Ward Bill Loosening Restrictions on Ambulatory Surgical Centers Becomes Law

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania’s ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) will soon offer outpatient procedures that were, for decades, bound by bureaucratic red tape, Sen. Judy Ward (R-30) announced.

“Medical technology has advanced tremendously over the years and these surgery centers are now able to perform countless surgeries in a safe and efficient way,” said Ward. “This bill will increase healthcare access, lower costs, and is a win for patients and providers.”

Senate Bill 818, sponsored by Ward, updates Pennsylvania’s interpretation and application of onerous and antiquated regulations that require ASCs to seek special authorization to perform certain outpatient procedures that have been deemed safe by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) for more than 15 years.

This waiver process took as long as two years to complete and raised costs for providers while limiting patients’ access to care and freedom of choice. The legislation will remove this requirement for surgical procedures permitted under federal and state laws, while revising it for those not on CMS’s approved list to make the process shorter and more transparent.

The bill now awaits the governor’s signature.

CONTACT: Nathan Akers, 717-787-2421

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