Federal Government Affairs News and Notes:

Wednesday, January 25, 2023 9:05 AM | WiSCA (Administrator)

WISCA works closely with our national association partner – the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) – on advocacy and other issues important to our members. In fact, the WISCA Government Affairs Team joins a national ASCA state chapter call twice a month for a federal regulatory and legislative briefing and closely follows their published Government Affairs Updates. Here is the latest government affairs news from ASCA:

  • Public Health Emergency Expected to End in 2023:

According to reporting by Politico, the Biden administration is considering ending the federal government’s formal declaration of a public health emergency (PHE) due to the COVID-19 pandemic at the end of the most recent renewal on January 11, 2023. The PHE was originally declared on January 31, 2020, by former US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, and has been renewed continuously since then. If the Biden administration chooses not to renew the PHE again, it is set to expire mid-April 2023. Numerous waivers that were introduced to ease administration of health services during the pandemic, including the Hospitals Without Walls initiative that allowed ASCs to bill as hospital outpatient departments (HOPD), would expire along with the PHE declaration.

  • What Procedures Should Be Added to Medicare’s ASC Covered Procedures List?:

Help ASCA advocate for the expansion of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) ASC Covered Procedures List by completing a brief survey. The ASC-CPL contains codes that CMS considers clinically appropriate for ASCs to provide to Medicare beneficiaries. Participants must complete one survey for each procedure they would like added. For example, if you would like to see three procedures added, you would need to complete three surveys. Per 42 CFR §416.166 - Covered surgical procedures, unlisted codes (generally ending in 99) are not payable in ASCs. In addition, codes that are currently on the inpatient-only list may be recommended, but please note that it is generally a multiyear process for those codes to be considered for the ASC-payable list. Take the survey by Friday, February 10, 2023. Contact Kara Newbury with any questions.

  • ASC-1 through ASC-4 Data Collection Resumed January 1:

CMS decided in 2022 rulemaking to resume data collection and reporting beginning in 2023 for ASC-1: Patient BurnASC-2: Patient FallASC-3: Wrong Site, Wrong Side, Wrong Patient, Wrong Procedure, Wrong Implant; and ASC-4: All-Cause Hospital Transfer/Admission. These measures were previously suspended as of January 1, 2019. Facilities do not report these measures on claims as was previously required. Instead, ASCs must collect data for these measures for all patients, not just fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare beneficiaries, and will submit the data in calendar year (CY) 2024 via the Hospital Quality Reporting (HQR) secure portal (also known as QualityNet). Data collected in 2023 must be reported through the HQR secure portal by May 15, 2024. For more information, read last week’s Digital Debut.

Association of Wisconsin Surgery Centers
563 Carter Court, Suite B Kimberly WI 54136
920-560-5627 I WISCA@badgerbay.co

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