HSTpathways Addresses Impact of MACRA Final Rule on Ambulatory Surgery Centers

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Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) need to prepare for the new era of value-based payment models that will be coming with the MACRA Final Rule published on October 14. The keys to success for ASCs will be focusing on positive patient outcomes and highly efficient operations.

HSTpathways ASC Software

ASCs have an opportunity to get ahead of these trends now and implement changes on their own terms.

With the recent release of the Final Rule for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), a new era of value-based payment models has arrived. Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) receive only a few direct mentions in the Final Rule and associated comments. However, ASCs, like all healthcare providers, need to prepare for this new era in payment models by focusing on positive patient outcomes within the context of highly efficient operations.

“MACRA reflects larger trends in the healthcare industry,” said Tom Hui, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of HSTpathways. “More patients need healthcare services, but resources are limited. This is driving trends to contain costs and limit reimbursement. These trends will increase the pressures on ambulatory surgery centers. ASCs will have to respond by adopting technologies that will help them optimize operational efficiencies while improving patient outcomes.”

The Final Rule for MACRA, which is also known as the Quality Payment Program (QPP), was published on Oct. 14. However, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which published the rule, concedes that implementation will be an evolving process. The Final Rule was published with a 60-day comment period. This means that stakeholders may continue to provide input on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) e-Rulemaking website through Dec. 13. Nevertheless, MACRA goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.

“MACRA has a lot of moving parts and the devil will be in the details,” said Hui. “But ASCs have a choice. They can proactively examine their surgery center cost data, efficiency and compliance in their own time-frame, before MACRA goes into effect, or they can wait and end up scrambling to comply later. That rarely produces good results.”

HSTpathways recently published a white paper detailing how specialized ASC software can help ASCs identify and execute operational efficiencies. The white paper is available at http://www.hstpathways.com. “With or without MACRA, the trends in reimbursement are clear,” said Hui. “ASCs have an opportunity to get ahead of these trends now and implement changes on their own terms.”

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Tara Vail
since: 07/2014
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