A proposed bill would let patients recuperate for up to 48 hours after admission at a limited number of ambulatory surgery centers in Oregon.
House Bill 2664 would grant "extended stay" licenses to 16 ambulatory surgery centers, thereby letting them admit patients for up to 48 hours after the time of admission. At least half of the 16 extended-care centers would be affiliated with a hospital system, while at least 5 and no more than 8 could be independent ASCs. Each ASC that receives a license in this 5-year pilot project would be required to share data with the Oregon Health Authority to track costs and patient outcomes.
Chris Skagen, JD, MELP, the executive director of the Oregon Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, says the bill has broad bipartisan support and is expected to pass in the current legislative session. If that happens, he expects the bill will take effect sometime in 2018, at which point it would join other states — Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada and New Mexico, for example — that let ASCs offer extended care.
"This is the writing on the wall," says Mr. Skagen. "You're seeing a greater volume of total joints in ASCs. I know of one ASC in Oregon that's doing well over 100 total joints per year. So this is going in the same direction of what's already occurring. Patients welcome and embrace the cost-savings potential with high-quality outcomes in ASCs."
The Oregon ASC association had previously put forth legislation similar to HB 2664, but faced opposition from the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, whose members feared they would lose business to ASCs.
"We're want to make sure whatever we adopt in Oregon propels health care in a positive direction," says Mr. Skagen. "We'll keep the door open for 5 years, and we'll want to get into some quality metrics and costs to track and see if it will benefit the whole system nationally. If after 5 years we evaluate and see that this model doesn't make sense, we'll look for a more appropriate direction to take."