Federal Government Affairs News and Notes

Wednesday, February 22, 2023 9:16 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 update:
    • On January 30, the Biden-Harris administration announced its intent to end the national emergency and public health emergency (PHE) declarations related to the COVID-19 pandemic on May 11, 2023. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has resources available to help you prepare for the end of the PHE, including provider-specific fact sheets for information about COVID-19 PHE waivers and flexibilities. One such waiver is the Hospitals Without Walls initiative that allowed ASCs to temporarily enroll as hospitals, which is set to expire along with the PHE declaration. “Under the Hospitals Without Walls initiative: CMS permitted ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) to temporarily reenroll as hospitals and to provide hospital services to help address the urgent need to increase hospital capacity to take care of patients. . . . When the PHE ends, ASCs must decide either to meet the certification standards for hospitals at 42 CFR Part 482, or return to ASC status. If they choose to return to ASC status, they can only be paid under the ASC payment system for services on the ASC Covered Procedures List.” Updates will continue to be provided as the end of the PHE approaches, so please visit the CMS Current emergencies page for the most up-to-date information.

  • CMS payment policy meeting:
    • ASCA met with CMS payment policy staff on Wednesday, February 22. Thanks to those who completed the ASC Covered Procedures List (ASC-CPL) survey. We used the information collected to advocate for expansion of the ASC-CPL.

  • Outpatient Surgery Quality and Access Act
    • The Outpatient Surgery Quality and Access Act, endorsed by Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, has been reintroduced in both chambers of Congress. U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and U.S. Representatives Brad Wenstrup, D.P.M. (R-OH), and John B. Larson (D-CT) reintroduced the bipartisan, bicameral legislation seeks to increase Medicare patients’ access to ambulatory surgery centers, ensure adequate reimbursement, and provide better quality metrics across sites of care.

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

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