What a Biden presidency could mean for ASCs 

Joe Biden was elected as the 46th president of the U.S. Nov. 7, The New York Times reports.

Mr. Biden has tied his platform to the Affordable Care Act. On his campaign's website, Mr. Biden defended the ACA's preexisting condition protections and lifetime limit bans. He also promoted how the ACA has provided approximately 20 million people with insurance coverage. 

Mr. Biden campaigned to protect and expand the ACA, "giving Americans more choice, reducing healthcare costs and making our healthcare system less complex to navigate," his website reads. Those expansions are built around developing a public health insurance option, like Medicare, for the American public and increasing tax credits to lower premiums and expand health insurance coverage. 

The public option would be partially designed as a form of Medicaid expansion to expand coverage to an estimated 4.9 million adults in states that have not expanded Medicaid through the ACA, according to his website. 

Mr. Biden also campaigned on: 

  • Passing legislation to stop surprise medical bills 
  • Breaking up potential monopolies in healthcare
  • Improving quality of care and salaries for low-wage healthcare workers 
  • Lowering prescription drug costs 

On the news of Mr. Biden's potential election, Becker's ASC Review reached out to several administrators and healthcare industry leaders for their thoughts on his presidency.

Note: Responses were edited for style and content and preseted alphabetically. We will update this section with additional responses received after publication.

Bonnie Goodwin, administrator at Tallahassee (Fla.) Outpatient Surgery Center: The thought of a one-payer system is worrisome as a consumer and a healthcare provider. 

Athena Poppas, MD, American College of Cardiology president: Cardiovascular disease doesn't discriminate based on political party. As such, the American College of Cardiology has a long history of working with each presidential administration and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to advance health policy solutions that are best for cardiovascular patients and clinicians. We congratulate the newest members of Congress and look forward to working with the next Congress, as well as the [presidential] administration, to optimize cardiovascular care and improve the lives of all Americans living with or at risk of heart disease.

Bill Prentice, CEO of the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association: Support for the ASC model is not a partisan issue, and we don't expect that to change when the winner of this election is declared. The high-quality care, reduced costs and convenience that ASCs offer can and should be a part of the next administration's efforts to improve access to affordable health care.

Raghu Reddy, administrator of SurgCenter of Western Maryland in Cumberland: Joe Biden will protect the ACA and hopefully build on its drawbacks to bring more patients into the insured pool while addressing access and out-of-pocket expenses to the Americans. This move will help ASCs serve more people who previously ended up in the hospital due to a lack of insurance. However, the ACA plans' fee schedules will determine the profitability of the ASCs. Biden's health plans should consider this to realize significant savings by utilizing the ASCs for elective procedures versus the hospital outpatient departments. Key issues such as price transparency, competitive markets, affordability and payments based on quality outcomes would drive the cost of healthcare down and help improve our country's health. I trust that Biden will empower ASCs to do what they do best and try to keep the politics, lobbying out in the interest of our health.

More articles on surgery centers:
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