ASCA News Digest (April 21, 2015)

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April 21, 2015





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ASCA Highlights


Even with Extension, ASC-8 Reporting Deadline Still Looms

CMS has extended the reporting deadline for ASC-8 until August 15, 2015. In order to report, facilities must enroll in NHSN. Facilities that have not started the enrollment process should do so immediately. To submit data, ASCs must enroll in NHSN a minimum of eight weeks before the August 15 deadline. ASCA has heard that it can take more than a month to enroll. MORE
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ASCA 2015 promises to be the largest and most comprehensive industry event of the year. Join us for a wide variety of educational opportunities, the largest exhibit hall of the year and networking opportunities with your colleagues from around the country. ASCA members can still take advantage of registration discounts for the meeting. MORE
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The digital edition of the May issue of ASC Focus magazine is now available. Highlights of this month’s issue include drug disposal rules changes, the benefits of succession planning and leading by example, and highlights of this year's annual meeting. MORE
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ASCA will be launching a revamped Salary and Benefits Survey this summer. The new survey, which collects national and regional data on 20 ASC positions, will provide users with countless options for data comparison so you can compare your compensation packages to similar ASCs and determine the salary and benefits for a new position or negotiate a raise. 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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Last week, the Senate voted 92-8 to repeal the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. The legislation now goes to President Obama to sign into law, which he has publicly indicated he will do. This historic achievement was a result of bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate. MORE
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Industry News


The Benefits of Ambulatory Surgery Centers for Clinical Research
Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today (04/01/15) Bouchard, Ryan; Thompson, Vance

Historically, surgical procedures associated with clinical trials were performed within the four walls of a hospital. Waits of weeks or months for an appointment were not uncommon, and patients typically spent several days recovering in the hospital.
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Doctors See Benefits and Risks in Medicare Changes
New York Times (04/16/15) Thomas, Katie; Abelson, Reed

Dr. Robert Wergin, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, made little effort to contain his glee Wednesday over the news that Congress had voted to end a reviled payment system for doctors, simultaneously averting a 21 percent physician pay cut and overhauling the way Medicare will pay doctors in the future. "I just can't be more positive about it," said Dr. Wergin, who is a family doctor in rural southeast Nebraska.
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Obama Signs Bill Fixing Medicare Doctors' Pay
Reuters (04/16/15) Mason, Jeff

U.S. President Barack Obama signed a bill into law on Thursday that repairs the formula for reimbursing Medicare physicians after Congress, in rare bipartisan fashion, passed a fix earlier this week to prevent a 21 percent cut in doctors' pay. Sitting outside in the White House Rose Garden in his shirt sleeves, Obama said he was signing the bill now rather than waiting for a formal ceremony so it could go into force right away.
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ONC Releases Electronic Health IT Privacy, Security Guide
HealthIT Security (04/16/2015) Snell, Elizabeth

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released an updated version of its guide on electronic health IT privacy and security earlier this week. The guide outlines ways for covered entities to properly integrate the necessary privacy and security measures into their workflow.
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Health Insurers Call for Stronger Rules on Medical Devices
Wall Street Journal (04/16/15) Kamp, Jon

The U.S. health-insurance industry is calling for tougher rules for approving and tracking medical devices, citing regulatory gaps exposed last year when a tool used for decades in hysterectomies was found to spread cancer. America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade group, said in a letter to Sen. Bob Casey on Tuesday that the dangers of the laparoscopic power morcellator reveal weaknesses in how devices are cleared for use and monitored once they are on the market.
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Shopping Tools Help Patients Find Cash Prices for Medical Procedures
Los Angeles Times (04/19/15) Zamosky, Lisa

When Vicki Burns was told she needed total hip replacement surgery in 2012 she asked her local hospital for a cash price. She got a $79,000 estimate for the surgery.
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U.S. Health Costs to Hit $3.2 Trillion in 2015
MarketWatch (04/16/15)

The total U.S. national healthcare spend is projected to hit $3.2 trillion in 2015--about $10,000 per person. If spending and demographic trends hold, it will reach $7.2 trillion by 2020 which represents a third of current US GDP.
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Medical Schools Try to Reboot for 21st Century
Kaiser Health News (04/09/15) Rovner, Julie

Medicine has changed a lot in the past 100 years. But medical training has not.
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HealthMine Survey: Consumers Uninformed on Healthcare Costs
Top Tech News (04/01/15)

As consumers struggle to pay rising deductibles and out of pocket health care costs, a HealthMine Survey revealed that while 86 percent of respondents believe it's important to compare costs before taking a health action, the majority (64 percent) rarely or never price shop. The survey shows that consumers are not only disconnected from costs, but also from relevant health actions.
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Surgery Centers at Issue in Health Care Merger
Pacific Coast Business Times (04/17/15) Brumback, Elijah; Dubroff, Henry

The sale of outpatient surgery clinics that will push the South Coast’s biggest health care merger back by six months or more has at least one prior case that resulted in a formal order by the Federal Trade Commission. Cottage Health System said April 8 that it is looking to sell its Santa Barbara Outpatient Surgery Center operations in an effort to smooth the path for its proposed merger with Sansum Clinic, the largest physician group on the South Coast.
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Facemasks for the Prevention of Infection in Healthcare and Community Settings
BMJ (04/09/15) MacIntyre, C. Raina; Chugtai, Ahmad

Most efforts on the prevention of respiratory infections have focused on drug based interventions. In an emerging outbreak of infectious disease, non-pharmaceutical measures including facemasks and respirators may be the only available protection.
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Certificate of Need Program to Get Legislative Review
Tennessean (04/10/15) Fletcher, Holly

The state's certificate of need program--the gatekeeper to health care provider expansion--has been in the spotlight in recent weeks as two hospitals unsuccessfully competed to build a freestanding emergency room. But a burgeoning debate about reform could keep the program in the spotlight.
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