ASCA News Digest (August 25, 2015)

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August 25, 2015

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ASCA Highlights

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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


Register for ASCA Virtual Career Fair on September 16

ASCA will host a Virtual Career Fair on September 16 for ASC professionals. Job-seekers can discover potential career opportunities, conduct interviews via online chat and follow up with recruiters and employers. This is also a perfect setting for employers to connect with top-rate talent conveniently and affordably. Learn more by viewing quick videos detailing how the Virtual Career Fair will work for employers and job-seekers. MORE
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Your input is needed in response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) proposed ASC reimbursement rates for 2016. ASCA will once again submit comments raising industry-wide concerns, but it is important that CMS hears from individual centers. While we provide draft language, the most persuasive letters also will include your individual details regarding how the proposed changes will impact your center. Comments are due Monday, August 31, at 5:00 pm ET. 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 the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses. 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.
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


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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Interested in attending ASCA's 2015 Fall Seminar? ASCA members enjoy discounts and everyone saves by registering by August 31. The Fall Seminar takes place October 8-10, in Louisville, Kentucky. It offers extensive networking opportunities, continuing education contact hours and in-depth educational sessions that will cover the latest information in clinical care, business office management and materials management. MORE
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Registration ends September 9 for the final ASCA Capitol Fly-In of the year, September 29-30, in Washington, D.C. Experience hands-on communications and advocacy training from lobbying experts and brainstorm with your colleagues to devise effective strategies on how you can effect change with your elected officials. Turn your training and strategizing into action when you directly lobby your members of Congress and their staff to support your center through pro-ASC legislation. MORE
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The next CASC exam is scheduled for October 10 from 8:30 am-12:30 pm. The application to take the exam must be postmarked by September 4. The exam will be held at the Louisville Marriott Downtown in Kentucky. Download the CASC Candidate Handbook, which includes the exam application form. MORE
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While providing top quality care remains the first priority in ASCs, putting patients first also means navigating numerous fiscal and management concerns. Learn practical guidance on how to overcome your ASC's biggest financial and management challenges. MORE
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Time is of the essence in ensuring that physician documentation meets the specificity necessary for claims adjudication and, ultimately, accurate reimbursement. CMS' "Road to 10" offers certain physician specialty clinical concept guides that include commonly utilized codes, documentation tips and, in some instances, clinical scenarios. These additional coding concepts are an added resource for your physicians and coding/billing team. Go to ASCA’s ICD-10 resource page for additional information. MORE
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ASCA is encouraging its members who provide gastroenterology services to join the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and other stakeholders in their opposition to proposed cuts to the 2016 Medicare physician reimbursement rates for colonoscopy and other lower GI endoscopy procedures, including colonoscopy. Under the Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule, physician work values for colonoscopy procedures are cut 13 percent on average. When coupled with proposed cuts to ASCs, some practices could experience reductions of up to 20 percent. MORE
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Industry News


Surgical Center Bill Re-Emerges in House
Health News Florida (08/24/2015)

A House Republican on Thursday began renewing a push to allow patients to stay at ambulatory surgical centers for up to 24 hours and to allow the operation of longer-term "recovery care" centers. State Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, filed a bill (HB 85) to address the issues during the 2016 legislative session.
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Bundled Payment Program Contracts Rise as Partners Drop Out
Health Care Finance News (08/14/2015) Powderly, Henry

More than 2,100 health care providers have passed through the review stage and will begin taking on financial risk in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative, the federal agency announced on Thursday. But while CMS celebrated the news as evidence that its move towards value-based payments is gathering momentum, the reality is more than half of providers that originally signed up have dropped out.
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Poll Finds Prescription Drug Costs Emerging as a Top Health Care Issue for Consumers
Associated Press (08/20/15) Alonso-Zaldivar, Ricardo

Move over, "Obamacare." A new poll finds Americans worried about medication costs and broadly supporting government action to curb drug prescription prices.
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Health Insurer Mergers Signify Shift in Health Care Marketplace
U.S. News & World Report (08/21/15) Sternberg, Steve

A pair of mergers involving four of the nation's five for-profit health insurance Goliaths—Cigna Corp. and Anthem, Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc.—provoked a swift reaction from doctors who fear they will rob patients of treatment options and doctors of their bargaining power. But what may be just as significant about the planned mergers, experts say, is that they signify a major shift in the nation's health care marketplace.
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Medical Professions Dominate CareerCast's List of Highest Paying Jobs
PR Newswire (08/20/15)

Skilled health care professions dominate CareerCast's 2015 list of the highest paying jobs, with surgeon, psychiatrist and physician rounding out the top three. Other medical careers that landed in the Top 10 are dentist, orthodontist and pharmacist.
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Doctors: Are You Insured Against Disability in Your Medical Specialty?
Physicians News Digest (08/24/15) Smith, Maggie M.

A disability insurance policy is supposed to protect you from financial loss when an illness or injury interferes with your ability to practice medicine. However, the terms of your particular insurance contract can make all the difference in whether the insurance company writing the contract will pay benefits when you become disabled from practicing in your medical specialty.
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Why Your Doctor Won't Friend You on Facebook
Kaiser Health News (08/24/15) Luthra, Shefali

Doctors' practices are increasingly trying to reach their patients online. But don't expect your doctor to "friend" you on Facebook--at least, not just yet.
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Study Finds Cataract Surgery Leaves Patients Satisfied
Laredo Morning Times (TX) (08/24/15)

By 2030, 38 million Americans will suffer from cataracts, a number that will increase to 50 million by 2050, according to the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The most common treatment for cataracts is surgery, and new research suggests its benefits are strong.
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Physicians Lack ICD-10 Confidence, May Retire If Revenue Low
RevCycle Intelligence (08/19/15) DiChiara, Jacqueline

As the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10) implementation deadline draws nearer, tangible confirmations about bleak preparation levels among physicians and the financially dangerous aftermath of such are coming to the forefront with the release of new data. According to a recently conducted survey from the Texas Medical Association (TMA) of 936 respondents, 97 percent of which treat patients in active medical practices, and 42 percent being solo practitioners, the overall consensus regarding physicians' preparation levels is currently quite dismal.
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Study: Use of OpenNotes Increases Safety, Patient Engagement
FierceHealthIT (08/13/15) Hall, Susan D.

Through five years of experience with OpenNotes, which allows patients access to the doctor's notes in their record, researchers say using the tool can increase safety, care quality and patient engagement, according to a study in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. The OpenNotes study began in 2010, when more than 100 primary care doctors at three hospitals opened their notes to 20,000 patients, who were allowed to read their records through a secure, patient website, according to an announcement on the study.
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FDA to Explore Criteria for Quarterly Medical Device Malfunction Reporting
Regulatory Focus (08/18/2015) Mehzer, Michael

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced it will pilot a new initiative to explore criteria for allowing medical device manufacturers to report malfunctions of certain low- and medium-risk devices on a quarterly basis. In 2007, the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act (FDAAA) made changes to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C), requiring makers of certain class I and class II devices to report malfunctions on a quarterly basis, based on a set of criteria defined by FDA.
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Medical Scope Makers Cited for Safety Lapses
USA Today (08/17/15) Eisler, Peter

Federal regulators have found safety violations in the manufacturing practices of all three companies producing a specialized medical scope that has been linked to deadly superbug outbreaks at U.S. hospitals--a precursor to possible legal action against the firms. The Food and Drug Administration revealed Monday that it issued warning letters Aug. 12 to Olympus, Pentax and FujiFilm for violating an array of manufacturing and quality control standards meant to ensure the safety of their duodenoscopes.
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