Strength in Numbers
While such efforts by individual ASCs are critical to educating communities about ASCs, Cheek says these efforts are magnified when ASCs work together.
“The most effective way for ASCs to have a strong voice that reaches patients and legislators is to support the ASC industry by becoming members of your state and the national ASC associations,” she says. “Collectively, we can get our message out to more people and do so faster. Support industry efforts to report quality measures to our ASC societies for benchmarking and to state and federal reporting programs. These are aimed at promulgating data to the public as more steps are taken for transparency in quality and price.”
Caillet, too, encourages joining state associations and ASCA. “If you . . . participate in their benchmarking programs, such as the one we have here in Ohio, the data and information those organizations receive is vital when they go to bat for us on a state and federal level. They use that information when pushing for helpful legislation and in public relations efforts.”
She recommends ASCs send a representative to attend National Advocacy Days. These programs, she says, provide an opportunity to build closer relationships with members of Congress.
“I learned a lot about what our government officials thought and knew about ASCs,” Caillet says. “This information helped me determine more effective ways to educate our leaders about surgery centers and the value we deliver to their constituents.”
Epstein says he frequently visits Tallahassee, Florida’s capital, to speak with state representatives about ASCs and lobby on their behalf. He says he uses information about and provided by FSASC’s members to support his claims about ASCs as safe, cost-effective options for surgery. “It is all about educating everyone on what we do and why and how we do it. We know our ASCs do tremendous good. Now we need to make sure more people understand that as well.”