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Senate-Passed $857 Billion Appropriations Package Boosts Health Spending

Senate-Passed $857 Billion Appropriations Package Boosts Health Spending

The Senate last week passed a fiscal 2019 spending package, 85-7. It includes funding for the Departments of Defense, Labor, Education and HHS.  More than 300 amendments were filed, with more than 50 adopted by unanimous consent into the final bill.  (An amendment from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) to allow Critical Access Hospitals to convert to freestanding outpatient and emergency departments was not included). Under the new legislation, which now heads to the House, HHS would see a $2.3 billion boost, including a 5.4% increase for the National Institutes of Health, under the bill. Also included, was a provision that gives $1 million to HHS to implement regulations requiring drug companies to list their prices in TV ads.

Surgical Management Professionals Board Chair R. Blake Curd, MD is very active on Capitol Hill and works hard to support positive health care legislation. Mike Lipomi, Surgical Management Professional CEO, serves on the ASCA Legislative Committee and in addition to supporting positive health care legislation is able to keep the SMP centers up to date and in tune with future legislation.


Important News Alert

We’ve been alerted the new KHN/USA Today story is slated for release this Thursday, August 9. Similar to the story several months ago, we expect authors to cite tragic anecdotal stories to mischaracterize ASC patient safety and quality reporting mechanisms. ASCA has posted data resources and messaging, and will provide updated information to members, partners and other stakeholders once the story is released. In the meantime, please let me know if you have questions.


Mike Lipomi
President/Chief Executive Officer, SMP


US House of Representatives Passes ASC Bill

US House of Representatives Passes ASC Bill

On June 24, the US House of Representatives passed the Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Payment Transparency Act of 2018 (H.R. 6138)—a major development for ASCA’s agenda. The legislation would add an ASC industry representative to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment, which helps determine payment policies for both hospital outpatient departments and ASCs. The bill would also require CMS to disclose the criteria it uses to exclude procedures from the ASC Medicare procedures list. The next step for this bill is introduction in the US Senate.


Client Feedback

Traci Albers

Surgical Management Professionals is truly a unique management company. They not only provide the experience and leadership for your organization, but they also value their relationship with the centers they manage. We are able to receive immediate results and attention to our issues. SMP’s priority is what is in the best interest of the surgery center. SMP provides the full range of services from financial management to continuous quality management to infection control support and everything in between. They have the expertise in multiple areas to support us on a day-to-day basis. The executives that lead SMP are individuals that have actually worked in an ambulatory surgery center or specialty hospital setting; therefore, they understand the issues we face and can provide real-world solutions. In a day when reimbursement is getting tighter and cash flow is becoming more of a challenge, I can continue to rely on SMP’s business office to negotiate the best payer contracts, code claims with accuracy, and collect payments exceeding industry A/R standards. The staff that provide this service to our center are second-to-none.

  • Annual Board Retreat & Educational Conference in Aruba

    SMP’s annual Board Retreat and Educational Conference took place last week in Aruba! It was a great learning and sharing experience for all attendees. Speakers provided their expert comments and advised on a wide range of health care and financial operational issues. Of course there was a lot of discussion about the best practices and the future of […]

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