Support Grows for ASC Legislation after National Advocacy Day
One-on-one with US Representative Bost, the newest cosponsor of the Outpatient Surgery Quality and Access Act of 2023
INTERVIEWED BY MAIA KUNKEL | MARCH 2023
Congressman Mike Bost (R-IL)
After meeting with a constituent during National Advocacy Day earlier this month, Representative Mike Bost (R-IL), former Illinois House of Representatives Republican caucus chair, firefighter and US Marine Corps corporal, signed up to be a cosponsor of the Outpatient Surgery Quality and Access Act of 2023 (H.R. 972/S. 312).
Congressmen Brad Wenstrup, DPM (R-OH), and John Larson (D-CT) reintroduced the bipartisan, bicameral act in the House and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA), introduced the legislation in the Senate in February. 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. Below is an interview with the congressman following his cosponsorship of the bill.
Q: How was your experience meeting with your constituents on National Advocacy Day?
Mike Bost (MB): Advocacy days and constituent fly-ins provide an important opportunity for folks from back home to see their government at work. By visiting Washington, DC, and meeting with their representative or their staff on the issues they care about, they gain a unique perspective on the legislative process and see firsthand that their work is making a difference. And there is nothing my staff and I look forward to more than welcoming Southern Illinoisans to their nation’s capital.
Q: Why did you decide to be a cosponsor of the Outpatient Surgery Quality and Access Act of 2023?
MB: Medical costs are rising throughout the country and access to care in rural America continues to be a challenge. Ambulatory surgery centers offer a cost-effective, high-quality option for my constituents. This legislation is a commonsense step in the right direction to increase access to care.
Q: Does your firefighting background have anything to do with your decision to cosponsor the act?
MB: It certainly does. As a first responder, I understand the importance of time and that every second counts. Ambulatory surgery centers offer patients a high-quality and quicker alternative to in-patient hospital stays. Patients are able to receive care and get back on their feet in a timely manner.
Q: Tell me about your time with the Marine Corps. Does it have anything to do with your decision to support our act?
MB: My service in the Marine Corps, much like my career as a firefighter, helped underscore for me the importance of this legislation. Quick access to quality care is critical in both environments.
Q: If passed, how do you think the act will help ASCs, their patient community and the healthcare system?
MB: I believe this piece of legislation will help people who are on Medicare find the best care with fewer restrictions. ASCs have shown that they save Medicare money, and those savings could be passed along in the form of lower copayments and potentially lower insurance rates. Not only that, improving quality care metrics and increasing access ensures that the care patients receive is of the highest quality and readily available.
Q: Would you like to say anything to the ASC community that I didn’t ask about?
MB: Thank you for delivering high-quality care to rural America. I am always looking for ways to increase access to care and ASCs are a great way to do just that.
Write Maia Kunkel, ASCA’s Government Affairs manager, with questions.