The Importance of State Ambulatory Surgery Center Associations

By February 10, 2017 June 11th, 2019 ASC Development, Leadership
Ambulatory Surgery Center Associations

Involvement in your state surgery center association is crucial to the vitality, longevity, and success of your ASC.  Perhaps my personal story will demonstrate why.

I am a proud, active member of the Colorado Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (CASCA) and have been since its inception.  Throughout most of its early years, when the association was forming, those of us in the ASC industry met monthly for lunch and networking.  Because there wasn’t much going on then that directly impacted the regulatory status of Colorado’s ASCs, these meetings eventually waned.  The association became dormant. 

However, in 1993 news broke of looming threats to the convalescent care licensure, the elimination of which would have negatively impacted many of the state’s facilities.   Convalescent care centers were important to patients who needed non-acute extended observation and recovery following their outpatient surgeries.  Without the ability for patients to access convalescent care centers, higher acuity cases could not be performed in the ASC setting. Our state’s ASC leaders rallied.  The association reorganized.  Strong leadership took the helm.  With renewed focus, CASCA prevented the legislation from passing.  ASCs in Colorado won!

That victory was a turning point for our association.  We realized the trade organization was necessary to ensure ASCs remained relevant in our state. Furthermore, the association’s advocacy efforts made it possible for us to remain aware of the issues facing our industry.  

State ASC associations provide government advocacy, education, regulatory updates, and other resources to assist us in running our businesses successfully. To provide these services, the association requires active membership.  Increased representation and participation from ASCs in our state allows us to have a greater voice.   The association survives through membership participation.  Members can, and should be, involved with planning the annual conference, participating on committees, and/or helping with political fundraisers.

Being an active member allows for beneficial change to occur.  It’s important to reach out to legislators (in person, via phone, email, and/or letters) when faced with situations that may impact your ASC’s culture, values, or continued viability.  You, your staff, and your patients are constituents. Our legislators want to hear from you about issues important to your physicians and community.  You can successfully impact the outcome of these issues when you are involved.

They say there is power in numbers.  That power is your state ASC association. 

Here’s how you can get involved:

  1. Contact your state association. A quick Google search should direct you to their website. Or use your connections in the ASC industry to inquire about your association and who you should contact.
  2. Contact your national association, Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) to remain apprised of issues and information related to advocacy, government affairs, and education.
  3. Connect with me and/or other members of Pinnacle III’s team to learn more about regulatory updates that may impact your ASC. LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/lisaaaustin and linkedin.com/company/pinnacle-iii, Twitter: @LisaAustin_P3 and @PinnacleIII
  4. If you don’t like or agree with the direction of proposed legislation or policies, create change by participating in and/or donating to organizations you believe will help your cause.

Lisa Austin – Vice President of Facility Development 

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