November 25, 2014
Last week, the US House Committee on Ways and Means unveiled draft legislation called the Hospitals Improvements for Payment (HIP) Act of 2014. This legislation includes language that would require an ASC voice to be added to the Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment (HOP). This panel, which seats up to 19 people, advises the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the clinical integrity of the Ambulatory Payment Classification groups and their relative payment weights. The HOP provision is a component of the ASC Quality and Access Act of 2013 (H.R. 2500/S. 1137).
The Ways and Means Committee is one of the key committees of jurisdiction over health care policy in the US Congress. While the legislation will not likely become law at this time, the inclusion of the ASC provision in the HIP highlights how increased support on our legislation can lead to being included in larger legislative packages. It also means that these key committees are beginning to recognize the value ASCs provide to Medicare and its beneficiaries.
ASCA staff would like to thank all of the members who participated in the grassroots efforts that made it possible to reach this record. Many of the 88 supporters in the House and Senate were garnered through your direct lobbying of your members of Congress.