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Ambulatory Surgery Center

Overview

An Ambulatory Surgery Center, or ASC, is a healthcare facility focused on providing same-day outpatient surgical care. Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA), http://www.ascassociation.org/AboutUs/WhatisanASC/

The first ASC was established in Phoenix, Arizona in 1970 by two physicians who wanted to provide timely, convenient and comfortable surgical services to patients in their community, avoiding more impersonal venues like regular hospitals. Id.

Ambulatory surgery centers rarely have a single owner. Instead, physicians who perform surgeries in the center will often own a small part of the facility. A 1% or less ownership might be common, but percentages can vary considerably. http://www.ambulatorysurgerycenter.info/ Some ASCs are entirely physician-owned, but it is also common for development or management companies to own a percentage. Id.

Policy

With approximately 5,300 Medicare-certified facilities across all 50 states, ASCs perform more than 25 million procedures each year. ASCs that receive Medicare payments must meet the program's certification criteria and receive payments only for procedures that have been approved for reimbursement by the federal government. ASCA, http://www.ascassociation.org/AboutUs/WhatisanASC/

Authority

ASCs are currently paid by Medicare under the outpatient prospective payment system. The Affordable Care Act requires the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary to develop a plan to implement a value-based purchasing program for payments under the Medicare program for ASCs. http://www.cms.gov/ASCPayment/01_Overview.asp#TopOfPage