What is in store for ASCs in the Biden presidency

President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States on Jan. 20 at noon EST, and healthcare will be a significant part of his agenda from day one.

His transition team released a fact sheet outlining three executive actions he is expected to take today: launching a "100 Day Masking Challenge"; reversing the Trump administration's decision to withdraw from the World Health Organization; and signing an executive order to create a COVID-19 response coordinator. Read more about those decisions here.

What could be in store for ASCs during the Biden presidency?

"Support for the ASC model is not a partisan issue, and we don't expect that to change," Bill Prentice, CEO of the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association told Becker's ASC Review shortly after the election. "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."

President-elect Biden campaigned on protecting and expanding the ACA and developing a public health insurance option. That move could be positive for ASCs, according to 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," he said. "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."

But not all ASC leaders agree. Ahead of the election, some administrators were worried about new regulations under the Biden administration.

Read more about President-elect Biden's overall healthcare plan here.

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