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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 17, 2021 01:10 PM
From: Senator Judy Ward
To: All Senate members
Subject: Aligning Pennsylvania’s Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) Procedures with CMS
I plan to introduce legislation that will align procedures permitted in licensed Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) with that of other states and federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

ASCs provide high-quality care and exceptional patient satisfaction in a low-cost environment.

ASCs in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are governed by rules and regulations written in the 1990s. While there have been great advances in technology and innovations in the delivery of health care, Pennsylvania’s regulations have not been updated.

In 2018, the General Assembly unanimously updated the length of stay in licensed ASCs with that of other states and federal CMS guidelines. At the time, Pennsylvania was the most restrictive state in the nation.
This legislation would make another critical update to Pennsylvania’s interpretation and application of onerous and antiquated regulations. Medicare has an “approved” list of procedures that CMS has determined do not pose a significant safety risk. Medicare has had certain procedures on its ASC approved list for 15 years that, to this day, still cannot be performed in a Pennsylvania-based ASC without an exception. This legislation aligns the procedures permitted in Pennsylvania’s Ambulatory Surgery Centers with that of CMS without requiring ASCs in the Commonwealth to undertake a time-consuming, burdensome exception process – one that is not necessary at the federal level nor in other states across the United States.

This measure will ensure Pennsylvania residents benefit from high-quality care and cost-effective procedures that can be performed safely on an outpatient basis in an ASC similar to neighboring states and the majority of states.

Please join me by adding your name as a co-sponsor of this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as SB818