ASCA News Digest (June 2, 2015)

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June 2, 2015





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ASCA Highlights


Salary and Benefits Survey Now Open

Start entering your data for ASCA’s Salary and Benefits Survey. Data collection will be open through June 30. All ASCs can participate, but in order to receive the personalized reports and data comparisons for free, you must participate and answer at least 50% of the questions (otherwise you will have to purchase the reports). MORE
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Improve Your Financial Strength with Surgical Notes!

The largest management companies and over 20,000 healthcare providers trust Surgical Notes’ cutting edge revenue cycle management solutions and services to enhance the financial strength and performance of their ASCs. Maximize profits, accelerate revenue cycles, and increase efficiency with our scalable solutions including transcription, coding, document management, and electronic health records.




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.




It is imperative to review and compare current ICD-9 reimbursement policies for both your commercial and Medicare payers. Conditions deemed medically necessary in ICD-9 might not translate to medically necessary conditions in ICD-10. CMS can provide your facility with many state-specific ICD-10 draft policies pertinent to your Medicare volume. MORE
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ASCA’s online Regulatory Training Series is a convenient, low-cost way to earn continuing education (CE) credit year round without having to travel. The interactive courses target the special needs of ASC professionals to help you meet regulatory requirements, orient new staff, achieve top outcomes, assess competency and improve quality of care. MORE
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Save the date for ASCA’s 2015 Fall Seminar, October 8 – 10, 2015, at the Louisville Marriott Downtown in Louisville, Kentucky. The 2015 Fall Seminar will offer educational sessions on key topics that drive development and daily operations at your ASC, lively networking opportunities and continuing education contact hours. MORE
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US Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Michael Bennett (D-CO) have introduced the Electronic Health Fairness Act (S. 1437). The bill is the companion legislation to H.R. 887, which was introduced by US Representatives Diane Black (R-TN) and David Scott (D-GA) earlier this year and was passed by the House Ways and Means Committee. MORE
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Industry News


Federal Investigators Fault Medicare's Reliance on Doctors for Pay Standards
New York Times (06/01/15) Pear, Robert

The government relies too heavily on advice from the American Medical Association in deciding how much to pay doctors under Medicare, and the decisions may be biased because the doctors have potential conflicts of interest, federal investigators say in a new report. This reliance on the association, combined with flaws in data collected by the influential doctors' group, "could result in inaccurate Medicare payment rates," the investigators said.
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New Medicare Data Available to Increase Transparency on Hospital and Physician Utilization
CMS.gov (06/01/2015)

As part of the Administration's efforts to promote better care, smarter spending, and healthier people, today CMS is posting the third annual release of the Medicare hospital utilization and payment data (both inpatient and outpatient) and the second annual release of the physician and other supplier utilization and payment data. The announcement was made at the annual Health Datapalooza conference in Washington, DC.
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Ellis and Transfinder Use Crowdfunding for Surgical Center
Albany Business Review (05/29/15) Cooper, Robin K.

The CEO of Transfinder Corp. teamed up with Ellis Medicine on a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a $19.4 million Center for Surgical and Interventional Medicine in Schenectady, New York. CEO Antonio Civitella brought 150 executives, community leaders and technology workers to his company headquarters in Schenectady Thursday evening and raised more than $15,000 in 90 minutes.
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Interstate Licensing Plan Now Has Enough States to Work
Medscape (05/21/15) Terry, Ken

The number is up for the interstate compact of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). On Tuesday, Alabama officially became the seventh state to join the FSMB, which was the number needed to set in motion the compact, an agreement designed to make it easier for physicians to be licensed in multiple states.
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Errors After ICD-10 Compliance Deadline Affect Reimbursement
EHR Intelligence (05/29/2015) Gruessner, Vera

The ICD-10 compliance deadline is right around the corner and providers will need to be ready to transition to the new coding set by October in order to receive sufficient reimbursements for medical care services from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In preparation for the ICD-10 transition deadline, providers are still struggling with a variety of challenges in moving from ICD-9 coding to the extensive list of diagnostic codes.
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Health Costs Hinge on Supreme Court Ruling
Wall Street Journal (05/26/15) Armour, Stephanie

After the Affordable Care Act kicked in, Michael Kole's monthly health-insurance premium to cover himself and his family grew to $848 from $513. Like others, he wasn't happy about it.
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CMS Plans New Website to Better Track Fraud
Modern Healthcare (05/26/15) Dickson, Virgil

The CMS wants to launch a system to track enforcement actions against Medicare providers over questionable claims. Fraud costs the federal government an estimated $60 billion to $90 billion annually.
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F.B.I. Investigates Whether Harm From Surgical Power Tool Was Ignored
New York Times (05/28/15) Grady, Denise; Thomas, Katie

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has begun looking into whether medical device makers, doctors and hospitals broke the law by failing to report problems linked to a power tool used during gynecologic surgery, according to two people who said they were interviewed by investigators. The tool, called a morcellator, has rapidly spinning blades that cut tissue into pieces that can be removed from the body through the tiny slits made during minimally invasive surgery.
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2014 AHRQ Report: Making Strides in Access, Coverage
Health Imaging (05/27/15) Hocter, John

The latest installment of the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, a report sent to Congress on an annual basis as mandated by the American Healthcare Research and Quality Act (AHRQ), paints an optimistic picture of progress while acknowledging that efforts to reduce disparities must continue. "[T]he nation has made clear progress in improving the health care delivery system to achieve the three aims of better care, smarter spending, and healthier people," according to the report, "but there is still more work to do, specifically to address disparities in care."
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More People Able to Pay Medical Bills Under ObamaCare
The Hill (05/22/15) Sullivan, Peter

The study from the Urban Institute finds that the number of adults having trouble paying bills declined from 22 percent in September 2013, before ObamaCare took effect, to 17 percent in March 2015. That means about 9.4 million people who previously had trouble paying their bills are now able to do so.
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FDA Was Warned Years Ago About Superbugs in Medical Scopes
USA Today (05/22/15) Eisler, Peter

State and federal health officials privately urged the Food and Drug Administration nearly six years ago to alert hospitals about contamination risks from specialized medical scopes that have been tied to a recent series of deadly superbug outbreaks. The 2009 appeal came after duodenoscopes were linked to drug-resistant infections in dozens of Florida hospital patients, including 15 who died.
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