Government Affairs Update

October 20, 2016     Volume VI, Issue 40


MACRA Final Rule Released

National Advocacy Day


Make Sure Your ASC Isn’t Leaving Money on the Table

Physician Credentialing: Your Guide to Success

MACRA Final Rule Released

Late last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the highly anticipated final rule establishing the new Medicare payment methodology for physician services furnished under Medicare Part B, known as the Quality Payment Program (QPP). The QPP has two participation options for physicians: the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs). While this new methodology applies to payments beginning in CY 2019, reporting for the first year of the QPP begins in 2017.

MIPS, the primary track for participation in the QPP, consolidates components of the current physician reimbursement program and establishes a new metric for measuring performance. Under MIPS, eligible practitioners will be measured in four performance categories: Quality, Clinical Practice Improvement Activities (CPIA), Advancing Care Information (ACI) and Cost (also referred to as Resource Use).

To avoid a penalty in 2019, beginning in 2017 MIPS eligible clinicians will need only to submit a single measure in the quality performance category, a single activity in the CPIA category or the required measures in the ACI category. CMS is also shortening the MIPS 2017 performance period. CMS will allow a 90-day performance period for CY 2017 (2019 payment adjustment year) for most measures. As such, MIPS eligible clinicians will need only to report for a minimum of 90 continuous days within 2017. The level of the positive payment adjustments will depend on how much data is submitted and quality results.

More information is available on the CMS QPP web site.

National Advocacy Day

In conjunction with ASCA 2017, ASCA will be providing an opportunity for you to speak face-to-face with your representatives. This is your opportunity to have an impact on ASCA’s legislative and regulatory agenda by meeting with your members of Congress. As a constituent, you are the most effective communicator when it comes to educating policymakers on how their decisions affect you and your facility.

There will be two date options for you to visit Capitol Hill: Wednesday, May 3 or Thursday, May 4. Registration for National Advocacy Day will be included as part of registration for ASCA 2017. More details on this will be provided soon.

Please contact Danielle Kaster at for any questions.


ASCs across the country are facing rising costs, inadequate payment updates and increasing consolidation among providers. Now more than ever, it is vital that our policymakers understand the role ASCs play in providing high-quality and cost-efficient care to America’s patients. ASCA’s political action committee, ASCAPAC, helps ensure that the members of Congress who support ASC initiatives remain in Congress.

Did you know that the American Hospital Association has raised nearly $4 million this election cycle? That’s 1,147% more than ASCAPAC. However, if every ASCA facility contributed $750 a year, we could raise more than $4.5 million.

To learn more about ASCAPAC, please click here or contact Danielle Kaster at

Make Sure Your ASC Isn’t Leaving Money on the Table

Join ASCA in San Antonio, TX, January 12–14, 2017, to learn the fundamentals of finance and accounting for ASCs so that you can confidently assess your bottom line and ensure the financial health of your center.

John Goehle, MBA, CPA, CASC, of Ambulatory Healthcare Strategies, LLC, will lead each session at ASCA's new Finance and Accounting for Administrators Seminar to help prepare you for the challenges of running a successful ASC in this age of growing costs, declining reimbursements and increased competition for market share. He has more than 25 years of experience in ASC administration and is a nationally recognized speaker, author and financial management consultant.

This seminar will focus on:

  • current HIPAA requirements, explained in plain English;

  • managing income and expenses;

  • creating strong internal and external financial reports;

  • best practices in budgeting;

  • introductions to financial analysis, ratios and benchmarking; and

  • more that will help you enhance your ASC's bottom line.

These sessions are designed for the new financial manager, ASC staffers who need an introduction or refresher course on ASC financial management and anyone preparing for the CASC exam.

Learn more and register at the Finance and Accounting for Administrators Seminar web site. ASCA members can save $200 by registering before December 13.

Physician Credentialing: Your Guide to Success

Credentialing your physicians is critical for patient safety and for ensuring that your ASC is in compliance and in control. Make sure you know how to keep your patients and your ASC out of danger during ASCA's next webinar "Physician Credentialing in Your ASC." Join Cindy Young, RN, CASC, administrative director of the Surgery Center of Farmington in Missouri, on Tuesday, October 25, at 1:00 pm ET, as she discusses:

  • core principles of a credentialing program;

  • how to meet the credentialing requirements for Medicare, the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) and the Joint Commission;

  • how the re-credentialing process differs from the credentialing process;

  • the peer review process;

  • strategies for success; and

  • practical how-to advice for overcoming potential obstacles and pitfalls.

Nursing contact hours and AEU credits are available, and multiple members of your staff can participate using the same online connection at no additional cost. Participate in the live broadcast to ask your questions real-time during the presentation. Register today.

For more on regulatory requirements and tips on how to stay compliant, consider attending ASCA’s new Minimizing Your Regulatory and Legal Risk Seminar in San Antonio, TX, January 12–14, 2017.