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CASA Members in Action

CASA Members Take Part in ASCA’s National Advocacy Day

Representative Michelle Stelle R Orange County

Beth LaBouyer, Shannon Yarrow, Carrie Millsap, Dr. Steven Moore, Representative Michelle Steel, Johnny Russell, Nate Garner, Kate Pearlstrom

On February 27th and 28th, 2024, a delegation of 16 representatives from the California Ambulatory Surgery Association (CASA) participated in the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association’s (ASCA) fly-in event. Their mission was to engage with members of Congress and their staff, advocate for the interests of the ASC community and garner support for the Outpatient Surgery Quality and Access Act of 2023

The primary focus of these discussions centered around the need to eliminate the Copay penalty imposed on Medicare Beneficiaries who undergo surgery in ASCs. Addressing this issue is essential to ensure equitable access to quality care while also yielding significant cost savings for both patients and the broader Medicare system.

This industrious California contingency met with a total of 32 legislative offices.  In addition to highlighting the copay penalty, they emphasized additional components of the Outpatient Surgery Quality and Access Act of 2023, including:

  • Align the Reimbursement Update Factor for Identical Outpatient Procedures - The bill makes permanent the 2019 decision by the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to use the same update factor for hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) and ASCs, better aligning the ASC and HOPD payment systems.
  • Provide Beneficiaries with Quality Information - The bill directs HHS to publish a comparison of quality measures that apply to both ASCs and HOPDs.
  • Add an ASC Representative to the Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment - The bill designates one seat on the panel, currently composed solely of hospital and health system representatives, for a representative from the ASC community.
  • Create a Review Process for Potential Outpatient Procedures - The bill directs the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to publish its rationale for declining to add any codes to the ASC Covered Procedures List that were formally requested by industry stakeholders, providing transparency in a currently opaque system.
  • Eliminate the Copay Penalty for Part B Services - The bill applies the same framework to ASCs that applies to HOPDs, capping a beneficiary’s copay and making the facility whole for the difference. Ending the penalty will increase access to care and ultimately decrease costs to Medicare and its beneficiaries.

Supervisor Ray Mueller

Stephanie Anderson, Dr. Yasser Bhat, Supervisor Ray Mueller, Adrianna Clark

On February 29, 2024, San Mateo Supervisor Ray Mueller and his community liaison Stephanie Anderson toured the Surgery Center San Carlos. Supervisor Mueller was interested in learning more about the surgery center after receiving notice they received the 2024 CASA Award for ASC Excellence.

Surgery Center San Carlos administrator Adrianna Clark and Dr. Yasser Bhat led the tour demonstrating the services the center provides for the community. It was a great educational opportunity as Supervisor Mueller was not aware of the vast services Surgery Center San Carlos provides.  Adrianna shared what a positive experience it was and relays, “I strongly believe ASCs are going to continue to grow and become an even bigger part of the healthcare delivery system in the years to come. It is extremely important that we continue to try and educate our political leaders about what we do.”

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