ASCA News Digest (March 18, 2014)

News Digest













Banner


Home Membership Education & Events Federal Regulations Advocacy Resources Banner
March 18, 2014





Headlines


ASCA Highlights

Industry News


 

ASCA Highlights


Put the 'Q' in QAPI with ASCA's How-To Guide

Get the information you need to find the right topics for your ASC’s Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) program and master the challenges involved in performing an effective, compliant QAPI study. Register now for ASCA's next webinar on Tuesday, March 25, at 1:00 pm ET. MORE
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Read More | Return to Headlines

Faster payments. Lower costs.

With ASC Billing Services from SourceMedical, your facility receives payments faster—by an average of over 20 percent—and reduces internal costs. Find out why Modern Healthcare ranked SourceMedical among the largest revenue cycle management companies in 2013. Learn more at http://sourcemed.net/asc-billing-services .



We're here for you. It's a simple concept, but how many partners answer your questions and help guide you in your quest to manage your revenue cycle? LaClaro is always here to answer questions, offer guidance, and make sure your team has the data it needs to make better decisions for your facility.

Time is running out to subscribe to the 2014 ASCA Benchmarking Program. The data collection period for the first quarter (Q1) of 2014 will open on April 1. If you subscribed to the 2013 program, you will need to purchase a new subscription in order to participate in 2014 and to maintain online access to your 2013 quarterly reports. MORE
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Read More | Return to Headlines

The April 2014 issue of ASC Focus is now available online. Highlights of this month’s issue include finding the right QAPI project for your ASC, establishing a good relationship with a financial institution, materials management best practices, and decontamination steps for instruments. MORE
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Read More | Return to Headlines

Discuss the cultural shift in the health care industry toward ensuring that patients are at the center of quality care at ASCA 2014 in Nashville, May 14-17. Learn how to engage your employees in improving the culture of safety at your facility and get ideas for action items that you can implement at your facility to improve patient safety. MORE
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Read More | Return to Headlines

As of March 31, only ASCA members who have renewed their membership for 2014 will continue to receive member benefits, including ASCA's Medicare Rate Calculator, the weekly Government Affairs Update and discounts on ASCA meetings, webinars and educational resources. If your center’s membership is not renewed as of March 31, you will lose access to these important benefits. MORE
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Read More | Return to Headlines

This year at ASCA’s annual meeting, we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the association. We would like to invite all former ASCA board members to join us in Nashville for ASCA 2014, May 14–17 and be recognized. ASCA will waive the meeting registration fee for those who are no longer active in the ASC industry. MORE
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Read More | Return to Headlines

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking volunteer providers, clearinghouses and suppliers to participate in end-to-end ICD-10 tracking with contractors in late July 2014. The deadline to submit an application form is March 24, 2014. If you have any questions, contact your Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC). MORE
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Read More | Return to Headlines

The most substantial change is the amendment to the definition for visual function survey required for quality measure ASC-11. The new version indicates that “the surveys can be administered by the facility via phone, mail, email, or during clinician follow-up.” MORE
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Read More | Return to Headlines

Industry News


More Screenings Put Dent in Colon Cancer
Wall Street Journal (03/17/14) P. A3 Beck, Melinda

A new study from the American Cancer Society suggests that the incidence of colon cancer decreased 30 percent over the last decade among Americans ages 50 and older. The rate of colon-cancer deaths also declined, dropping about 3 percent annually between 2001 and 2010, versus 2 percent a year in the previous decade, while the percentage of individuals who are up-to-date on recommended colon-cancer screening increased to 65 percent from 55 percent. "With colon cancer, it's not so much screening to find early cancers but screening to find polyps and remove them, which prevents cancer," says colorectal cancer surgeon James Church. Existing screening options include stool tests, colonoscopies, and virtual colonoscopies that use a CT scan, are noninvasive, and require no anesthesia.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Employed Doctors Report: Are They Better Off?
Medscape (03/11/14) Kane, Leslie

A Medscape survey of more than 4,600 physicians found that among employed physicians, 38 percent are women and 62 percent are men, while among self-employed physicians, 22 percent are women and 78 percent are men. The survey also found that approximately 49 percent of employed doctors are either working in a hospital or in a group owned by a hospital. Seven percent of employed physicians reported working at an outpatient clinic. The key benefits cited about being an employed physician include not having to deal with the business of running an office, not having to deal with insurers and billing, guaranteed income/even cash flow, and a good benefits package. Common drawbacks cited include limited influence in decision-making, more limited income potential, excessive rules in general, less control over work/schedule, and being "bossed around" by management.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Implications of Outpatient vs. Inpatient Total Joint Arthroplasty on Hospital Readmission Rates
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (03/13/14) Vegari, David N.; Mokris, Jeffrey G.; Odum, Susan M.; et al.

A recent study compared readmission in outpatient versus inpatient total joint arthroplasty (TJA) and sought to determine if this affects 30-day hospital readmission rates. The study included 232 patients who underwent an outpatient TJA by one surgeon between September 2010 and May 2011 as well as 148 matched patients who underwent inpatient TJA at the same hospital with a minimum two-day stay. A total of 235 patients responded to a telephone survey related to hospital readmissions, unplanned care, and patient satisfaction, and the results showed no statistical differences in readmission rates between inpatient and outpatient TJA. Six out of 98 inpatients were readmitted to the hospital within the first 30 days, compared to 14 of 137 outpatients, while the length of stay had no effect on patient satisfaction measurements.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

A New Way to Operate: A Surgery Practice Bets on a Price Transparency Model
C-Ville.com (VA) (03/12/14) Brashear, Graelyn

A new outpatient surgery center in Charlottesville, Va., is posting the price of its medical services online. The price transparency model at Monticello Community Surgery Center (MCSC), which is owned by 22 shareholding physicians, is appropriate for the rising trend toward higher-deductible insurance plans and health savings accounts, says Dr. William Grant, an orthopedic surgeon and chair of MCSC's board. "In a way [patients are] becoming their own insurance entity, and they have to use responsible planning as to how they want to spend those dollars," Grant says.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Rare Disorder Groups Ask If You Are Affected
Newswise (03/12/14)

March has been designated Malignant Hyperthermia Awareness and Training Month. Two organizations--the Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States and Cure Congenital Muscle Disease--want individuals affected by malignant hyperthermia (MH), congenital muscular dystrophies, and congenital myopathy subtypes to help them further research and conduct clinical trials. MH is an inherited genetic disorder found in an estimated 1 out of 2,000 people and can be triggered by certain anesthetics and/or the drug succinylcholine. MH most commonly affects individuals undergoing routine surgery but in rare cases the disease can occur without anesthesia. The disorder is caused by elevated levels of cell calcium in the skeletal muscle, and symptoms include body temperature of up to 107 degrees, muscle rigidity, system-wide organ failure, and potentially death.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

CMS Launches Website to Help Practices Prepare for ICD-10
Medical Economics (03/11/14) Marbury, Donna

Roadto10.org, a new Web site from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), offers free action plans for smaller medical practices on implementing the International Statistical Classification of Diseases-10th Revision (ICD-10). On the site, practitioners can take an online, five-question quiz that evaluates their practice size, types of vendors and payers, and ICD-10 readiness. A downloadable action plan is provided that addresses training, interoperability, and testing processes. The site also features testimonials from physicians in various specialties, webinars, and frequently-asked questions. CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in February there would be no further postponements for ICD-10 deployment despite concerns that practices will not be ready by the October 1 deadline.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

White House Tightens Health Plan's Standards After Consumers Complain
The New York Times (03/15/14) P. A13 Pear, Robert

The Obama Administration has unveiled stricter standards for health insurance plans that can be sold in the federal marketplace next year. The new standards generally call for insurers to have contracts with at least 30 percent of the "essential community providers" in their service area, which include community health centers, clinics for people with HIV/AIDS, family planning clinics, children's hospitals, and hemophilia treatment centers. The administration also will require insurers to provide links to participating providers and covered drugs that state exactly how much patients must pay for each medicine. Additionally, federal officials say they will assess co-payments charged for prescription drugs, hospital stays, and visits to specialists, and may challenge any health plan that requires "prior authorization" for an unusually large number of drugs used to treat a particular condition.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Health Insurance Rates Likely to Rise in 2015
Wall Street Journal (03/13/14) P. A4 Dooren, Jennifer Corbett; Radnofsky, Louise

In March 12 testimony before the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius acknowledged that the Obama Administration does not believe changes under the Affordable Care Act put a damper on premium increases in the near future. In 2015, Sebelius said, "I think premiums are likely to go up, but at a smaller pace than what we've seen since 2010." She said the increases probably would not be as significant as in the years prior to the law's enactment.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Paying for SGR Fix With Mandate Delay Would Add Millions to Uninsured, CBO Says
Modern Healthcare (03/13/14) Zigmond, Jessica

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released an analysis of the expected effects of Rep. Dave Camp's (R-Mich.) plan to pay for the repeal of the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula by delaying penalties for those who do not comply with Affordable Care Act's individual mandate. The plan is included in an amendment to the bipartisan SGR repeal bill. Delaying the penalties until 2019 would save roughly $169.5 billion over 10 years, CBO said--which is more than enough to pay for the $138.4 billion 10-year cost of repealing SGR. But CBO also said that the delay would increase the number of people without health insurance by 13 million by 2018. That would include 5 million fewer people with coverage from Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program, CBO said.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Health Mandate Won't Be Delayed, Sebelius Says
The New York Times (03/13/14) P. A16 Pear, Robert

Testifying on March 12 before the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the Obama Administration would not extend the March 31 deadline for people to sign up for health insurance or postpone the requirement for most Americans to have coverage. She also did not say if the administration remained committed to its initial target of enrolling 7 million people in private coverage via federal and state exchanges by March 31. With regard to Texas, which has the highest uninsured rate of any state, Sebelius said state laws and other hurdles made it challenging for Texans to learn about and make use of new insurance options. She noted that she was open to making additional revisions to the federal health law, but had not sent any draft legislation to Congress.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Health Law Cited as US Uninsured Rate Drops
Associated Press (03/10/14)

The deadline to enroll in insurance plans via new exchanges under the Affordable Care Act ends on March 31, but data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index reveals that Latinos have the highest uninsured rate of any racial or ethnic group. Overall, 15.9 percent of U.S. adults are uninsured to date in 2014, down from 17.1 percent for the last quarter of 2013. Gallup predicts that the proportion of Americans who are uninsured is will fall to the lowest quarterly level it measured since 2008, prior to President Obama taking office. The survey reveals that nearly every major demographic group has progressed in obtaining health insurance, although Latinos lagged. Gallup says biggest decline in the uninsured rate, 2.8 percentage points, was among households making less than $36,000 annually.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Postsurgical Pain Scores Were Highly Correlated With Overall Patient Satisfaction During Hospital Stays
News-Medical (03/07/14)

Researchers in Los Angeles say the answers submitted by patients on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) are strongly tied to the level of pain management they experience following an operation. The 27-part standardized questionnaire is completed by patients nationwide at hospital checkout, and the responses are in turn linked to value-based incentive payments. Dr. Dermot Maher and colleagues from Cedars Sinai Medical Center reviewed HCAHPS responses from nearly 3,000 surgical patients who were hospitalized at the same trauma center between March 2012 and February 2013. Four questions, they determined, were highly correlated to patient pain scores as measured in the post-anesthesia care unit, and the finding was more significant for certain types of procedures--including spine, obstetrics and gynecology, and non-spine orthopedics--than for others.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Specialty Surgical Center Continues to Help Make Surgery Safer
PR Web (03/03/14)

The Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) to reduce preventable surgical complications has been so successful that Specialty Surgical Center of Sparta, N.J., plans to join the Johns Hopkins CUSP for Safe Surgery (SUSP) program in April. The Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute offers this program as part of the National Improvement Projects, which encourages medical teams to help reduce preventable complications during surgery. The program will give the center access to tools and resources to help improve surgical communication and teamwork. The SUSP initiative hosts a learning community with U.S. surgery teams to share experiences, challenges, and solutions to reduce preventable harm. By joining the program, Specialty Surgical Center will be admitted into workshops and e-learning classes with the Armstrong Institute through August 2015.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines







Powered by Information, Inc.