6 state & federal legislative changes impacting ASCs — June 22, 2015

Here are six legislative changes from the past month that impact ambulatory surgery centers.

House passes EHR Fairness Act
The Electronic Health Fairness Act, which was approved in the U.S. House of Representatives as a part of broader legislation, HR 2570, by voice vote. HR 2570, the Value Based Insurance Design for Better Care Act of 2015, directs HHS to develop a three-year demonstration program to test the use of value-based insurance methodologies. Senators Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) introduced the companion bill S 1347 in the Senate.

Congressional Republicans zeroing in on PPACA subsidy extension plan
Republican leaders are coming together around a plan that would extend subsidies under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for up to two more years after the King vs. Burwell decision, should the Court rule against the subsidies.

Florida House committee adopts 23-hour ASC stay legislation, dies in Senate
The Florida House Health & Human Services Committee adopted legislation that allows ambulatory surgery centers in the state to provide 23-hour stays for same-day surgical procedures, but the bill died in the Senate on June 19. The legislation — HB 23A — would have extended recuperation time for patients after outpatient surgery.

N.J. legislation introduced to regulate ASC ownership
Newly-introduced legislation, S-2876/A-4476, would require all new ASCs in New Jersey to be owned by New Jersey hospitals or medical schools. Sen. Richard J. Codey (D-Essex and Morris) is the bill's sponsor. The New Jersey Hospital Association supports the legislation.

Protection against coding changes, new legislation
Rep. Gary Palmer introduced new legislation, The Protecting Patients and Physicians Against Coding Act, which will protect patients from potential ramifications from ICD-10. The act would grant physicians a two-year grace period. In this period, they would still get paid despite potential errors with the new federally mandated ICD-10 system.

Maine considering 'death-with-dignity' legislation
Maine legislators are contemplating the highly controversial "death-with-dignity" law allowing suffering patients to legally end their own lives. Maine Sen. Roger Katz devised a bill modeled after legislation passed in Vermont two years prior allowing physicians to administer lethal doses of medication to terminally ill patients who want to quicken their death.

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