ALEXANDRIA, VA, November 20, 2013 — 98 percent of the nation’s Medicare-certified ASCs successfully met quality reporting requirements set for the first year of a new national quality reporting program introduced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to measure the quality of care that ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) provide to Medicare beneficiaries.
“In any federal program of this scope and size, it would be easy to expect a compliance rate far below 98 percent during the project’s first year,” said Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) President Nap Gary. “In the ASC community, however, where we consistently see individuals and individual facilities going the extra mile to deliver the highest quality care to their patients, we are not surprised to see such a high level of participation. The success that ASCs have demonstrated in meeting the reporting standards that CMS set for this program is yet another indicator of the commitment to quality that has been a hallmark of the ASC community since its earliest days. Once again, ASCs are leading the evolution of health care in this country and setting an example to which other health care providers should aspire.”
Measures that the new Medicare quality reporting program ask ASCs to report include occurrences of wrong site, side, patient, procedure or implant surgeries; patient burns; patient falls; and hospital transfers. Each ASC is also asked to report its success rate in delivering on-time intravenous prophylactic antibiotics prior to surgery. All of these measures have been endorsed by the prestigious National Quality Forum—a voluntary consensus standard-setting organization established to improve the quality of American health care by setting national priorities for performance improvement and promoting the attainment of national goals.
“As the health care marketplace, patients, policy makers, insurers and others continue to place increasing emphasis on the quality of care that patients receive, rather than on the quantity of that care, the importance of measuring and reporting quality data grows exponentially,” said ASCA Chief Executive Officer William Prentice. “The ASC community has long supported a national quality reporting program of this kind and deserves a great deal of credit for leading the way in these efforts and contributing to the program’s success. Also, we thank the CMS staff who have worked with us to educate ASCs about this important program.”
In coming years, additional quality indicators are expected to be added to the mix that ASCs are asked to report.
About ASCs: ASCs are an integral part of the health care system, providing critical access to surgical and diagnostic care, including preventive services. As essential Medicare providers of surgical and cancer screening services, ASCs perform more than 40 percent of Medicare colonoscopies.
About the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA): ASCA is working to raise awareness of the important role that ASCs play in the US health care system and the high-quality, cost-effective care that ASCs provide. For more about ASCA, go to ascassociation.org.