ASCA News Digest (July 7, 2015)

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July 7, 2015





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ASCA Highlights


CMS Releases the 2016 Proposed Payment Rule for ASCs

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2016 proposed payment rule for ASCs and hospital outpatient departments last week. If the proposed rule were to be finalized as drafted, ASCs would see an effective update of 1.1%—a combination of a 1.7% inflation update based on CMS’s estimation of the change in Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers and a productivity reduction mandated by the Affordable Care Act of 0.6 percentage points. MORE
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With ICD-10 implementation less than 90 days away, focus is not only on performing all system testing, contacting payers, restructuring processes, educating staff and physicians but also on developing a contingency plan to keep revenue flowing. What happens if your system is not ready to transmit ICD-10 claims on October 1? Some payers have developed billing software or online portals for claim submissions. Discuss alternate ICD-10 claims submission methods with all commercial and Medicare payers prior to October 1, 2015. MORE
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The ICD-10 go-live date is October 1. Federal officials are saying "no more delays." ASCs must act now to ensure a successful ICD-10 implementation or they could face a significant increase in denied claims and delayed payments. Clinical and business office protocols from patient intake through discharge all require scrutiny. Learn what your ASC needs to do to prepare for ICD-10 during ASCA's next webinar on Thursday, July 9, at 1:00 pm ET. MORE
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The deadline to enter data for ASCA’s Salary and Benefits Survey has been extended to July 31. The more ASCs that participate, the more valuable the data comparisons will be for your future business planning. Start submitting your data today—all ASCs can enter data for free. The new online platform will produce personalized graphical reports comparing your data with the data of similar ASCs. In order to receive the reports for free, you must answer at least 50% of the questions. MORE
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The data collection period for the second quarter (Q2) of the 2015 ASCA Benchmarking Program is now open. If you haven't subscribed yet, sign up online to start submitting your data. Even though you are subscribing during Q2, you will still receive the national/specialty report for Q1. The data collection period will close on July 31. 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.



Ensure Patient Safety During Procedural Sedation

The ASA Standard of Basic Anesthetic Monitoring (2011) requires capnography monitoring during procedural sedation.

Nonin Medical’s easy-to-use, cost-effective RespSense™ and LifeSense® capnographs help ensure adequacy of ventilation and provide the earliest indication of an adverse breathing event.


Register for ASCA’s 2015 Fall Seminar, October 8–10, in Louisville, Kentucky. Friday’s concurrent sessions will cover finance and accounting principles, physician credentialing, ICD-10, pharmacy management, QAPI, evaluations and new employee orientation. Thursday and Saturday’s breakout sessions will cover quality reporting, human resources, the Life Safety Code and an AAMI update. The CASC Exam will be offered on Saturday. MORE
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Watch ASCA's Government Affairs Department discuss last month's legislative successes in this new monthly recap video. In June, the US House of Representatives passed legislation that included the Electronic Health Fairness Act of 2015, the US Supreme Court announced its decision in King v. Burwell, more than 65 ASC professionals came to Washington, DC as part of ASCA's Capitol Fly-In Program, and ASCA hosted the 2nd Annual State Leaders Conference. MORE
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Industry News


CMS' Open Payments Posts Full Year of 2014 Financial Data
CMS.gov (06/30/2015)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today published 2014 Open Payments data about transfers of value by drug and medical device makers to health care providers. The data includes information about 11.4 million financial transactions attributed to over 600,000 physicians and more than 1,100 teaching hospitals, totaling $6.49 billion.
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With Merger Deal, Aetna, Humana Get Ahead of the Pack
Wall Street Journal (07/06/15) Mathews, Anna Wilde; Hoffman, Liz; Mattioli, Dana

In the game of merger musical chairs the five biggest health insurers have been playing lately, Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc. hustled to grab the first seats. The two insurers disclosed their $34.1 billion tie-up after 2 a.m. EDT Friday, as the holiday weekend was beginning and after reports that rivals Anthem Inc. and Cigna Corp. had rekindled talks.
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New ICD-10 Guidance to Prepare for Final Medicare Testing Week
Health Data Management (07/15) Goedert, Joseph

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued updated guidance as the last week to conduct ICD-10 end-to-end testing with Medicare—July 20-24—approaches. The guidance also covers ICD-10 acknowledgement testing, which can done at any time with an organization's Medicare contractor and no registration is required
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Boards Struggle With Cybersecurity, Especially in Health Care
Wall Street Journal (07/01/15) Nash, Kim S.

Directors on corporate boards continue to struggle to understand cybersecurity risks. Just 11% of board members across industries say they have a "high level" of knowledge about the topic, according to a survey of 1,034 directors by the National Association of Corporate Directors.
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Aging Doctors: Time for Mandatory Competency Testing?
MedPage Today (06/29/15) Clark, Cheryl

The idea that all doctors turning 65 or 70 should be routinely screened for age-related physical or mental slippage to assure they won't hurt patients sounds like overkill to Paul Goldfarb, MD. "There's already so much peer review, continuing education, maintenance of certification and self assessment" and testing, the 72-year-old San Diego oncology surgeon said last week after wrapping up a partial pancreatectomy.
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FDA to Strengthen Definitional Standards for Surgical Gowns Under New Guidance
Regulatory Focus (06/29/2015) Gaffney, Alexander

It is an iconic image replicated during almost every single infectious disease outbreak in the last century: men and women clad head to toe in surgical gowns and surgical masks, tending to the sick or working to disinfect contaminated areas. But iconic or not, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a more pressing concern: Are the gowns effective at protecting their users from the spread of infection?
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OSHA Adds Key Hazards for Investigators' Focus in Healthcare Inspections
OSHA News Release (06/25/15)

Targeting some of the most common causes of workplace injury and illness in the health care industry, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the agency is expanding its use of enforcement resources in hospitals and nursing homes to focus on: musculoskeletal disorders related to patient or resident handling; bloodborne pathogens; workplace violence; tuberculosis and slips, trips and falls. U.S. hospitals recorded nearly 58,000 work-related injuries and illnesses in 2013, amounting to 6.4 work-related injuries and illnesses for every 100 full-time employees: almost twice as high as the overall rate for private industry.
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Study Finds Almost Half Of Health Law Plans Offer Very Limited Physician Networks
Kaiser Health News (06/26/15) Andrews, Michelle

If the physician networks for plans sold on the health law's online insurance exchanges were T-shirts, more than 40 percent would be size X-small or small. That's the takeaway from a new study that analyzed nearly 400 physician networks in silver-level plans sold around the country in 2014.
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US Healthcare: Payment-Driven Transformation Ahead
JDSupra (07/01/15) Piper, DLA

Health care spending is forecast to increase from US$3 trillion in 2014 to US$5.2 trillion in 2023, reflecting a compound annual growth rate of 5.9 percent. US health care expenditures on a per capita basis are 1.9-2.6 times the amount spent by other developed nations despite having a much younger population.
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Infection Preventionists May Spend More Time Collecting Data Than Protecting Patients
APIC.org (06/25/2015)

Collecting and reporting hospital infection data to federal health agencies takes more than 5 hours each day, at the expense of time needed to ensure that frontline health care personnel are adhering to basic infection prevention practices such as hand hygiene, according to a recent case study, to be presented on Saturday, June 27 at the 42nd Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). Infection preventionists (IPs) play a critical role in the effort to eliminate healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), which strike one in 25 U.S. hospital patients.
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Personalized Technology Will Upend the Doctor-Patient Relationship
Harvard Business Review (06/19/15) Subramanian, Sundar; Dumont, Carl; Dankert, Christoph

In a few years, the idea of receiving medical treatment exclusively at a doctor’s office or hospital will seem quaint. Wearable technologies, implanted devices, and smartphone apps allow continuous monitoring and create a ubiquitous, 24/7, digitized picture of your health that can be accessed and analyzed in real-time, anywhere.
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