality and Access Act of 2011:

New Jersey Surgery Center Association Plans 'Bus-In' to Support ASC Quality and Access Act

Three More Members of Congress Co-Sponsor ASC Quality and Access Act of 2011

American College of Surgeons Supports ASC Quality and Access Act of 2011

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