On December 12, the staff to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommended that ASCs be afforded no update in facility fees in 2015. MedPAC staff also recommended that facilities be subject to some form of Medicare cost reporting. The Commission will take up the staff recommendations in January.
Because access to ASC services continues to increase and surgery centers’ access to capital has been adequate, MedPAC staff argues that an increase is not needed. Moreover, the Commission has believed for some time that, without some form of cost reporting for ASCs, it isn’t possible to establish an update factor that truly reflects surgery centers’ cost structure.
This reasoning is specious and its conclusions are indefensible. OOSS members should not despair — MedPAC’s recommendations for provider annual updates are frequently not adopted by Congress or CMS and this proposal represents just the opening volley in a 2015 budget battle that will play out over the next twelve months. The position of OOSS and the ASC community remains constant: ASCs should receive the same annual update as hospitals and cost reporting of ASCs is unreasonably burdensome and unnecessary.
Should you have any questions, please contact our Washington Counsel, Mike Romansky, JD, at mromansky@OOSS.org.