Outpatient Surgery Quality and Access Act unveiled by Wenstrup, Cassidy

U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) and U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) on Feb. 9 proposed a bipartisan, bicameral bill that would help Medicare beneficiaries access affordable outpatient care at ambulatory surgical centers. 

“As a surgeon, I understand how important it is that patients receive the care they need. Ambulatory surgical centers play an important role in providing this care and this bill will improve access to these vital facilities,” said Rep. Wenstrup.

The Outpatient Surgery Quality and Access Act of 2023, H.R. 972/S. 312 would close the reimbursement gap, eliminate copay penalties for Medicare beneficiaries, and reduce other barriers standing between patients and affordable, quality care at ambulatory surgical centers, which offer low-cost outpatient services, according to a bill summary provided by the lawmakers.

Rep. Wenstrup sponsored H.R. 972 with original cosponsor U.S. Rep. John Larson (D-CT), while Sen. Cassidy signed on as the original cosponsor of S. 312 alongside bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

“Seniors deserve the best care possible,” said Sen. Cassidy. “Our bill provides quality care for patients at a better value to the taxpayer by increasing Medicare access to ambulatory surgical centers.”

If enacted, the bill also would require that reported data on surgical services in both ambulatory surgical centers and hospital outpatient departments is made available on the website Medicare.gov in a manner that permits side-by-side comparisons on those located in the same geographic area, according to the text of the bill. 

Rep. Larson noted that the bill is another step in ensuring quality and accessible care, and also ensures tax dollars are spent wisely.

“Patients shouldn’t be charged more for a procedure just because it was performed by an outpatient provider,” agreed Sen. Blumenthal. “Our bill will ensure patients have access to the quality care they deserve and save taxpayers money.”