ASCA News Digest (December 15, 2015)

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December 15, 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!
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ASCA Highlights


ASCA’s 2016 Webinar Schedule Now Available

Visit ASCA’s web site for the dates and details of next year's webinars. Attend sessions like “In Print, On Air and Online: The Challenges and Opportunities of Media Relations,” for practical tips on reaching out and responding to your local media, or “How to Train your Business Office Team to Optimize your Revenue Cycle,” to make sure you and your team are maximizing all aspects of your revenue cycle.

ASCA members who register for the entire 2016 series will receive an additional 10 percent off the discounted member rate.
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ASCA’s Winter Coding Seminar takes place next month, January 14–16, 2016, in Scottsdale, Arizona. ASC professionals who have not already registered are encouraged to do so this month. This comprehensive program promises to help position your ASC for success with more than 25 sessions covering everything from 2016 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) changes and the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) updates to billing resources and best ASC business practices. Attendees will be awarded up to 17.75 units of AEU credit and up to 14 nursing contact hours.
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The Texas Ambulatory Surgery Center Society (TASCS) is seeking an individual with experience in the public policy arena and a working knowledge of health care facilities and medical practices to serve as the organization’s executive director.

For more information, contact Steve Blake, TASCS executive director, 512-535-2325 or 972-415-7201, exec.director@texasascsociety.org.
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ASCA’s Online Regulatory Training Series includes 21 courses, designed specifically for ASCs, to help train ASC staff on the latest regulations and standards of care. For less than $3.00 per continuing education (CE) credit, ASCs can ensure they are meeting training requirements in critical operational areas like medication management, infection prevention, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and domestic abuse assessment.
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Renew your ASCA membership through the new online portal using a credit card or check by December 31 to receive 10 percent off an ASCA Benchmarking subscription.

If you have questions concerning membership renewal, contact Renee Harris-Etheridge at 703.636.0609 or rharris@ascassociation.org.
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Sign up for ASCA 2016, Thursday to Sunday, May 19–22, at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. Learn more about the meeting and register on the ASCA 2016 website.

ASCA 2016 offers a unique opportunity to network with thousands of ASC professionals from around the country. Attendees can exchange best practices and discuss marketplace trends that have immediate and long-term implications for their centers.

ASCA members receive a discounted rate and can save even more by registering multiple attendees at the same time.
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ASCA launched a new social media campaign last week centered on recent Gallup Poll data showing that 42 percent of Americans name cost or access as their most urgent health problem. The goal of ASCA’s new campaign is to raise awareness of the value ASCs provide to Medicare, its beneficiaries and the broader community by highlighting the high-quality, cost-efficient care ASCs provide to the community.

Help promote this campaign by liking and following ASCA on Facebook and Twitter, and sharing ASCA’s messages from the campaign.
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ASCA Benchmarking subscribers can now access their clinical and operational benchmarking reports for the third quarter (Q3) of 2015 on the ASCA Benchmarking portal. These reports offer valuable data on ASCs that can be used to improve quality, boost performance and meet expectations of regulators, payers and patients.

Subscriptions for the 2015 survey are still available online at a discount to ASCA members.
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ASCA is encouraging its members to nominate qualified candidates to serve on its board of directors. To nominate someone, you must be an ASCA member and complete the Call for Nominations Online Form (or download the PDF form) and return it by January 12, 2016. Visit the ASCA web site for more details.
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) revised the 2016 ASC payment addenda after the initial release on October 30, 2015. The ASCA Payment Resources page has been updated to reflect these changes, as well as a few errors that were in the original release. Please make sure you are using the current Medicare Rate Calculator and ASCA Table available on the members-only section of the ASCA web site.
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Industry News


Fewer People Having Problems Paying Medical Bills, CDC Reports
Bloomberg BNA (12/10/15) Hansard, Sara

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) may help bolster data indicating the Affordable Care Act is helping many families get health-care coverage and pay their bills. Fewer people are having problems paying medical bills from 2011 through the first half of 2015, the CDC reported.
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New Laws to Ease Doctor Shortage See Long Delays, Criticism
Associated Press (12/12/15)

A new Missouri law offered a first-of-its-kind solution to the physician shortage plaguing thousands of U.S. communities: Medical school graduates could start treating patients immediately, without wading through years of traditional residency programs. Following Missouri's lead, similar measures were enacted in Arkansas and Kansas and considered in Oklahoma.
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CMS Expands Quality Data on Physician Compare and Hospital Compare to Help Consumers Choose Health Care Providers
CMS Press Release (12/11/15)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is committed to providing current quality performance data that is useful to the consumer. Today, data has been refreshed on both the Physician Compare and Hospital Compare websites to improve these consumer online tools.
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New Consumer Decision Support Features Now Available at HealthCare.gov
CMS Press Release (12/10/15)

As consumers count down to the December 15 enrollment deadline for January 1 coverage, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that new HealthCare.gov consumer decision support features piloted earlier this enrollment season will now be fully deployed to all visitors. The new Out of Pocket Cost calculator, Doctor and Facility Lookup, and Prescription Drug Lookup features will help consumers to more easily search for the plan that best meets their budget and health needs.
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OSHA Ramping Up Safety, Inspection Efforts for Health Care Workplaces
Business Insurance (12/10/15) Gonzalez, Gloria

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched a website aimed at addressing ongoing safety and health challenges in the health care sector while it also plans to ramp up hospital inspections. Employees in the health care and social assistance sector are vulnerable to workplace injuries and illnesses, particularly the threat of workplace violence, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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Nearly a Third of New Doctors at High Risk for Depression
Washington Post (12/08/15) Sun, Lena H.

Nearly one-third of doctors in the early stages of their careers screened positive for depression or had symptoms during their medical training, according to a comprehensive international review released Tuesday. Researchers said the prevalence of depression was much higher among medical residents than the general population.
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HealthCare.gov Sign-ups Exceed Last Year's Pace
Reuters (12/09/15) Humer, Caroline

Enrollment in 2016 individual insurance through the HealthCare.gov website is higher than it was a year ago at this time, with 1 million new customers signed up, U.S. government health officials said on Wednesday. The officials cited the latest enrollment data as a reason for confidence in the long-term stability of HealthCare.gov, which was created under President Barack Obama's national health care law and sells individual insurance plans in 37 states.
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Obamacare Procrastinators Beware: There Won't Be a Deadline Extension This Time
Time (12/08/15) Brandeisky, Kara

People without health insurance have until Jan. 31, 2016, to buy an Obamacare plan on the government-run marketplace. And this time, that will be a hard deadline.
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Inspiration LS, 5i and 7i Ventilator Systems by eVent Medical: Class I Recall - May Shut Down Without Alarm
FDA MedWatch (12/07/15)

eVent Medical is recalling the LS, 5i, or 7i Inspiration ventilators because a faulty switch on the ventilators' power board may fail, causing the ventilator to shut down without sounding an alarm. If the ventilator shuts down, the patient may not receive enough oxygen and could suffer serious adverse health consequences, including injury or death.
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