ASCA News Digest (August 18, 2015)

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August 18, 2015

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  • 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


ASCA's 2015 Salary and Benefits Survey Results Available

Results of ASCA's 2015 Salary and Benefits Survey are now available. ASCs that completed more than 50 percent of the survey can access the results for free. ASCs and others that did not complete 50 percent of the survey can purchase access to the online survey results. MORE
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ASCA's 2015 Fall Seminar, October 8-10, in Louisville, Kentucky, offers an important opportunity to tap into the expertise of some of the top experts in ASC management today as you explore practical solutions for making the most of new trends and best practices in your ASC. ASCA members enjoy discounts and can save even more by registering by August 31. MORE
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Learn about steam sterilization processes and cycle parameters, and different types of sterilization monitoring devices and their recommended use, during ASCA's webinar on Tuesday, September 1, at 1:00 pm ET. Topics will include current recommended practices for routine load release of implants and non-implants; recommended practices for routine sterilizer efficacy testing; and sterilization record keeping requirements as recommended by AAMI and AORN. MORE
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AW0275-MedIQ

CME/CE Webcast: Selecting Intraoperative Opioids

Watch this CME/CE Webcast, sponsored by Med-IQ, to explore strategies that address the challenges of balancing cost, safety, and efficacy when selecting short-acting intravenous opioid anesthesia regimens. This activity also presents insights on effective communication among anesthesiologists, CRNAs, and hospital-based pharmacists regarding patient needs and economic factors. WATCH TODAY

AW0262 Navicure

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.

There are only a few weeks left to register to join your colleagues at the ASCA Capitol Fly-In, September 29-30, in Washington, DC. The Fly-In gives members of the ASC community a unique opportunity to speak with a unified voice and deliver messages to Congress that support all ASCs. Fly-in participants directly lobby their members of Congress and staff in support of pro-ASC legislation. MORE
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Wednesday, August 19, is National ASC Day, and ASCs across the country will be celebrating by hosting elected officials and key policymakers in their centers. National ASC Day and the weeks surrounding it are the perfect time to show your members of Congress, state legislators, state officials, the press and members of the public the high-quality care your ASC provides for its community. If you are inviting your elected officials, policy makers or others into your center on National ASC Day, or another day this year, please contact Blake McDonald at bmcdonald@ascassociation.org with a report about your event. He can also provide planning assistance for your event in advance. MORE
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ASCA partnered with U.S. Rep. David Scott (D-GA) during his 11th Annual Health Fair in Atlanta, Georgia, on August 15 to increase awareness about the importance of undergoing regular colonoscopies. Scott’s health fair attracts more than 2,000 of his constituents each year and provides participants with critical preventive care services such as clinical breast cancer exams, prostate cancer screenings, HIV/AIDS assessment and vision and dental exams. This year, ASCA encouraged participants to undergo regular colonoscopies. Physicians who were also on site discussed the steps involved in the procedure. MORE
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Succession planning of physician partners is a critical process for ensuring the ongoing viability of an ASC, but it often does not receive the attention it deserves. Learn about the importance of succession planning, what your ASC should do to ensure it can maintain a strong partnership even when physicians move on, and legal considerations concerning succession planning. MORE
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides, at no cost, current and previous years' ICD-10-CM (Clinical Modification) guidelines, addenda files and code files. Click on the link below to review 2016 or 2015 ICD-10-CM guidelines, a list of codes/descriptions and more. The ICD-10 code set is scheduled to replace the ICD-9 code set on October 1, 2015. MORE
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Save the date for ASCA's 2016 Winter Coding Seminar, January 14-16, 2015, at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, to ensure that your ASC is prepared for 2016's coding and billing changes. This two-and-a-half day conference is a "must" when it comes to learning best coding practices that assure you receive the reimbursements you have earned. MORE
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is soliciting comments regarding the advisability of paying for cataract surgery in the office setting as an alternative to the ASC and hospital outpatient department. ASCA's primary concern is ensuring that cataract procedures continue to be performed in an environment that ensures patient safety. MORE
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Industry News


House Likely To Revive Surgery Center Debate
Health News Florida (08/13/2015) Saunders, Jim

After the Florida Senate blocked the idea this year, the House likely will renew a push in 2016 to let patients stay overnight at ambulatory-surgical centers and could again seek to open the door for longer-term recovery centers. House Health & Human Services Chairman Jason Brodeur on Wednesday told a health care panel formed by Gov. Rick Scott that he expects the House to look again at trying to pass an ambulatory-surgical center bill.
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Medicaid Money Woes Renew Look At Alternative Cost Options, Ambulatory Care
WFSU (Florida State University) (08/15/15) Hatter, Lynn

Florida’s Medicaid costs will go up next year. Enrollment in the program that insurers low-income Floridians continues to grow even without a legislative move to expanding it to people who qualify under the Affordable Care Act. Now lawmakers are feeling the pressure to put cost controls in place.
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Yelp Adds Medicare, Other Data to Reviews of Hospitals, Doctors
Sacramento Bee (08/06/15) Caiola, Sammy

Most people turn to Yelp, the popular consumer review site and mobile app, when they're looking for a late-night takeout restaurant or a great spot for brunch. Now, they'll be able to search the site for quality information about doctors and hospitals.
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House GOP Looks Ahead to Huge Medicare Overhaul in 2016
National Journal (08/10/14) Scott, Dylan

For years, Republicans have openly pined for pushing Medicare further into the private sector, bBut they have been restrained by the practical realities of divided government and the political risks of a plan that Democrats have said would turn the popular insurance program into a voucher system. Conservatives on Capitol Hill, however, have not surrendered the dream and now are planning to undertake the work to make it a legislative reality.
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Florida to Audit 31 Hospitals Amid Concerns About Health Care Costs
Tampa Bay Times (08/13/15) McGrory, Kathleen

Amid statewide concern about the ballooning costs of Medicaid, state Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Elizabeth Dudek said Wednesday she had ordered audits for 31 hospitals that may be receiving more in Medicaid payments than is legally allowed. "We want to help them," Dudek said. "We want (Medicaid) to be successful. But we can't if everyone is not doing everything they need to do to contain costs." Gov. Rick Scott's Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding Chairman Carlos Beruff said it was too early to tell what kind of recommendations the panel would make. But the members' discussion on expanding ambulatory surgical centers hinted at the direction they might head.
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Additional Reporting May Help CMS Oversee Prescription-Drug Fraud Controls
U.S. Government Accountability Office (08/10/15)

GAO found indicators of potential prescription-medication fraud and abuse among thousands of Medicaid beneficiaries and hundreds of prescribers during fiscal year 2011—the most-recent year for which reliable data were available in four selected states: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, and New Jersey. These states accounted for about 13 percent of all fiscal year 2011 Medicaid payments
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Impact of Cataract Surgery on Vision-Related Life Performances
Nature (08/14/15)

Real-Life Vision Test (RLVT) is a newly developed performance-based measures of functional vision. This present study is designed to determine whether it could be a meaningful assessment for cataract surgery outcomes evaluation.
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Physicians Slow to Provide Data on Costs
Boston Globe (08/11/15) Hoban, Virgie

Three years after passage of a state law requiring price transparency, physicians across the state are still failing to give patients reliable estimates for health care procedures, according to a report scheduled to be released August 12. The legislation, which took effect in 2014, was meant to make it easier for patients to get reliable information about the cost of services, helping them shop for their care.
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PPE Used Incorrectly Half the Time
HealthLeaders Media (07/28/15) Boivin, Janet

Nine months after a Texas nurse contracted Ebola from a patient and a National Nurses United survey found that 85 percent of RNs reported they had not been adequately trained to protect themselves from infection, researchers find that training for health care workers using personal protective equipment remains lacking. Less than half of health care workers observed at a large Midwestern health system correctly removed their personal protective equipment (PPE), putting themselves at risk for infection, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.
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Persistent Contamination on Colonoscopes and Gastroscopes Detected Despite Reprocessing Performed in Accordance With Guidelines
American Journal of Infection Control (08/01/2015) Ofstead, Cori; Wetzler, Harry; Doyle, Evan; et al.

Pathogens have been transmitted via flexible endoscopes that were reportedly reprocessed in accordance with guidelines. Researchers observed reprocessing activities to ensure guideline compliance in a large gastrointestinal endoscopy unit. Contamination was assessed immediately after bedside cleaning, manual cleaning, high-level disinfection, and overnight storage via visual inspection, aerobic cultures, and tests for adenosine triphosphate (ATP), protein, carbohydrate, and hemoglobin.
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