ASCA News Digest (April 28, 2015)

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April 28, 2015





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ASCA Highlights


Still Time to Register for ASCA 2015

ASC professionals will be convening in Orlando in two weeks for ASCA 2015, 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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  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.

The data collection period for the first quarter (Q1) of the 2015 ASCA Benchmarking Program closes this Thursday, 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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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. Subscribers can lock in low-cost yearly contracts up to three years. MORE
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its April addenda which provides second quarter updates to the ASC payment system. Effective April 1 are changes to the reimbursement rate for many of the ancillary codes. Please make sure you use the Second Quarter Ancillary Rates document for all ancillary services provided on or after April 1, 2015. 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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The ASC community in California hosted US House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for a mid-day event at a local ASC. ASCAPAC joined Scott Leggett, MD, local ASC professionals and representatives from AmSurg, Surgical Care Affiliates and United Surgical Partners International (USPI), to support the fundraising event. MORE
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Industry News


Medicare-Provider Penalties, Incentives Detailed in Report
Wall Street Journal (04/27/15) Beck, Melinda

Nearly 40 percent of health-care providers treating Medicare patients will have their payments docked 1.5 percent this year because they didn't submit data on patients' health to the government, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said. More than 460,000 providers failed to comply with the Physician Quality Reporting System in 2013, of about 1.25 million eligible providers, according to the CMS report released last week.
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CMS Sets June 30 Deadline to Review, Dispute Open Payments Data
Health Data Management (04/15) Slabodkin, Greg

Doctors and teaching hospitals have until June 30, 2015, to review and dispute the data submitted by manufacturers and group purchasing organizations before it is included in the Open Payments database, developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide greater financial transparency. The Physician Payments Sunshine Act requires manufacturers of drugs and medical devices that participate in U.S. federal health care programs to report to CMS certain payments and items of value given to physicians and teaching hospitals.
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Lawmakers May Let October Medical-Code Deadline Stick
Roll Call (04/24/15) Young, Kerry

The United States appears poised to join much of the developed world in switching over to a system of medical billing codes that was adopted in France, the United Kingdom, Australia and Germany more than a decade ago. Responding to concerns by some physicians and the American Medical Association, Congress last year extended a deadline to implement the ICD-10 billing system by one year to Oct. 1, 2015, as part of a temporary "doc fix" bill that blocked a scheduled cut in Medicare payments to doctors.
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Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2015
Medscape (04/21/15) Peckham, Carol

Last year saw some modest good news for most physicians! More than 19,500 physicians in 25 specialties responded to this year's Medscape compensation survey and described their compensation, number of hours worked, practice changes resulting from healthcare reform, and how they have adapted to the new health care environment.
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GAO to Report on Security Incidents at HealthCare.gov
The Hill (04/22/15) Viebeck, Elise

Government investigators will release a report later this year about multiple cybersecurity "incidents" at HealthCare.gov, a GAO official told lawmakers Wednesday. Gregory Wilshusen, director of Information Security Issues for the Government Accountability Office (GAO), suggested there have been several cyber events at ObamaCare's online exchange.
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Data Breaches of Protected Health Information in the United States
Journal of the American Medical Association (04/14/15) Vol. 313, No. 14, P. 1471 Liu, Vincent; Musen, Mark A.; Chou, Timothy

Reports of data breaches have increased during the past decade. Compared with other industries, these breaches are estimated to be the most costly in health care; however, few studies have detailed their characteristics and scope.
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Scope Maker Warned Europe About Contamination 2 Years Before L.A. Infections
Los Angeles Times (04/21/15) Petersen, Melody; Terhune, Chad

Nearly two years before superbug outbreaks hit UCLA and Cedars-Sinai medical centers, the maker of the scopes involved was already warning hospitals in Europe about the risk of such patient infections. But no alerts were sounded in the U.S. by Olympus Corp., the leading manufacturer of gastrointestinal scopes worldwide, until this year.
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Survey: Out-of-Pocket Costs for Health Care Up 11%
Fox Business (04/22/15) Helies, Michele

Both health-care consumers and providers felt the squeeze of rising health-care costs in 2014--with out-of-pocket costs for patients rising 11%--according to a TransUnion Healthcare report released Wednesday. "Our latest report demonstrates that consumers continue to feel the pressure of rising health-care costs," said Gerry McCarthy, president of TransUnion Healthcare.
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Wisconsin Lawmaker Seeks 'Black Box' Recordings in Operating Rooms
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (04/22/15) Fauber, John

Would patients undergoing surgery benefit from having a "black box" in the operating room? A Wisconsin legislator said Wednesday she planned to introduce such a bill, one that would require that hospitals offer patients the option of having their surgeries videotaped.
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Local Members of State Panel Mirror Debate Over Regulations
WRAL.com (04/21/15) Binker, Mark

When Dr. Matthew Appenzeller scrubs in to repair a detached retina, his fee for that surgery will be the same whether he is working in a hospital operating room or an ambulatory surgical center. What his patients pay, however, could vary by hundreds or thousands of dollars, based on location alone.
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Preoperative Medical Testing in Medicare Patients Undergoing Cataract Surgery
New England Journal of Medicine (04/16/15) Vol. 372, No. 16, P. 1530 Chen, Catherine L.; Lin, Grace A.; Bardach, Naomi S.; et al.

Cataract surgery is the most common elective surgery among Medicare beneficiaries, with 1.7 million procedures performed annually. It is also very safe, with less than a 1% risk of major adverse cardiac events or death.
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State Officials Approve Kaleida's Southtowns Surgery Center
Buffalo Business First (04/16/15) Drury, Tracey

Kaleida Health's ambulatory surgery center project in Orchard Park will proceed as planned following a unanimous vote by the Public Health and Health Planning Council. The vote in Albany, which came after a 90-minute executive session, reverses a decision one year ago by the same council.
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