COVID-19 Action Plan May Require Vaccinations in Your ASC

Last week, the Biden administration announced a new action plan that initiates a six-pronged national strategy that aims to combat COVID-19 and its variants.

FSASC wants to ensure that members are aware that the plan requires the vaccination of workers in most healthcare settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursements, including ASCs. This requirement will affect a majority of healthcare workers, including clinical staff, individuals providing services under arrangements, volunteers, and staff who are not involved in direct patient, resident, or client care.

In a press release issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), CMS is developing an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period that will be issued in October.

FSASC will continue to monitor the situation and will keep members informed of further developments.



Help Us Protect Florida ASCs!

FSASC is continuing to work with ASCA to help shape the proposed payment rule for ASCs by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). We are sharing the letter templates from ASCA below to make it easier for you to provide comments on selected topics related to the proposed payment rule.

FSASC encourages you to personalize the templates. The most persuasive letters will include individual details regarding how the proposed changes will impact your center and specific information such as your center's case volume, outcomes data, etc. If possible, use your center's specific letterhead.



FSASC Update: Medicare 2022 Proposed Rule

On July 19, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2022 proposed payment rule for ASCs and hospital outpatient departments (HOPD). This is the first update to ASC Medicare rates under the Biden administration and new CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. You can read more about it by clicking here.

FSASC is partnering with ASCA to get your feedback to help shape their comments on the proposed rule! Specifically, ASCA is requesting your input on two provisions in the proposed rule: codes proposed for removal from the ASC Covered Procedures List (ASC-CPL) and proposed mandatory implementation of the Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (OAS CAHPS) Survey-based measures (ASC-15a-e) beginning in 2024. 


Member Alert 4-28-2021

Florida's Culture of Safety Requirement

Culture of Safety surveys have long been an effective tool to measuring and improving patient safety. Ideally, when done regularly, this process becomes part of your ASC's quality program and you benchmark your center’s results from survey to survey.

The Florida legislature has taken it one step further and mandated that ASCs conduct a survey every two years and submit the results. However, the Agency for Health Care Administration has yet to finalize their rulemaking which will determine the survey tool and how the data is submitted. 

FSASC anticipates the final rule is still weeks, if not months away.

Don’t wait until the rule is final to get started! The first data submission will be due no later than July 2022. Depending on your center’s familiarity with the Culture of Safety survey process you may need to do a little work to get ready.

How are other centers getting ready?

There’s a lot to consider. Who do you need to lead the effort? Who will explain the process to staff members? How will you conduct the survey? What did the survey show? Do you have time to work on any areas that came back in the survey? Can you conduct another survey before the submission deadline? 

What should you do first? Begin by reviewing existing materials.  Then make a plan on how to prepare for the survey process.  AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) has developed an ASC toolkit including a sample survey and user’s guide. To review these materials, click here to visit the AHRQ ASC site

It doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you plan accordingly. FSASC is developing resources for ASC administrators to help navigate this process. In the meantime, members can share their experiences and ask questions about the process through the online FSASC Member Community.


Member Alert 4-15-21

Begin Process Now to Report ASC Quality Data by May 17th

ASCA reports that 2,000 ASCs still have not registered to report their Medicare quality data and the registration process can take several weeks. As a reminder, ASCs that fail to report by the deadline are subject to a 2 percent cut to their fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare reimbursements for the following year. ASCs that plan to submit quality data but have not yet registered are advised to do so immediately so that they can meet the reporting deadline in May. 

Your facility must have an active registered HCQIS Access Roles and Profile (HARP) account (either a Basic User or a Security Official) to enter data using the Web-Based Data Submission Tool on the Hospital Quality Reporting website. If your facility has no such active accounts, it will be necessary to create a Security Official (SO) account. Please note that Security Official is the new name for Security Administrator, the responsibilities remain the same.

You must have both your CMS Certification Number (CCN) and National Provider Identifier (NPI) on your form, and individuals can no longer self-authorize, meaning you will need to have another individual at your facility (e.g., an administrator, director of nursing or medical director) also sign the form. It is our understanding that these two errors—not providing both the CCN and NPI and not having another person authorize the SO—are delaying the process. Once you are authorized as the SO, you can then go in and add others who can also report. It is recommended that facilities have at least two active SOs for backup purposes.

As a reminder, the deadline for submitting ASCQR Program data is May 17, 2021, because May 15 falls on a Saturday this year. That means the reporting deadline for ASCs is just about one month away.

Suggested Resources

Need help with the process at your center, view this recorded webinar hosted by QualityNet - https://www.qualityreportingcenter.com/en/ascqr-program/2021-events/asc-02172021/

For further questions contact the QualityNet Help Desk at 866.288.8912.

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