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By Stephen W. Earnhart, RN, CRNA, MA
CEO, Earnhart & Associates, Austin, TX
We all know and love total joint procedures in ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to expand procedures that make the Medicare approval list that most payers honor (i.e., if the procedure is not on that list, the procedure cannot be performed in an ASC). Many may not understand that, but that is for another column.
If you are not at least talking to your local cardiologist about a cardiac lab in your ASC, you are missing a golden opportunity. Two of the most desirable procedures for ASCs in 2020 and beyond are cardiology and vascular procedures, which CMS has just blessed for ASC reimbursement. This includes most catheterizations, angioplasties, and stenting procedures. Setting up a cardiac lab in an ASC requires some homework. They are not necessarily difficult or terribly expensive, but there are fine details worth understanding well. Rewards include the following current procedural terminology (CPT) codes and reimbursement, although this may vary by ZIP code:
Be careful, as the devices can be outrageously expensive. Conduct thorough research to find the most sensible deals. While some procedures have been on the CMS-approved list for a while, most people do not know about them. This reinforces the need to always stay on top of what CMS is up to. Over the coming years, CMS could push more cases and procedures to ASCs. Thus, many hospital outpatient departments may convert to ASCs. Keep following those developments closely.
(Earnhart & Associates is a consulting firm specializing in all aspects of outpatient surgery development and management. Address: 5114 Balcones Woods Drive, Suite 307-203, Austin, TX 78759. Phone: (512) 297-7575. Fax: (512) 233-2979. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: www.earnhart.com. Instagram: Earnhart.Associates.)
Financial Disclosure: Nurse Planner Kay Ball, PhD, RN, CNOR, CMLSO, FAAN (Nurse Planner), reports she is on the speakers bureau for AORN and Ethicon USA and is a consultant for Mobile Instrument Service and Repair. Editor Jonathan Springston, Editor Jill Drachenberg, Author Melinda Young, Author Stephen W. Earnhart, RN, CRNA, MA, Physician Editor Steven A. Gunderson, DO, FACA, DABA, CASC, RN, CRNA, MA, Consulting Editor Mark Mayo, CASC, Editorial Group Manager Leslie Coplin, and Accreditations Director Amy M. Johnson, MSN, RN, CPN, report no consultant, stockholder, speaker’s bureau, research, or other financial relationships with companies having ties to this field of study.