CASA’s Mission is to serve as a proactive leader in the California ambulatory surgery industry.
The California Ambulatory Surgery Association will increase surgical care quality and value through communication, education and advocacy. By:
- Dramatically increasing membership from both multi-specialty and single specialty centers
- Effectively partnering with organizations with similar goals and objectives
- Leading/supporting critical legislative and regulatory reform
- Utilizing/leveraging information and communication technologies
- Electing a motivated and committed Board of Directors
- Becoming more influential in the industry, the community and the legislative branches
CASA has become the “go to” resource for the ambulatory surgery industry.
Code of Ethics
The California Ambulatory Surgery Association (“CASA”) and each of its members agrees to adopt and implement policies to promote ethical management in the ambulatory surgery industry. Members shall promote the advancement of ambulatory surgery technology and methods, encourage educational activities demonstrating the benefits of ambulatory surgery, promote the efficient, safe and effective utilization of medical care resources and operate facilities in a fiscally responsible manner benefiting and protecting the general public.
As part of these ethical obligations, each member agrees to observe, to the extent applicable to a facility, ethical business practices, including but not limited to:
A member facility should not charge or collect an illegal or excessive fee. A fee is considered excessive when after a review of the facts a person knowledgeable as to current charges made by facilities would be left with a definite and firm conviction that the fee is in excess of a reasonable fee. Factors to be considered as guides in determining the reasonableness of a fee include the following:
(1) The difficulty and/or uniqueness of the services performed and the time, skill, and experience required
(2) The fee customarily charged in the locality for similar care by facilities that are committed to providing safe and effective care in an efficient and fiscally responsible manner benefitting and protecting the general public.
(3) The amount of the charges involved.
(4) The quality of performance.
(5) The experience, reputation, and ability of the facility in performing the kind of services involved.
The above statement regarding fees is modeled from Opinion 6.05 (as modified in 1994) of the American Medical Association Code of Medical Ethics.
A member facility agrees to be transparent and lawful in its billing and collection practices. Factors to be considered as guides in determining transparency and lawfulness include the following:
(1) Timely pre and post-treatment notifications of the patient (or parent or legal conservator if the patient is a minor, or an adult with a legal conservatorship) of anticipated and real charges, and expectations regarding the financial responsibilities of the patient, parent or legal conservator, and of any third party payer to be billed.
(2) Avoidance of unlawful payments or other improper inducements for referral of patients to the facility. (amended 2013)
In 1988, there were two surgery associations in California, one in Northern California and one in Southern California. The two organizations decided to host a joint conference in San Luis Obispo in September of 1988.
The turnout for the joint conference was more than the two associations could have imagined. More than 100 people attended the conference. The groups then decided to combine efforts and officially formed the California Ambulatory Surgery Association (CASA) on November 16, 1988. This era was a new beginning for ambulatory surgery centers. At this point, most centers were still affiliated with hospitals and many were not freestanding.
CASA at the time had three points of focus that helped their membership grow:
- Provide educational opportunities and training
- Keep members apprised of industry issues
- Focus on legislation impacting surgery centers
By April 1989 CASA had 52 members and over the years CASA membership continued to grow. In 1990, CASA had 87 members and in 1991, there were 97. Membership spiked in 1992 to 148 members.
By the mid 90s, corporations began to buy up various surgery centers. This impacted CASA greatly as these companies started their own internal education program, and members saw less of the education value in CASA.
By 1999, CASA was in serious financial trouble and their membership had decreased sharply. By 2000, membership had dwindled to 40 members and the board didn’t know if they would be able to retain those members through that year.
The CASA board decided it was time to take a new approach. They formed a taskforce to analyze the association and discussed lack of member involvement. After the two-day program, the CASA board used the last of their $50,000 reserves to hire an executive director and take CASA in a new direction.
CASA revamped its organization and started changing to accommodate the industry. Many say the worker’s compensation reform a few years later pulled CASA and the industry together. Many surgery centers joined CASA to ensure surgery centers would have a stronger unified voice in the future.
Since 2001, the number of paid members of CASA has significantly grown. In 2001, member numbers were at 67. The association broke the triple digit mark in 2003 with 143 members, and in 2006, the association peaked at the highest number in six years at 200.
These past experiences have proven to be valuable lessons and CASA and its members realized the importance of a unified voice and the need for a strong recognition in Sacramento and Washington.
With 20 years of experience CASA continues to be committed to the original focus of the organization by evolving with the trends of the industry. As of 2007 CASA focus remains:
- To develop a strong legislative presence both at the State and Federal level
- Create a consistent message and identity for CASA and the ASC industry
- Provide leadership for our industry
Create Value for our membership through:
- Education (Web-cast, Seminars, Annual Conference)
- Providing helpful tools and resources to utilize in day-to-day operations
- Benchmarking tools:
-- Marketing resources
-- Billing Opinions and resources
-- Member Message board