Most all aspects of healthcare saw updates at the beginning of the new year, and ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) were no different. These facilities, which participate in the ambulatory surgical center quality reporting program, or ASQCR program, must meet new quality reporting guidelines in order for their Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) to stay at 1.7%. Otherwise, they could face a 2.0% penalty which, when coupled with the 0.5% multifactor productivity adjustment, would leave them with a -0.8% CPI-U adjustment for the rest of the year.

As part of this update, CMS has delayed the Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (OAS CAHPS), which will go into effect for the 2018 data collection year. Additionally, three measures have been officially removed from the ASCQR measure set, starting in the 2019 payment determination year. These measures are:

  • ASC-5: Prophylactic Intravenous (IV) Antibiotic Timing
  • ASC-6: Safe Surgery Checklist Use
  • ASC-7: Ambulatory Surgical Center Facility

This year has also brought the finalization of two new proposals. One is designed to expand the CMS online tool, thereby allowing the submission of measured data in larger batches. The second aligns the Extraordinary Circumstances Exceptions (ECE) policy with the policies already in place for other value-based and quality reporting payment programs.

Finally, several other measures are still in the works. Although CMS elected to postpone adopting ASC-16 (Toxic Anterior Segment Syndrome), they finalized two new proposals that will not take effect until the 2022 payment determination year. This measures are:

  • ASC-17: Hospital Visits After Orthopedic Ambulatory Surgical Center Procedures
  • ASC-18: Hospital Visits After Urology Ambulatory Surgical Center Procedures

If you work with one of these facilities, be sure to review the full ASCQR program updates and share them with your coworkers so that your facility can always stay on top of the latest information.