Government Affairs Update


September 5, 2019     Volume IX, Issue 34

HHS Issues Guidance Regarding Hurricane Dorian

Your Input Needed on Medicare’s 2020 Proposed ASC Payment Rule

Renew Your ASCA Membership Early and Save! 
 

HHS Issues Guidance Regarding Hurricane Dorian

The US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Azar has declared a public health emergency (PHE) for Puerto Rico, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and the US Virgin Islands in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian. The formal declaration gives agencies such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) the flexibility to implement key administrative actions, including special enrollment opportunities for hurricane victims and the activation of programs that will assist in delivering medical resources in an emergency.

Anyone affected by the storm can visit the Public Health Emergency site for the latest public health resources.

Your Input Needed on Medicare’s 2020 Proposed ASC Payment Rule

ASCA and its members have made significant progress recently advocating for Medicare policies that benefit ASCs. The ASC community has seen important wins in recent years, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalizing its proposal to align update factors and move ASCs to the hospital market basket and the addition of 58 procedures to the ASC-payable list in the past five years. However, payment disparities continue to affect our centers. For example, if finalized, Medicare would pay $8,640 on average for total knee arthroplasty (TKA) in ASCs as compared to $11,960 in HOPDs.

That is why we need your input on policy changes proposed in the CY 2020 proposed ASC payment rule. As a special member resource, ASCA has created multiple draft comment letters for the various aspects of the proposed rule that ASCs can customize and submit to CMS, including:

  • requesting that CMS remove the secondary rescaling that is applied to ASCs, a policy that contributes to the growing disparity in reimbursement rates between ASCs and HOPDs
  • providing support for CMS’ proposal to add total knee arthroplasty to the ASC-payable list
  • providing support for CMS’ proposal to add more cardiology codes to the ASC-payable list
  • requesting codes be added to the ASC-payable list

Members can also visit ASCA’s Medicare Payment Resources page for other helpful resources such as analysis of major provisions in the proposed rule, the 2020 Proposed Rule Rate Calculator, our payment resources worksheets that break down procedures by code group and a proposed rule Q & A with ASCA CEO Bill Prentice.

Please contact Kara Newbury with any questions.

Renew Your ASCA Membership Early and Save!

Online membership renewals for 2020 are now open for independent facilities. Renew today to lock in 2019 dues rates and maintain access to the Government Affairs Update and the other resources linked here today. Hurry—this offer ends September 30!

Membership renewal for corporate facilities and affiliates will open October 1. Renewal invoices will be mailed by October 15.