ASCA Commends US House of Representatives for Passage of the Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care

ASCA Commends US House of Representatives for Passage of the Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act of 2016

WASHINGTON, DC, JUNE 7, 2016 — Today, the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 5273, the Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act of 2016. This legislation was sponsored by US Representatives Patrick Tiberi (R-OH) and Jim McDermott (D-WA) and includes a provision protecting physicians who practice in ASCs from current and future Medicare payment penalties related to meaningful use requirements for electronic health records. The legislation now moves to the US Senate for consideration.

H.R. 5273 builds upon the Electronic Health Fairness Act, which was championed by US Representatives Diane Black (R-TN) and David Scott (D-GA) in the House and US Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) in the Senate. Both chambers of Congress have already approved similar versions of that legislation.

“Physicians who practice in the ASC setting are penalized unfairly because they simply cannot meet meaningful use requirements as they are currently enacted,” said William Prentice, chief executive officer of ASCA. “This bill allows physicians to perform procedures in ASCs without jeopardizing their Medicare reimbursements and encourages them to continue choosing the most appropriate setting for patient care; I commend the US House of Representatives for taking action on this important issue. I strongly urge the Senate to pass this legislation soon.”

Section 203 of the Helping Hospitals Improve Patient Care Act of 2016 exempts physicians who practice in ASCs from electronic health record-related penalties through the implementation of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System. Once a technology is available, the exemption sunsets after three years. ASCA endorsed this legislation in May.