'It will be the patients who suffer': Why increasing regulations are hurting ASCs

Cheri Smith, RN, administrator of Fort Myers (Fla.) Endoscopy Center, joined Becker's to discuss why increasing regulations will hurt the ASC industry. 

Question: What in the healthcare industry is making you nervous right now? Why?

Editor's note: These responses were edited lightly for clarity and length.

Cheri Smith: Recent trends of healthcare seem to show a stronger shift toward more and more regulations, whether it be on the federal or state level. These increased regulatory requirements will only further burden a greatly stressed health system. Whether it be additional reporting in the ASC realm or ensuring that patients are served crispy fries as inpatients, rarely do these regulations contribute to better quality healthcare application or outcomes. It effectively shifts the focus from medicine-driven, patient-centered healthcare to numbers-driven, ratings-centered hospitality care.

When the quality is consistently and further assessed relative to factors that are largely based on subjective rather than objective conclusions, it creates a focus that is more difficult to manage. While a patient could receive superb care, leave a facility in a better condition than when he arrived, but document a concern relative to cold food or a long wait, ultimately affecting the reimbursement of the facility rendering care, it becomes a rocky hill to climb. Sadly, it will be the patients who suffer as fewer and fewer healthcare resources remain available. Such regulations are debilitating and do not lend to a reinforcement of systems in place.    

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