2019 Reimbursement changes ‘good news’ for ASCs
WAIKOLOA, Hawaii — There is “nothing but good news” for ambulatory surgery centers with regard to Medicare payments, Kevin J. Corcoran, COE, CPC, CPMA, FNAO, said at Hawaiian Eye 2019, where he delivered his yearly update. Corcoran received Sunday’s Speaker of the Day award.
“If you’re an operator of an ASC or an owner of an ASC, you’re a pretty happy camper this year,” he said.
Except for the 1% of ASCs that did not meet quality reporting requirements set by CMS, reimbursement changed by 2.1% in a positive direction.
“Other good news for ASCs, they lightened the administrative burden considerably,” he said, referring to the elimination of one quality measure in 2019 reporting requirements and suspension of four others pending CMS review. Corcoran said the eliminated ASC quality measure is ASC-8: Influenza vaccination coverage among healthcare personnel, and the four suspended measures are ASC-1: Patient burn, ASC-2: Patient fall, ASC-3: Wrong site, wrong side, and ASC-4: All-cause hospital transfer/admission.
“Another area that is positive for ambulatory surgery centers is the idea that device-intensive procedures have an increased level of reimbursement,” he said.
CMS also finalized ASC rules that update the methodology to quicken the rate of increase in ASC payments, which is considered to be “excellent news,” in general, putting ASCs on the same track as hospitals, he said.
New instructions for version 8.0 of the updated ASC Quality Reporting Specifications manual are online at qualitynet.org.
Regarding payment rates for ASCs, Corcoran said, “There are small changes – some up, some down, but in the main, very small numbers.” – by Patricia Nale, ELS
Reference: Corcoran KJ. What’s new for 2019? Presented at: Hawaiian Eye; Jan. 19-25, 2019; Waikoloa, Hawaii.
Disclosures: Corcoran reports he receives consulting fees from Corcoran Consulting Group.