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05/17/2017

CASA Members Take ASC Message to DC

Fly-in 2017 1
Tersa Lech, Peggy Wellman, Dr. David Awerbuck, Benita Tapia, Carla Mezan,  Scott Hinkle, Legislative Director for Congressman Vargas

A group of eighteen ASC representatives and members of CASA participated in the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) Washington DC Fly-In, last week.  In a week where healthcare was the focus on Capitol Hill, the CASA team was able to take the ASC message to 20 California legislators.  In addition to educating on the benefit of ASCs, the group was encouraging our lawmakers to co-sponsor the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act of 2017 (HR 1838) and Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2017 (HR 1017).  In addition, the members were encouraged to sign on to a bi-partisan letter asking Health and Human Service Secretary Dr. Tom Price, to administratively move the ASC payment update to the hospital market basket system.

The Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act of 2017 (H.R. 1838) would move the ASC payment update from the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) to the hospital market basket system, add an ASC representative to the Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment and create more transparency within the Medicare procedure approval and quality reporting processes. This bill would ensure the Medicare system and its beneficiaries continue to have access to the high quality, low-cost services ASCs provide. 

Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2017 (H.R. 1017 / S. 479) would eliminate the unexpected costs for Medicare beneficiaries when a polyp is discovered and removed. Under current law, screening colonoscopies are covered as a preventive benefit, and if nothing is found during the procedures, copays are waived. But, if a polyp is found and removed during a screening colonoscopy, the colonoscopy must be coded as a therapeutic procedure and copays apply. This bill would attain higher screening rates and reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer by eliminating the financial barriers to obtaining preventive care.  

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Ernesto Brizuela, Chad Smith, Nate Garner, Andrew Kim

A first-time fly-in participant, Chad Smith, RN, Director of Clinical Services, Valley Region, Sutter Surgery Center Division relays, “to experience the political realm up-close and personal and advocate for equality was inspiring. It was an awesome experience and would like to challenge others to be advocates of change.”

We urge all our CASA members to be active and contact their representative regarding supporting ASCs.  Further information and links to contact your members of Congress can be found at the following links.

ASC Quality and Access Act of 2017 (H.R. 1838)

Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2017 (H.R. 1017/S. 479)