4 legislative changes impacting ASCs — October 21, 2015

Here are four recent legislative changes that affect ASCs.

Government denies delay for EHR rule
Despite requests for delays, federal health officials are passing new rules mandating physicians switch to electronic health records or pay fees. The rules will decrease the number of standards each provider must meet and enable providers to apply hardship exemptions. However, officials will not delay "Stage 3" of the records program, upsetting many politicians and legislators who have requested a delay of one year or more.

Connecticut imposes 6% tax on ASCs
Connecticut imposed a 6 percent tax on ambulatory surgery centers statewide. The tax may lead to 35 percent of the ASCs in the state operating at a loss. The tax may force some ASCs to close and patients will be moved to HOPDS with increased costs.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signs Medicaid reform bill
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed a Medicaid reform bill driving down costs and improving patient care. The new bill pays providers based on patient outcomes rather than the number of services a patient receives and patients can choose from different prepaid health plans.

ICD-10 was implemented on Oct. 1
ICD-10 was implemented on Oct. 1, requiring all providers to switch from ICD-9 codes to ICD-10 codes. Four state Medicaid agencies in California, Louisiana, Maryland and Montana stated last month they were not adequately prepare for the ICD-10 implementation. A recent survey of 200 physicians found 86 percent of physicians claim ICD-10 implementation is taking away from patient care.

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