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CASA ASC COVID-19 Resources 3.31.2020


The updates and response to COVID-19 rapidly change each day.  As you are responding to the needs of your patients, ASC and community, we are working to provide you with resources to assist you in navigating the pandemic response.

CMS Announces "Hospitals without Walls" Expands ASCs’ Ability to Assist with COVID-19 Response

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced sweeping regulatory changes to address the surge that is expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program referred to as “hospitals without walls,” states “hospitals will be able to transfer patients to outside facilities, such as ambulatory surgery centers, inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, hotels, and dormitories, while still receiving hospital payments under Medicare. Ambulatory surgery centers can contract with local healthcare systems to provide hospital services, or they can enroll and bill as hospitals during the emergency declaration as long as they are not inconsistent with their State’s Emergency Preparedness or Pandemic Plan.”

As of this morning, March 31, 2020, Governor Newsom has not provided a waiver for ASCs or outpatient surgery settings and the care they provide under California law.  CASA is working with stakeholders and the administration to address the ASC response in this COVID-19 pandemic crisis.  Until such time, ASCs may contract with hospitals and healthcare systems to provide care.  Several ASCs have reached out regarding how to determine a lease agreement with a local hospital or health system.  CASA has developed a worksheet to help guide ASCs.

ASCs looking to enroll to receive temporary billing privileges as a hospital should call the COVID-19 Provider Enrollment Hotline to reach the contractor that serves their jurisdiction and complete and sign an attestation form specific to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). See this emergency declaration waiver document and these frequently asked questions for additional information. 

CMS has also issued new recommendations to mitigate transmission of the coronavirus, including screening, restricting visitors, cleaning and disinfection and possible closures.

Some ASCs may be temporarily closing during this pandemic. According to this announcement, “CMS will not take administrative actions with respect to facilities who need to temporarily close during the outbreak, however, facilities are expected to resume operations or voluntarily terminate their Medicare enrollment within 30 days of the public health emergency being lifted."


Additional Updates and Links

The State of California has launched a New Comprehensive, Consumer-Friendly Website and Public Service Announcements to Boost COVID-19 Awareness.

ASCA COVID-19 Resource Page

ASCA Free COVID-19 Webinar

CASA ASC Surge Response letter 3.25.2020

CASA & ASCA Consensus response on COVID-19 

Coronavirus Aid Relief And Economic Security Act H R 748 03 25 2020


ASC Covid-19 Action Plan

All ASCs should adopt the following:

  1. It is imperative that all ASCs are coordinating with their local department of public health.  This will assure you receive  the latest information and recommendations in your area. 

  2. Implement CDC guidance and stay up to date by visiting these critical websites.
  3. Implement rigorous screening for patients and visitors prior to entering the facility.
  4. Maintain a safe environment for patients, employees and visitors, including adherence to social distancing recommendations.

  5. Implement enhanced cleaning as directed by CDC guidelines.
  6. As hospitals are implementing their disaster operations, ASCs should be responding likewise and coordinating their plan in conjunction with their local emergency medical response. If you need guidance with policies and a comprehensive emergency plan see the resources listed below.
  7. As you implement your emergency plan, your governing body should work together to address a policy on prioritizing elective vs urgent elective surgical procedures.

Additional Tools and Consideration

Signs and Posters

Economic Issues


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