The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill to require the CMS to disclose why they block Medicare from covering certain procedures at ambulatory surgery centers.
The ASC Payment Transparency Act of 2018 would also add at least one ambulatory surgery center representative to the expert panel in charge of reviewing the Medicare prospective payment system for hospital outpatient department services.
Under current law, the CMS can exclude certain procedures from its list of what Medicare will cover for an ambulatory surgery center; it generally carves out serious surgeries such as those considered emergent or life-threatening and that generally lead to heavy blood loss.
Supporters of the bill say it will save Medicare and Medicare beneficiaries money by allowing the lower-cost ambulatory surgery centers to perform a greater array of procedures.
"Data show that ASCs deliver excellent patient outcomes at a lower cost than similar sites of service," William Prentice, CEO of the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, said. "This legislation will assure better communication between ASCs and government agencies that regulate us, leading to better decisions that will benefit Medicare beneficiaries requiring outpatient surgery."