Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act Introduced in Senate

The Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act of 2011 has been introduced in the Senate by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mike Crapo (R-ID), according a news release from the ASC Association.


The legislation aims to preserve patient access to high-quality, cost-effective healthcare services that ASCs provide. The bill would put into place policies to establish reasonable Medicare reimbursement for ASCs while encouraging additional cost savings for Medicare. It would help "modernize" the way ASCs are paid by tying ASC Medicare payment updates to the Hospital Market Basket, rather than to the volatile Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers.

The legislation would also require implementation of a value-based purchasing program for ASCs.


A companion bill that addresses the same issues was introduced last week in the U.S. House of Representatives.


"As an industry, we are pleased that both the U.S. House and Senate have turned their attention to this critical issue to preserve access to cost-saving, high quality care," said ASCA Board Chair David Shapiro, MD, in the release. "In addition, this legislation would implement a national quality reporting system that would allow objective third-party review and meaningful comparisons among various surgical care providers. The ASC community has long supported a quality reporting program that accomplishes those objectives and is committed to other provisions in this bill that would lead to implementation of a value-based purchasing program."


A detailed bill summary can be found on the ASC Association website by clicking here (pdf).

The ASC Association is asking members to send a letter to their members of Congress, encouraging them to become co-sponsors of the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act of 2011. Click here to send a letter.


Related Articles on the ASC Industry:

Connecticut Congressman, Surgery Center Leaders Speak Out in Support of ASC Quality & Access Act

HHS to Reconsider Same-Day Surgery Regulations

ASC Association Asks Members for Input on ACO Response


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