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ADVOCACY

Ambulatory Surgical Centers 

The Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) is an important part of the practice of gastroenterology, providing a safe, patient friendly and cost effective environment for the provision of medical services, such as colorectal cancer screening colonoscopy, for patients of all ages. The majority of ASCs in which gastroenterologists practice are single specialty centers. Because of their single specialty structure, gastrointestinal ASCs are particularly sensitive to changes in Medicare payments.

Medicare reimbursement for gastrointestinal services provided in the ASC setting is based on the Outpatient Prospective Payment System relative payment weights. CMS uses the consumer price index for urban consumers (CPI-U) rather than the hospital market index to calculate annual payment updates. Due to this discrepancy, ASCs are reimbursed by Medicare around 45% less than hospital outpatient departments are reimbursed for the same procedures.

Please help preserve ASCs as a cost-effective site of service for Medicare beneficiaries by cosponsoring the “Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act of 2013” (S. 1137 / H.R. 2500). This legislation revises the index for updating payments to ASCs and establishes an ASC value-based purchasing (VBP) system.

ASGE Advocacy Efforts