ASCs are highly regulated healthcare facilities and must comply with a host of federal regulations and statutes. These laws cover all aspects of ASCs from their day-to-day operations to how they are paid. Most ASCs provide care to Medicare beneficiaries and, thus, must demonstrate continual compliance with Medicare standards. However, there are additional federal laws all ASCs must comply with, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Below you will find recent federal actions, separate from annual Medicare payment updates, that are impacting ASCs.
In 2023, a bipartisan group of legislators introduced the Outpatient Surgery Quality and Access Act of 2023 (H.R. 972/S. 312). This legislation expands access to quality, more affordable outpatient surgical care offered at ASCs across the country by enacting changes such as capping copays, improving transparency through price and quality comparison tools, and ensuring ASCs receive fair Medicare reimbursement rates.
On May 1, 2020, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) published the 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program, (Cures Act) Final Rule. Per this regulation, ASCs should be aware to avoid “information blocking”, or practices “likely to interfere with, prevent, or materially discourage access, exchange, or use of electronic health information.”