ASCA News Digest (August 11, 2015)

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August 11, 2015





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amkaitest  
  • What does the Electronic Health Fairness Act of 2015 mean for your ASC? Understand the implications with this Q&A with Heather Ashby of ASCA.
  • Click here to learn about some of the biggest challenges facing ASCs with Todd Logan, National VP of Sales, AmkaiSolutions.
  • Times are changing for ASCs. Click here to learn 10 reasons why your ASC needs an EMR now!
  • Four Key Features to Look For in a Modern Office Management System. Click here to download the free eBook.
  • Make sure to follow AmkaiSolutions on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

ASCA Highlights


Free Webinar: CMS Quality Reporting for ASCs

Learn about the quality reporting CMS requires and get answers to frequently asked questions about the measures your ASC needs to report during ASCA's free webinar on Tuesday, August 18, at 1:00 pm ET. Topics will include a quality reporting program update, the history of quality measure development and ways to collect and report the data for the required quality measures. MORE
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Collect more from patients and payers.

Navicure’s® worry-free claims management and patient payment solutions can help your ASC collect more revenue from patients and payers, faster and with less effort. Plus, our 3-Ring® Client Service guarantees that all support calls are answered within three rings−even during ICD-10. To learn more, click here or visit www.navicure.com.

ASCA's 2015 Fall Seminar will offer educational sessions on key topics that drive development and daily operations throughout your ASC, lively networking opportunities, continuing education contact hours and the CASC Review Course and Exam. The seminar will take place October 8-10, in Louisville, Kentucky. Early registration discounts are available through August 31. MORE
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In response to concerns raised by ASCA, the ASC Quality Collaboration and other ASC stakeholders, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has extended the deadline for submitting web-based data for the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting Program until September 30. This applies to the claims-based measures submitted via QualityNet and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). MORE
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ASCA is conducting a brief survey to determine which procedures should be added to the list of ASC payable procedures for 2016. This information will help ASCA advocate for the expansion of the list of procedures that CMS considers clinically appropriate for ASCs to provide to Medicare beneficiaries. MORE
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The ASCA Capitol Fly-In is your opportunity to be heard by national policymakers on the issues that concern you and the ASC industry. Over two days you will learn about the issues and legislative process and then spend the day on Capitol Hill meeting with legislators and their staff. Take the opportunity to participate in this critical advocacy event, September 29-30. MORE
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The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has launched a new toolkit on ASC patient safety culture. The toolkit includes a survey that measures 27 items and eight areas of culture pertaining to patient safety, assesses areas of strength, identifies areas for improvement and tracks improvement over time. View a recent webcast on the toolkit and how two ASCs put it to work by clicking here. MORE
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Total joint replacement procedures are rapidly moving into the ASC setting, and physicians expect this trend to continue — with some industry experts expecting 40 percent of all total joint procedures to be performed on an outpatient basis in the next five years. Learn why ASCs have become an appropriate setting for total joint arthroplasties (TJAs) and the many reasons TJAs can now be performed successfully in ASCs. MORE
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ASCs still have time to perform necessary assessments and prepare for the potential financial impact in their cash flow and revenue that will occur in the first few months after the October 1 implementation of ICD-10. To maintain operations, ASCs should:
  • calculate revenues by considering payer mix (volume), payer reimbursement time, case mix, etc., and factoring in a slight lapse in billing and increase in denials/rebills in order to develop reserves so as to ensure that future revenues are not overstated; and
  • communicate with banks regarding lines of credit prior to the time that funds are needed. Banks are more willing to consider a loan or line of credit while an ASC is in good standing than when it is three to six months past due on bills. The amount of cash reserves will depend on the facility or practice.
Go to ASCA’s ICD-10 Resource Center for more information.
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Last Wednesday, the U.S. Senate passed the Electronic Health Fairness Act of 2015 (S 1347). This legislation, one of ASCA's priority bills, protects physicians practicing in ASCs from meaningful use penalties in the Medicare program until a certified electronic health record technology is available for the ASC setting. Similar legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives in June. Now the chambers must work together to reconcile slightly different legislation into one cohesive bill. MORE
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Industry News


Senate Passes Bill Protecting Ambulatory Center Surgeons From Meaningful Use Penalties
Medscape (08/07/15) Terry, Ken

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill that would protect physicians who work in ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) from being financially penalized by Medicare for not showing meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs). The Electronic Health Fairness Act of 2015, which was approved by the House on June 17, is now awaiting President Barack Obama's signature.
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Nearly Half of Physicians May Not Be Ready for ICD-10
Medscape (08/06/15) Frellick, Marcia

Nearly 25 percent of physicians' offices said in a survey they will not be ready when the new, more complex International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition (ICD-10), hits October 1. Another 25% said they are not sure whether they will be ready.
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Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Adults Aged 50–75 Years, by Race and Hispanic Origin
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (08/07/15) Vol. 64, No. 30, P. 15 Khajuria, Hashini

During 2000–2013, among adults aged 50–75 years, the use of colorectal cancer tests or procedures increased for all racial and ethnic groups shown. Non-Hispanic Asian adults had the largest increase; the percentage more than doubled from 20.6 percent in 2000 to 51.2 percent in 2013.
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In U.S., Uninsured Rates Continue to Drop in Most States
Gallup Poll News Service (08/10/15)

Arkansas and Kentucky continue to have the sharpest reductions in their uninsured rates since the healthcare law took effect at the beginning of 2014. Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington join them as states that have at least a 10-percentage-point reduction in uninsured rates. Seven of the 10 states with the greatest reductions in uninsured rates have expanded Medicaid and established a state-based marketplace exchange or state-federal partnership, while two have implemented one or the other.
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AGA Takes Colonoscopy Cuts Poll Results to CMS
American Gastroenterological Association (08/05/15)

CMS heard your voice. More than 550 members participated in our poll on colonoscopy pay cuts, and the results were presented to CMS by the GI societies during our recent meeting.
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CDC Modeling Projects Growth of Drug-Resistant Infections and C. difficile
CDC News Release (08/04/15)

The latest CDC Vital Signs includes mathematical modeling that projects increases in drug-resistant infections and Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) without immediate, nationwide improvements in infection control and antibiotic prescribing. The promising news is that CDC modeling projects that a coordinated approach—that is, health care facilities and health departments in an area working together—could prevent up to 70 percent of life-threatening carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) infections over five years.
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Duodenoscope Reprocessing: FDA Safety Communication
FDA MedWatch (08/04/15)

FDA is providing a detailed list of supplemental duodenoscope reprocessing measures that emerged from an agency-led expert panel meeting earlier this year. Hospitals and health care facilities that utilize duodenoscopes can, in addition to meticulously following manufacturer reprocessing instructions, take one or more of these additional steps to further reduce the risk of infection and increase the safety of these medical devices.
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Physicians' Investments in Medical-Device Companies Face Scrutiny
Columbus Dispatch (08/03/15) Sutherly, Ben

Some local hospitals are tightening their policies to ensure that physicians' private investments are not at odds with their clinical care. The increased oversight comes as such relationships draw greater scrutiny from the federal government, which also has begun to make public doctors' investments in medical-device suppliers.
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New Surgery Center Opens in Westmoreland
Utica Observer-Dispatch (NY) (07/28/15) Roth, Amy Neff

A long-time national health care trend has come to the Mohawk Valley with the opening of the Apex Surgical Center in Westmoreland. Doctors will perform outpatient orthopedic, plastic and pain management surgeries and procedures in the center, which had its first surgery on July 13.
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