Members Make National Advocacy Day a Success

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Members Make National Advocacy Day a Success

Participants fly in to educate their members of Congress about ASCs and how they benefit the healthcare system

Tony Cárdenas

Randy Todorovich, senior vice president of managed care at ASD Management in Valencia, California; Michael Stuntz, MD, vice president of Monterey Peninsula Surgery Center in Monterey, California; Lisa Cooper, chief executive officer of Santa Cruz Surgery Center in Woodside, California; Tersa Lech, CASC, regional vice president of operations at Amsurg; and Peggy Wellman, market president of Pacific operations at United Surgical Partners International, meet with Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-CA 29th District) (center) on ASCA’s 2019 National Advocacy Day.

Every year, ASCA members participate in a fly-in to Washington, DC, as part of National Advocacy Day. The program helps ASCA members build relationships with the policymakers who make the decisions that directly impact the ASC community and its patients. ASCA schedules a full day of congressional meetings on Capitol Hill for each participant. In addition, ASCA provides dinner and a training briefing the night before. During the briefing, ASCA staff explain current ASC legislation and how to conduct a successful congressional meeting.

During the 2019 National Advocacy Day on September 24, the participants had the chance to familiarize themselves with ASCA’s legislative priorities during a legislative briefing led by ASCA Chief Executive Officer, William Prentice and ASCAPAC Board Member and longtime ASC advocate, Chris Markford.

“Not only does my participation in the Capitol fly-ins benefit ASCA’s legislative goals, it also provides a residual benefit to me and my day-to-day work as an ASC administrator, Markford says. “Becoming more engaged in the policymaking process within our political system helps create a more informed leader who is better prepared to respond to the winds of change.”

Jerry McNerney

Beth LaBouyer, RN, CASC, executive director of California Ambulatory Surgery Center, and Michael Stuntz, MD, vice president of Monterey Peninsula Surgery Center in Monterey, California, meet with Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-CA 9th District) (center) on ASCA’s 2019 National Advocacy Day.

Being an informed leader also means having the latest insight to share with the physician leaders, he says. “Being in DC and sitting in your representative’s office gives you firsthand experience of what is happening, and your knowledge makes you more valuable to your board. It is better to be an engaged leader than someone who waits for the change to be forced upon them, and being involved with ASCA Capitol fly-ins makes each of us contributors of positive change to our industry.”

On September 23 and 24, 60 ASCA members, representing 15 different states, met with 164 members of Congress and their staff to help educate federal legislators about the ASC community and to secure support for ASC legislation. The members advocated for the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act (H.R. 1570/S. 668) and The Ambulatory Surgery Center Quality and Access Act of 2019 (H.R. 4350). The Colorectal Cancer Screening Act, sponsored by US Representatives Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Donald McEachin (D-VA) and David McKinley (R-WV) in the House of Representatives and Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) in the Senate, works to correct an oversight in current law that requires Medicare beneficiaries to cover the cost of their copayment for a “free” screening colonoscopy if a polyp is discovered and removed during the procedure.

Gary Palmer

Christina McDonald, chief executive officer of Texas Health SC Rockwall in Heath, Texas; Jessica Ferguson, district sales manager of Medline Industries in Mundelein, Illinois; and Scott Gray, account manager at Medline Industries, meet with Congressman Gary Palmer (R-AL 6th District) (center) on ASCA’s 2019 National Advocacy Day.

The Quality and Access Act, introduced by US Representative John Larson (D-CT-1), would help level the playing field between ASCs and Hospital Outpatient Departments (HOPD) by enacting the following reforms:

  • update reimbursement for ASC services using the same update factor as HOPDs;
  • create transparency of quality reporting and Medicare beneficiary information;
  • add an ASC representative to the Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment; and
  • disclose criteria used to determine the ASC procedure list.

This year’s National Advocacy Day came at a crucial time, right after the introduction of H.R. 4350, and helped build momentum for ASC legislation and the ASC community.

For questions about National Advocacy Day write Adam Parker.