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How ASCs are preparing for spike in CMS approvals

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Jamie Heater, RN, Compass Surgical Partners' vice president of facility development, and Will Holding, Compass' vice president of development, joined the "Becker's Spine & Orthopedics Podcast" to outline how Compass is preparing for the increase in CMS procedure approval. 

Here is an excerpt from the podcast. Click here to download the full episode.

Question: The 2021 CMS ruling has significantly increased the number of procedures approved to be performed in the ASC. How is your organization preparing for these CMS changes?

Will Holding: There was already migration, and we're starting to see certain codes added to the ASC schedule. The big swath that was removed from the inpatient list really underscores a trend that was already happening, they just sped it up in terms of adoption. There are a lot of procedures on those lists that are not very commonly done in outpatient settings. 

The clear shift is to put the decision in the hands of the clinicians, and we agree with that. If we can employ approaches around patient selection, patient advocacy and pain management protocol, it will allow for cases like revision joint replacements to be done in centers in one-off cases where the anesthesia staff, surgeon and patient make a collective decision that a surgery center is the right environment for something that normally wouldn't be considered for that. I think it opens up some flexibility, and that will empower patients and surgeons to be able to start putting the patient in the right place, regardless of what that procedure is. 

To help facilitate that shift, we think collaboration is really important. We work with a lot of surgeons. They're busy people. But in terms of how to do these things effectively in a surgery center, surgeons will listen to others if there's real credible progress being made in other pockets. Fortunately, we have a network that allows us to do that. Inevitably, surgeons learn from each other. They help pick up things in terms of process flow and anesthesia.

I think we'll start to see it more in the spine surgery side, allowing for things to be done safely that hadn't been done as much in surgery centers in the past. Every time a surgeon learns that there's a new technique, they bring that back to their partners, and we start to see progress. It's just creating all those conversations and making sure that there is as much information in as many changing hands as possible. And for our part, we'll be able to manage the process for them once they kind of determine what the right clinical approach is.

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