For more than a decade, the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) advocated for a nationwide quality reporting program for ASCs that would provide patients, insurers and other interested parties with annual performance reports so that patients could make more informed decisions and providers could compare and improve the care they provide.
Today, there are two robust ASC quality reporting programs that make their results accessible online: Medicare’s Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program and a program coordinated by the ASC Quality Collaboration (ASC QC).
According to the published findings of both programs, the incidences of unplanned or adverse events that occur in ASCs is extremely low. ASCs also report quality metrics equal to or better than other sites of care, including hospitals.
It should be noted that both of these reporting programs continue to evolve, expand and improve as a result of the ongoing cooperation and collaboration of government regulators, ASC operators and independent health care rating agencies.
The Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program
The ASCQR is administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and has been collecting outcomes data from ASCs since 2012. A total of nine different performance measures will be reported in 2018. “In selecting measures for the ASC Quality Reporting Program,” CMS said, “we have focused on measures that have a high impact on and support [US Department of Health and Human Services] and CMS priorities for improved health care outcomes, quality, safety, efficiency and satisfaction for patients.”
Today, 96.9 percent of the ASCs in the country—or more than 5,400 ASCs—collect and report performance measures to the government. That information is publicly available through the link below.
The ASC Quality Collaboration (ASC QC) Program
The ASC Quality Collaboration (ASC QC) is a cooperative effort of organizations and companies that was formed early in 2006 to initiate the process of developing standardized ASC quality measures.
The organization’s stakeholders include ASC operators and centers, ASC associations, professional societies and accrediting bodies that focus on health care quality and safety.
The measures developed by the ASC QC include both outcome measures and process measures. An outcome measure assesses patients for a specific result following a health care intervention. A process measure evaluates a particular aspect of the care that is delivered to the patient.
In 2017, 1,484 ASCs, including 918 multispecialty ASCs and 566 single-specialty ASCs—representing 49 states—voluntarily participated in this rigorous reporting of 11 distinct ASC performance measures.
Interested parties should note that while fewer ASCs participate in the ASC QC quality reporting program, most observers have indicated that its reports are much more accessible and “user friendly” for patients and non-health care professionals than the public reporting published by CMS.
CMS ASC Quality Reporting
ASC Quality Collaboration Reporting