Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee
On Tuesday, September 18, the HELP Committee held a hearing titled “Reducing Health Care Costs: Examining How Transparency Can Lower Spending and Empower Patients.” Ty Tippets, administrator of St. George Surgical Center (SGSC) in St. George, Utah, testified as part of the panel. Since 2013, SGSC has provided upfront procedure pricing on its website and, along with many ASCs across the country, empowers patients with comprehensive price transparency. In his testimony, Tippets highlighted the exceptional quality and patient satisfaction rates that ASCs offer and called for uniformity in quality reporting across sites of service. “If we are to truly empower patients to get the best value for their health care dollars, both price and quality data must be transparent, meaningful and comparable across all settings where care is available,” he emphasized.
House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee
On Thursday, September 13, the E&C Subcommittee on Health convened health care industry experts to consider barriers to expanding innovative, value-based care in Medicare. Michael Weinstein, MD, president of Digestive Health Physicians Association, was a witness and praised ASCs for their ethical, high-quality and cost-effective care. Weinstein cited the example of colonoscopies and said that 2.7 million such procedures continue to be performed in more expensive settings instead of at ASCs. On average, ASCs are reimbursed roughly 53 percent of similar sites of service for the same procedures. Weinstein also advocated for increased transparency across sites of care, which will support patients.