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Hospital interests pushing CMS away from ASCs, administrator says

CMS has passed several measures in the last year affecting ASC reimbursements, including removing 255 procedures from the ASC-payable list. For Cathy McCue, MSN, RN, administrator of Uropartners Surgery Center in Des Plaines, Ill., CMS' actions point to a prioritization of hospitals because of a strong hospital lobby. 

Ms. McCue joined Becker's to discuss ASCs' biggest obstacles in providing patient care. 

Question: What is ASCs' biggest enemy in providing patient care?

Editor's note: This response was edited lightly for length and clarity. 

Cathy McCue: CMS supports hospitals over ASCs due to a strong American Hospital Association lobby — even though from a value perspective, ASCs provide a much more efficient model for excellent care at a lesser price point. ASCs also have less infections, as ASC patients' medical and surgical history can be thoroughly reviewed prior to the surgical date (as all cases in an ASC are elective), and ASCs are limited to an anesthesia score of 1 and 2 (sometimes 3). 

I think the future will be brighter if the hospitals perform all the emergent cases and operate on the high-risk patients, leaving the lower-risk patients for the ASCs, as well as CMS approving  more reimbursements. (I may be dreaming).


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