'It's time to look at existing barriers' & expand access to ASCs, CASA president says

California Ambulatory Surgery Association President Deborah Miller expressed support for state Gov. Gavin Newsom, D, and proposed healthcare reform strategies in an opinion article on Capitol Weekly.

Three takeaways:

1. Ms. Miller praised several elements of Gov. Newsom's proposed budget:

  • Allocating 53.5 percent of the state's budget, or roughly $34.7 billion, to the California Department of Health Care Services
  • Issuing an executive order encouraging California state agencies to pressure pharmaceutical companies into lowering prices
  • Proposing the expansion of Medi-Cal and restoration of the insurance coverage individual mandate

2. Along with advancing all three goals of the Triple Aim — improving population health, enhancing patient experience and outcomes, and lowering per-capita care costs — Ms. Miller said the administration must expand access to ASCs.

3. Ms. Miller also critiqued the state's oversight system for ASCs, saying it "can be confusing to the public." ASCs can operate under three different models in the current system:

  • Medicare certification with California Department of Public Health oversight
  • Accreditation with oversight by the Medical Board of California
  • State licensure

"Traditional models of coverage, care structures and cost methodologies are inevitably changing, and as such, it's time to take a look at existing barriers that can easily be removed in order to expand efficient, high-quality care to those that need it most," Ms. Miller said. "... we're confident that ASCs can help to fill this critical need and are part of the solution in truly realizing the Triple Aim here in California."

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