Keep Your Eye on These January Bills
Trends in legislation that impact ASC
BY STEPHEN ABRESCH | FEBRUARY 2020
Several states introduced legislation that are consequential to ASCs in the first month of the year. Thirty-six states had convened their legislative sessions and 30 governors had delivered state of the state addresses by the end of January, laying out their plans and priorities for the coming legislative year. Several states have already begun work on budget negotiations as well, with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ruffling more than a few feathers with his Medicaid reform plan pitched as part of his larger executive budget proposal.
Matching ASCA’s expectations from December, new bill introductions showed a sustained interest among state legislators for amending and, in some cases, eliminating state certificate of need (CON) programs. In January, 14 states introduced legislation addressing their state CON programs, bringing the total number of states with active CON legislation in the 2019–2020 session to 23. Additionally, South Carolina and West Virginia both have introduced legislation that would eliminate their CON programs entirely; eight states—Alaska, Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia—now have such legislation. No new legislation was introduced in January to specifically exempt ASCs from state CON programs, leaving the current total at eight bills in four states: Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington.
A focus on billing and transparency issues turned out to be another major trend in the January bills. Sixteen states introduced new legislation to address out-of-network, balance billing and surprise billing issues, and 12 of those states—Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia—now have active legislation that would impact ASCs. Pricing transparency legislation also has been a focus in January, with 20 states introducing new legislation. While many pricing transparency measures focus on the cost of pharmaceuticals, nine states—Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, New Jersey, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia—have introduced legislation that would impose pricing transparency requirements on healthcare services in which ASCs are generally included.