Medline and Ambulatory Surgery Center Association Take to Capitol Hill
National Advocacy Day platform to advocate for better care access, provide key industry insights
By Medline Newsroom Staff | October 17, 2019
Medline’s Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) division recently participated in the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association’s (ASCA) National Advocacy Day in Washington D.C. to educate members of the U.S. Congress on the most urgent issues facing the ASC community and its patients:
- Access to Care
- Quality Reporting Transparency
- Transparency into Medicare Procedure Approval Process
The Medline ASC team and 54 ASCA members from 15 different states visited representatives to discuss pending bills, including H. R. 4350 and H. R. 1570. These bills seek to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide more people with access to care, an issue vitally important to ambulatory surgical center patients.
“ASCA’s National Advocacy Day was an important opportunity to raise awareness around key industry initiatives that can improve healthcare costs and access to care,” says Antonia Finlayson, vice president of specialty marketing at Medline. “Medline’s mission is to help make healthcare run better and improve healthcare for all. Our work on the Hill during National Advocacy Day is part of our continued support for the industry leaders seeking to spark positive change, especially as more individuals and organizations see rising healthcare costs.”
Ambulatory Surgery Centers provide same-day surgical care, including diagnostic and preventive procedures, in modern healthcare settings that offer an alternative to hospital-based outpatient procedures. For over a decade, ASCA has advocated for the federal government to report on the performance of ASCs so that patients can make more informed decisions and providers can evaluate and improve upon the care they provide. The “Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act of 2019,” H. R. 4350, seeks to modernize payments for ambulatory surgical centers under the Medicare program. The bill includes several provisions, including:
- Make reporting and Medicare beneficiary information more transparent
- Apply Hospital Outpatient Department reimbursement factors to ASC services
- Place an ASC representative on the Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment
- Disclose ASC procedure list criteria
The “Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2019,” H. R. 1570, seeks to waive coinsurance under Medicare for colorectal cancer screening tests, regardless of whether therapeutic intervention is required during the screening. This bill will correct the current law which requires Medicare beneficiaries to pay a copayment for a free colonoscopy screening if a polyp is discovered and removed during the procedure. Though widely regarded as a preventable disease if detected and treated early, colorectal cancer is still a leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, with more than 145,000 diagnoses in 2019 and 51,000 deaths according to the bill.
“ASCs fill a need in our communities by providing consumers with alternative, quality options for surgical care,” says Roe Riggio, vice president of ASC national accounts at Medline. “During National Advocacy Day, we wanted to highlight the impact H. R. 4350 and H. R. 1570 can have on the healthcare industry by providing patients with better access to care and greater transparency so they can make informed decisions. It was also an opportunity for us to learn from our elected officials about their legislative priorities when it comes to the healthcare.”
Learn about other ways Medline is helping ambulatory surgery centers deliver quality care.