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CASA Holds 10th Annual ASC Summit

The California Ambulatory Surgery Association (CASA) recently hosted its tenth ASC Summit on March 30-31, 2017. The Summit is an invitational gathering of leaders in the California ASC industry and healthcare sector.          

Leading spokespersons were invited from the major health plans, including Anthem Blue Cross, CIGNA Healthcare, Blue Shield of California, United Health Care, Aetna and Health Net, including representatives from HealthSmart and the Lockton Group. The two days were packed with influential speakers, which included California Assembly Business and Profession Committee Vice Chairperson, Assembly Member Bill Brough. 

Assembly Member Bill Brough provided a recap of areas he sees the California legislature focusing on in 2017 and how they would impact ASCs.  In addition, CASA Legislative Advocate, Bryce Docherty addressed specific bills that CASA is monitoring.  Steve Miller, COO of the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA), reviewed activity on the federal level and how ASCs are positioned.

As value based programs are unfolding in healthcare, it is important for ASCs and their leaders to understand the challenges physicians face.  Elizabeth McNeil, Vice President, Federal Government Relations of the California Medical Association (CMA), provided a detailed presentation on MACRA & Other Economic Implications for Providers. 

A component of CASA’s strategic mission is to reach out to employers to assure they understand the value and quality of ASCs.  New to this year’s Summit, was a discussion around the large employer perspective and benefit design.  Lauren Vela, Senior Director, Member Value for the Pacific Business Group on Health, led a panel discussion addressing employer concerns.  This panel included Hope Kragh, Director of National Accounts for Anthem, and Kathy Donneson, Chief of Health Plan Administration for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS).  Ms. Donneson addressed the CalPERS program and ensuing success with matching care to the appropriate site of service and directing utilization of ASCs.

In addition, Randy Todorovich, CASA Payor Liaison and Senior Vice President Managed Care, ASD Management, moderated a panel addressing new payor trends and benefit design.  Christopher Keith, President of the large healthcare brokerage firm, the Lockton Company, discussed the self-funded market and how ASCs fit in to the new delivery models and steerage.  John Green, Assistant Vice President, HealthSmart Network Solutions, addressed the unique roles of health plans, third party administrators and the frontier of bundled programs. 

The program also focused on PPO-ACO ASC Opportunities.  Holle Ho, Senior Director Managed Care, Surgical Care Affiliates, led a distinguished and diverse panel in this discussion.  The panel included Seth Merritt, Market Vice President Business Development & Operations, Aetna’s Accountable Care Solutions, Ray Chicoine, President, Monarch Healthcare and Laura Carmona, Associate Vice President, Network Management United Healthcare.

Wrapping up the payor and benefit design discussion was a panel addressing Surgical Cost Reduction through Contracting and Activation Strategies to drive site of care shift.  Anne Pukstys, Senior Vice President of Client Development, IPG moderated the discussion.  Rounding out the panel were Brian Holt, Chief Innovation Officer, IPG, and Mark Russell, Vice President of DJO Surgical.

The program also contained informative medical presentations from esteemed physicians on moving complex procedures to the ASC environment.  Tom Colicchio, Director of Managed Care, United Surgical Partners International (USPI) set the stage with a presentation on how ASCs have impacted the healthcare market and the migration of complex procedures in the ASCs.  Nationally recognized spine surgeon, Sohrab Gollogly, MD, presented on clinical and quality considerations for providing complex procedures in the ASCs, including total joint replacement and spine surgery.  Paula Reisdorfer, Vice President, Business Development, Cardiology Services, for USPI addressed cardiology in the ASC and its migration to the outpatient arena.  Richard Alexander MD, concluded the meeting with the discussion on the success of hysterectomy procedures in the ASC.

This annual meeting has become a critical component to CASA’s mission of advancing relationships with key parties for the success of ASCs in California.  CASA President, Peggy Wellman, stated that, “She and the CASA Board are very pleased with the outcome of the Summit.  The CASA Board will continue to move forward by further establishing relationships with California physician groups, reaching out to large employers on the benefits of ASCs, and continuing the ongoing dialogue with the health plans on contracting barriers and the benefits of ASCs to the success of health care reform.”


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