Legislation Introduced in Congress Promotes Medicare Patients’ Access to Ambulatory Surgery Centers
WASHINGTON, DC, NOVEMBER 3, 2021—The Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) announced its support today for new legislation titled Outpatient Surgery Quality and Access Act of 2021 (H.R. 5818 and S. 3132). Representatives John Larson (D-CT) and Devin Nunes (R-CA) introduced the legislation in the US House of Representatives and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) introduced the legislation in the US Senate.
Provisions in the legislation would
- require the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to publish relevant quality data in a way that allows patients to compare quality across sites of service;
- eliminate the copay penalty Medicare beneficiaries pay for certain Part B services when they are provided in an ambulatory surgery center (ASC);
- provide transparency regarding the criteria CMS is using to exclude procedures from the ASC Covered Procedures List;
- add an ASC representative to CMS’ Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment, which makes decisions that affect both hospital outpatient department (HOPD) and ASC facility fees and eligible procedures; and
- align the inflation update and budget neutrality adjustment for ASCs and HOPDs.
“We want to thank the sponsors of the Outpatient Surgery Quality and Access Act for their efforts to reduce Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs and put the program on more stable footing,” said ASCA Chief Executive Officer Bill Prentice. “Increasing access to care in ASCs can play an important role in reducing Medicare expenses, freeing up dollars for other priorities.”