ASCA News Digest (April 7, 2015)

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April 7, 2015





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ASCA Highlights


Hotel Rooms Filling Fast for ASCA 2015 in Orlando

Don't miss out on the most popular ASC event of the year. Hotel rooms are filling fast, so make sure to book your reservation online for ASCA 2015, May 13-16. Join us in Orlando for networking opportunities to exchange best practices and discuss marketplace trends that could have immediate and long-term implications for your ASC. MORE
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  Improve Your Financial Strength with Surgical Notes! The largest management companies and over 20,000 healthcare providers trust Surgical Notes’ cutting edge revenue cycle management solutions and services to enhance the financial strength and performance of their ASCs. Maximize profits, accelerate revenue cycles, and increase efficiency with our scalable solutions including transcription, coding, document management, and electronic health records.

ASCA has partnered with HealthStream to offer a collection of 21 courses that apply specifically to ASCs and are designed to train ASC staff on the most current regulations and standards of care. 16 of the interactive courses provide continuing education (CE) credit. Reduced prices are available through January 31, 2015. MORE
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As the regulatory and accreditation standards your ASC needs to meet continue to multiply and grow increasingly complex, achieving and maintaining compliance presents ever-expanding challenges. Get strategies that can help your ASC achieve and sustain compliance and continuous improvement in the quality of the overall patient care your ASC provides during ASCA’s next webinar, April 21 at 1:00pm ET. MORE
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has developed a patient experience of care survey for patients who had surgery or a procedure at an HOPD or ASC. The survey measures patients’ experiences on topics that are important when choosing an HOPD or ASC. CMS is implementing the next phase of this program, which includes conducting a mode experiment and initiating a voluntary national reporting program. MORE
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The data collection period for the first quarter (Q1) of the 2015 survey is now open. The collection period will close April 30. Start submitting your data today. If you haven’t purchased a subscription, there is still time to sign up. The 2015 survey features a completely revamped financial section. MORE
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Save the date for ASCA’s 2015 Fall Seminar, October 8 – 10, 2015, at the Louisville Marriott Downtown in Louisville, Kentucky. The 2015 Fall Seminar will offer educational sessions on key topics that drive development and daily operations at your ASC, lively networking opportunities and continuing education contact hours. MORE
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US Representative David Jolly (R-FL), along with Legislative Director Jenifer Nawrocki, toured the Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Clearwater in Clearwater, Florida, last week. Rep. Jolly met with doctors, nurses and staff, including COO Chris Markford, and discussed the ASC Quality and Access Act of 2015 (H.R. 1453). MORE
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Industry News


ICD-10 Testing Scarce; Doubts Persist With Six Months Left
Health IT Analytics (04/06/15) Bresnick, Jennifer

Uncertainty, a lack of coordination, and a generally sluggish scramble for readiness mark the results of WEDI’s latest ICD-10 preparedness survey, released just six months before the October 1, 2015 deadline to implement the new codes. With ICD-10 testing barely creeping past last year's benchmarks and lingering doubts over whether or not the 2015 compliance date will truly stick, the industry continues to stumble over the same old obstacles that raise questions over readiness to enter a new era of detail and specificity for more accurate payment and health care data analytics.
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Doctors to Face Medicare Cuts Unless Congress Acts by April 15
CBS News (04/02/15) Miller, Jake

Doctors across the country will face a 21 percent cut in government payments for treating Medicare patients if Congress does not act to prevent it before April 15, an official with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services warned Wednesday. The cuts to Medicare provider payments technically went into effect on April 1, but the agency said it was permitted to withhold those payments for two weeks to allow Congress time to pass the so-called "doc fix."
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House Provision Offers Doctors More Protection Against Malpractice Suits
New York Times (03/31/15) P. A14 Pear, Robert

A little-noticed provision of a bill passed by the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support would provide doctors new protections against medical malpractice lawsuits. The bill, which requires the government to measure the quality of care that doctors provide and rate their performance on a scale of zero to 100, protects doctors by stipulating that the quality-of-care standards used in federal health programs--Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act--cannot be used in malpractice cases.
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AmSurg Adds Another Physician Practice
Nashville Business Journal (04/02/15) Kennedy, Eleanor

Sheridan, the recently added physician services division of Nashville-based AmSurg Corp., is buying Halifax Anesthesiology Associates in Daytona Beach, Fla. The practice, with eight physicians and 23 certified registered nurse anesthetists, is the third buy for Sheridan since it joined AmSurg.
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The Role of States in Improving Price Transparency in Health Care
JAMA Internal Medicine (03/30/15) Sinaiko, Anna D.; Chien, Alyna T.; Rosenthal, Meredith B.

To make smart choices about their health care, individuals need accurate and timely information about quality and price. States have broad responsibilities for the regulation of health insurance and the provision of medical care and are also major purchasers of health care for their employees.
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Olympus Scopes May Have Infected More Patients, Seattle Health Agency Says
Los Angeles Times (03/30/15) Petersen, Melody

More patients across the country may have been infected by medical scopes manufactured by Olympus Corp. than previously thought, health officials warned Monday. Olympus' scopes are at the center of a string of recent endoscope-related superbug outbreaks that include Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and Cedars Sinai Medical Center, as well as an earlier case at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle.
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AGA Issues New Endoscope Safety Recommendations
Medscape (03/23/15) Kelly, Janis C.

After recent outbreaks of drug-resistant and sometimes fatal infections after endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and device manufacturers have issued warnings and updated instructions on cleaning the equipment. Now, the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) has published best-practice recommendations for physicians using endoscopes.
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Colorectal Cancer Death Rates, by Sex--National Vital Statistics System, United States, 1999–2013
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (03/27/15) Vol. 64, No. 11, P. 310 Tejada-Vera, Betzaida

In 2013, the age-adjusted death rate for colorectal cancer was 14.6 per 100,000 population, the lowest rate ever recorded. From 1999 to 2013, colorectal cancer death rates decreased 30.1 percent (from 20.9 to 14.6 per 100,000 population).
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Online Tools and Resources Available to Help States Use Health IT to Improve Health Care Quality and Lower Cost
HHS News Release (04/02/15)

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced today the availability of online tools and resources designed to help states participating in the State Innovation Models initiative improve health care quality and lower costs. The State Innovation Models initiative supports states in planning or implementing a customized, fully developed proposal capable of creating statewide health transformation to improve health care, focusing on Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Program beneficiaries.
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