ASCA News Digest (January 27, 2015)

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January 27, 2015





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ASCA Highlights


Two Weeks Left to Submit Q4 Data for ASCA Benchmarking

The data collection period for the fourth quarter (Q4) of the 2014 ASCA Benchmarking Program will close on Friday, February 6. Please begin to submit your data if you haven't already started. If you aren't currently a subscriber, sign up today. You will receive the national/specialty report for Q1, Q2 and Q3 when you subscribe. MORE
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Enrollment for Cohort 5 of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Safety Program for Ambulatory Surgery is now open. The program is designed to improve communication, teamwork and quality in your ASC and will focus on effectively implementing a surgical safety checklist as a means of reducing infections and complications. MORE
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The DEA published its Final Rule for the Disposal of Controlled Substances in the fall, and some of the changes in disposal requirements for registrants will impact ASCs. Find out how those changes might affect your practice and what you need to do in response during ASCA's next webinar on February 10 at 1pm ET. MORE
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Read the latest issue of ASC Focus magazine to learn how ASCs can be successful in ACOs, how ASCs are benefiting now that the ACA is taking effect, Medicare's 2015 final payment rule and the policy changes that will impact ASCs and more. MORE
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"ASCA's new Medical Director Leadership Seminar, May 16-17, in Orlando, will address high-level aspects of issues surrounding ASC management, expectations and responsibilities. Participants will come together to examine current challenges and selected clinical concepts in ambulatory surgery," said Arnaldo Valedon, MD. Learn more and register today. MORE
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Registration is now open for the 2015 ASCA Capitol Fly-In Program. This year’s events will take place June 16-17 and September 29-30. Fly-In participants directly lobby members of Congress and together provide a unified voice for the ASC community. Last year's Fly-Ins resulted in more than 90 Members cosponsoring ASCA supported legislation. MORE
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ASCs are encouraged to enroll now in the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) in order to report data for ASC-8: Influenza Vaccination Coverage among Healthcare Personnel as part of Medicare's ASC Quality Reporting Program. The enrollment process can take more than a month. Your facility does not need to re-enroll if it is already enrolled in NHSN. MORE
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Web-based measures ASC-9 and ASC-10 are currently unavailable in the QualityNet Secure Portal. The portal was originally scheduled to be available for data submission on January 1, 2015. The system is now scheduled to be available the first week of February 2015. MORE
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Industry News


The Obama Administration Wants to Dramatically Change How Doctors Are Paid
Washington Post (01/26/15) Millman, Jason

The Obama administration on Monday announced an ambitious goal to overhaul the way doctors are paid, tying their fees more closely to the quality of care rather than the quantity. Rather than pay more money to Medicare doctors simply for every procedure they perform, the government will also evaluate whether patients are healthier, among other measures.
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HHS Adds Privacy Protections to Healthcare.gov
The Hill (01/24/15) Devaney, Tim

The Obama administration says it is taking steps to protect consumers’ personal information on HealthCare.gov after privacy concerns were raised earlier this week. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is adding a layer of encryption to the website to help cut back on the information it shares with outside companies.
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Healthcare Job Growth Jumped in Late 2014, Future Outlook Improves
Modern Medicine (01/21/15) Zimlich, Rachael

Despite conflicting reports of health care worker surpluses and shortages, a new study says future job security and growth looks bright for health care workers. The Altarum Institute Center for Sustainable Health Spending revealed in its annual Health Sector Trend Report that jobs and spending in health care was on the rise in 2015, and the future outlook is positive.
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Obamacare Enrollment Hits 7.1 Million So Far for 2015 Coverage
Reuters (01/21/15) Morgan, David

The Obama administration said on Wednesday that more than 7.1 million people have signed up for 2015 health care coverage through the federal government's insurance marketplace as of last Friday. The figures, which show more than 400,000 new applicants for the week from Jan. 10 through Jan. 16 alone, do not include enrollees at 14 state-run marketplaces.
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Colon Cancer Screenings Will Be Covered If New Kentucky Law Passes
Louisville Business First (01/22/15) Mann, David A.

A bill that would require health benefit plans to cover colorectal cancer screenings for certain people has been filed in the Kentucky House of Representatives. The bill, filed by Rep. Tom Burch, D-Louisville, would have the screenings covered regardless of factors such as billing code or other procedures being performed during the same clinical encounter.
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Data on Payments From Drugmakers to Doctors Is Marred by Error
New York Times (01/22/15) Ornstein, Charles; Jones, Ryann Growchowski; Tigas, Mike,

You'd think drug and medical device makers would know how to spell the names of their own products. But when companies submitted data to the federal government last year on their payments to doctors, some got the product names wrong.
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Survey: Health Care Finance, Reform Top Issues Confronting Hospitals in 2014
American College of Healthcare Executives (01/12/15)

Financial challenges again ranked No. 1 on the list of hospital CEOs' top concerns in 2014, according to the American College of Healthcare Executives' annual survey of top issues confronting hospitals. Health care reform implementation and governmental mandates ranked next in a tie for second, closely followed by patient safety and quality.
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Superbug Spread Through Contaminated Scopes Sickened Dozens in Seattle
Reuters (01/22/15) Cavaliere, Victoria

A drug-resistant superbug infected 32 people at a Seattle hospital over a two-year period, with the bacteria spreading through contaminated medical scopes that had been cleaned to the manufacturer's recommendation, officials said on Thursday. Eleven of the patients infected at Virginia Mason Medical Center between 2012 and 2014 eventually died, the hospital and city health officials said.
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Just Opened: Little Egg Outpatient-Surgery Center 3rd for AtlantiCare
Press of Atlantic City (New Jersey) (01/21/15) Post, Kevin

AtlantiCare has opened a third surgery center, in Little Egg Harbor Township. The center on North Green Street features two operating rooms, five pre-operation bays (two of which can be used as recovery bays for patients who have had minor procedures), a recovery room with five bays, a reception area, and office and supply areas.
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Hospital for Special Surgery to Open New Joint in Conn.
Crain's New York Business (01/12/15) Ivanova, Irina

An Upper East Side medical center known for treating star athletes and baby boomers is expanding its footprint outside the city. The Hospital for Special Surgery will open a long-delayed outpatient center in Stamford, Conn., in February.
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