Federal Government Affairs News and Notes:

Thursday, January 18, 2024 6:40 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 federal government affairs news from ASCA:

  • Federal Regulatory Update
    • ASCA’s ASC Quality Reporting Program Resources Updated for 2024: ASCA has updated our ASC Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program home page to reflect 2024 measures and deadlines. You can also visit ASCA's updated ASCQR Program requirements webpage for information on how to comply with ASCQR Program requirements in 2024, and the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting Specifications Manual for more information on all measures. Facilities should also be sure to check out the Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (OAS CAHPS) Survey page which provides more information on the OAS CAHPS survey which will become a mandatory component of the ASCQR Program in 2025. Contact Kara Newbury with questions.
    • Pre-Proposed Rule CPL Recommendation Process: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided more information regarding the new recommendation processfor the ASC Covered Procedures List (ASC-CPL). This process enables interested parties to submit codes for consideration to be added to Medicare's ASC-CPL. The submission period will start on January 1, 2024, and conclude on March 1, 2024, for 2025 rulemaking. ASCA will continue to advocate for the addition of complexity-adjusted code combinations and alignment with the Hospital Market Basket to update reimbursement rates. More information about the recommendation process will be available in January in ASC Focus Magazine’s Digital Debut. If you have specific procedures you would like ASCA to advocate for, please contact Kara Newbury.
    • Clinician Reimbursement Correction Notice: Medicare reimbursement for clinicians is set to decline by 3.37 percent unless Congress acts. Several major specialties that operate in ASCs, such as orthopedic surgery, ophthalmology and vascular surgery, are expected to see negative impacts. ASCA has been active in advocating for relief from these cuts, most recently signing on to a letter with 53 other health organizations requesting congressional action. Representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Ami Bera (D-CA), Larry Bucshon (R-IN), and Kim Schrier (D-WA) circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter to members of the US House urging quick legislative action to prevent the 3.37 percent reimbursement cut scheduled for January 1, 2024. In previous years, a correction notice has been issued to resolve this issue.
  • Update on Federal Price Transparency Legislation: On December 11, the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act (H.R. 5378) passed the US House of Representatives by a vote of 320–71. As previously reported, language pertaining to ASCs under Sec. 104 of H.R. 5378 is identical to the price transparency legislation that ASCA lobbied against in July. On Thursday, December 14, the companion bill, S. 3548, was introduced in the US Senate. Section 5 (5)(B)(i-ii) of the legislation nearly matches the language of H.R. 5378. ASCA has been working closely with committee staff to improve the legislation and will report on any updates. If passed, implementation would begin in January 2026.
  • Pertinent takeaways from Sec. 104 (Ambulatory Surgical Center Price Transparency):
    • ASCs must publicly disclose all of their standard charges for all items and services they offer.
    • This information must be free and accessible without subscription.
    • ASCs must also disclose their prices for a minimum of 300 shoppable services, including all Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)-specified shoppable services they provide and additional ASC-selected shoppable services to reach the 300 minimum; if an ASC offers less than 300 shoppable services, it must disclose prices for all of the services it does offer.
    • For CMS-specified shoppable services not offered, ASCs must clearly indicate their nonavailability.
    • PENALTIES: This legislation allows CMS to issue penalties of $300 per day for noncompliance.
    • More information is available in ASCA’s Digital Debut.
  • Contact David Opong-Wadee at dopongwadee@ascassociation.org with any questions.

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

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