Healthcare delivery challenged by feds as 'never before,' veteran ASC administrator says

From CMS restoring the inpatient-only list to unaddressed supply chain issues, obstacles facing ASCs at the federal level were discussed with Joe Peluso, administrator of Aestique Surgery Center in Greensburg, Pa.

Editor's note: This interview was lightly edited for clarity and brevity.  

Joe Peluso: I have had the privilege of serving as a chief executive in healthcare organizations for over 30 years, through consequential events such as budget crises, mergers, acquisitions, staffing and recruitment issues, financial and operational turnarounds, and yes, even a pandemic. But never before have I had a more serious question about the capability of our healthcare delivery systems to meet the challenges and needs of our communities as I do now in my capacity as administrator of an ASC.

Unlike past crises, this one restores the Medicare inpatient-only list while ignoring site-neutral payments between ASCs and hospital outpatient departments, does not address supply chain issues that drive up the cost of supplies and attempts to utilize federal emergency authority to require mandates for healthcare and business workforces — without providing a comment period on the regulations, giving short time frame to implement, no clear guidelines and imposing loss of Medicare/Medicaid funding as conditions of participation for healthcare facilities.

This situation requires our immediate attention to mitigate the impact of what has created a crisis in healthcare manpower, patient access, financial stability, increased patients' out-of- pocket costs and sustainability of healthcare organizations to serve community needs.

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