Government Affairs Update


October 13, 2016     Volume VI, Issue 39

 

Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting Preview Available

ASCA Calls for MedPAC Nominations

Reminder: ASCs Must Comply with Nondiscrimination Requirements by October 19

Massachusetts Determination of Need Comments Submitted

Liaison from the Office of US Senator Michael Bennet Attends Boulder Surgery Center Grand Reopening

Master Recent Updates and Become a Coding and Billing Expert

ASC Focus October Issue Open to Nonmembers


Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting Preview Available

The December 2016 Ambulatory Surgical Center Public Reporting Preview Reports for participating facilities are available now until November 6, 2016.


Preview reports can be accessed through your account on QualityNet at www.qualitynet.org.


In late December, the data in the preview reports will be posted on Hospital Compare, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) web site for Medicare beneficiaries and the general public (www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare).


For further assistance, please contact the ASCQR Program Support Contractor at 866.800.8756 or at https://cms-ocsq.custhelp.com/.


ASCA Calls for MedPAC Nominations

Do you or someone you know have an interest in helping to advise Congress on Medicare payment policy? ASCA is calling for nominations to the Medicare Payment Advisory Board (MedPAC), which is an independent congressional agency charged with advising Congress and the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) on Medicare payment policies, patient access and quality of care. For more information, go to www.medpac.gov.


“Having an ASC voice on MedPAC is crucial because Congress looks to them for advice on payment policy; their reports are discussed every day on Capitol Hill and in other parts of Washington,” said Steve Miller, chief operating officer for ASCA.


Individuals interested in serving on MedPAC must be prepared to travel to Washington, DC, four times a year for two-day meetings.


Successful candidates will have a history of leadership within their medical societies or other health care-related organizations, experience working with Medicare beneficiaries and a strong academic interest in health care delivery systems.


To apply, please send a curriculum vitae and a cover letter explaining why you or your colleague would be an ideal candidate to serve on MedPAC to Kristin Murphy at kmurphy@ascassociation.org by October 28, 2016. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The successful nominee will be announced in late November.


Reminder: ASCs Must Comply with Nondiscrimination Requirements by October 19

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act’s prohibition on sex discrimination also requires language assistance for people with limited English proficiency and effective communication for individuals with disabilities. For guidance on how to comply with the rule, please visit our Section 1557 resource page.


If you have any questions, write to Nawa Arsala at narsala@ascassociation.org.


Massachusetts Determination of Need Comments Submitted

ASCA submitted comments on proposed changes to the Massachusetts Determination of Need (DoN) regulations late last week. A copy of our comment letter can be found here.


The state of Massachusetts is looking to amend their DoN requirements for ASCs and other providers. Of particular concern was a provision which would prohibit freestanding ASCs from applying for a Determination of Need for any proposed project unless affiliated with an acute care hospital. A “proposed project” is defined as “any Capital Expenditure, Substantial Change in Service, Original License, transfer of ownership, DoN-Required Service, DoN-Required Equipment, or any combination therein.”


ASCA worked with the Massachusetts Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers (MAASC) and many other specialty organizations to stand against the proposed Determination of Need regulations.


If you have questions regarding our comment letter or questions on state regulatory advocacy, please contact Ali Legros at alegros@ascassociation.org or Nawa Arsala at narsala@ascassociation.org.


Liaison from the Office of US Senator Michael Bennet Attends Boulder Surgery Center Grand Reopening

Kyle Staub, Constituent Advocate for US Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), attended the Boulder Surgery Center and BoulderCentre for Orthopedics grand reopening celebration on October 6, 2016. Jean Day, the center’s Administrator, Drigan Wieder, MD, Medical Ddirector of Boulder Surgery Center, Lisa Austin, Pinnacle III Vice President of Facility Development and former Colorado Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (CASCA) Board President and other local leaders met with Mr. Staub to discuss issues facing ASCs on a national level.


At the open house, Boulder Surgery Center hosted many influential members of Boulder’s health care provider community, including surgery center physicians and staff, referring providers in the Boulder Community Health and the Boulder Medical Society networks, hospital administrators, payer representatives and medical device representatives.


The leadership of Boulder Surgery Center took the opportunity to tell Mr. Staub how much they and the entire ASC community appreciate Senator Bennet for his leadership in coauthoring the Electronic Health Fairness Act of 2015. Boulder Surgery Center sincerely appreciates Senator Bennet’s dedication to improving clinical and financial outcomes nationwide by expanding the role of ASCs in health care. Boulder Surgery Center would also like to thank Kyle Staub for attending on behalf of Senator Bennet.


Lisa Austin, Kyle Staub and Jack Mast

 

Kyle Staub and Dr. Drigan Wieder

 

Dr. Jim Rector, President of BoulderCentre for Orthopedics addresses the crowd, sharing both the history of and future vision for Boulder Surgery Center.

 

Information provided by Jack Mast, Physician Liaison for Pinnacle III.


Master Recent Updates and Become a Coding and Billing Expert

Join ASCA in San Antonio, TX, January 12–14, 2017, to learn how you can maximize reimbursements at your ASC. The experts at ASCA’s Coding Update & Reimbursement Strategies Seminar will discuss the coding and billing changes taking effect next year and best practices for making sure you are paid appropriately for the services you provide in 2017.


This seminar will focus on:

  • explaining current HIPAA requirements in plain English;

  • Medicare's 2017 ASC reimbursement updates;

  • strategies for improving your coding and billing;

  • using documentation to maximize revenue from ENT procedures;

  • coding conundrums in spine and pain management; and

  • many more topics that will help your ASC get the reimbursements it deserves.


Learn more and register at the Coding Update & Reimbursement Strategies Seminar web site. ASCA members can save $200 by registering before December 13.


ASC Focus October Issue Open to Nonmembers

Starting this month, nonmembers of ASCA can read the October issue of ASC Focus magazine online. By the middle of November that opportunity will end and only ASCA members will have access, as before. We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity.


Please forward this news to your colleagues who are not members of ASCA so they can get better acquainted with ASCA. When you do, please encourage them to join ASCA for all of the benefits that ASCA membership offers. Please refer anyone who is interested in becoming an ASCA member here. Anyone with questions, can write Mykal Cox at mcox@ascassociation.org or call 703.836.8808.


ASC Focus, the official magazine of the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, is published monthly except for combined issues in June-July and November-December. ASCA members receive a free subscription to the magazine as part of their association membership.