More Legislators Sign On to Cosponsor Outpatient Surgery Quality and Access Act
ASCA members meet and convince their members of Congress to support this crucial ASC bill
BY MAIA KUNKEL | MAY 2023
From left: Representatives Mike Bost (R-IL), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Brittany Pettersen (D-CO).
The Outpatient Surgery Quality and Access Act of 2023 (H.R. 972/S. 312) has gained support from ASCA members’ advocacy efforts. After meeting with constituents during this year’s National Advocacy Day in Washington, DC, in March, Representatives Mike Bost (R-IL), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Brittany Pettersen (D-CO) signed on as cosponsors of the bill. Most recently, on May 17, Representative Kevin Hern (R-OK) signed on to the bill as a cosponsor.
In February, Congressmen Brad Wenstrup, DPM (R-OH), and John Larson (D-CT) reintroduced the bipartisan, bicameral act in the House of Representatives, and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA), introduced the legislation in the Senate. If enacted, this crucial legislation will slow the widening disparity in Medicare payments between ASCs and hospital outpatient departments by making the hospital market basket the inflationary update factor permanently; add transparency and accessibility for patients trying to research quality metrics; require the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to disclose the reasons procedures are denied reimbursement in the ASC setting; and add an ASC voice to the Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment.
New ASC Champions
First elected to represent Southern Illinois in 2015, Bost served for two decades in the Illinois House of Representatives, and before that as a firefighter in the Murphysboro Fire Department and in the US Marine Corps. Luetkemeyer has represented Missouri’s third district since 2009, after previously serving in the Missouri House of Representatives and, prior to that, in the banking and insurance industries. Before being elected last fall to represent Colorado’s seventh district, the newest cosponsor Pettersen served in the Colorado state legislature for more than a decade. Hern was sworn in to Congress in November 2018. Previously, he worked as an aerospace engineer for Rockwell International and later, as an entrepreneur, owned 24 McDonald’s restaurants that employed thousands of people in Northeastern Oklahoma.
Three of the new congressional supporters, Bost, Leutkemeyer and Pettersen, met with constituents during National Advocacy Day. During these meetings, ASCA members educated their members of Congress and their staff on the importance of the ASC model in their communities and the need to support the legislation. They explained the issues that impact their ASCs’ ability to provide care and the proposed fixes contained in the Outpatient Surgery Quality and Access Act.
Importance of Advocacy
You, too, can help secure the support of your members of Congress for the ASC bill. Unfortunately, many legislators remain misinformed about ASCs. Every voice has an impact and makes a difference in achieving legislative change on issues that hinder ASCs’ potential to continue providing high-quality, lower-cost care to patients.
Use ASCA’s template letter to reach out and ask your members of Congress to sign on to the bill as a cosponsor. If you want to meet with your members of Congress and their staff, sign up to host a facility tour.
Write Maia Kunkel, ASCA’s Government Affairs manager, for more information or with questions.