ASCA News Digest (May 5, 2015)

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May 5, 2015





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ASCA Highlights


ICD-10 Watch: Are You Ready for October 1?



On October 1, 2015, Medicare will begin rejecting all claims that do not contain coding that complies with ICD-10. All ASCs must fully transition to ICD-10 by that date or risk a decline in productivity and significant reimbursement delays. In the beginning, experts say, ASC coding could easily decrease from an average of 7–9 multi-specialty charts to 3–6 charts per hour. To help you with the transition, ASCA will publish tips and resources beginning now and until October 1. Watch this space. Read today’s tips here.
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Already registered for the annual meeting? The ASCA 2015 Community on ASCA Connect is a great place to network with other attendees and submit questions to the speakers. Let people know you are attending and help promote the conference using the hashtag #ASCACONF on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. MORE
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ASCA will be giving away a Samsung Gear Fit Fitness Watch, wine basket and a gift card at ASCA 2015. Visit the ASCA Lounge (#325) in the Exhibit Hall to enter to win. This year’s lounge is a great place to meet and interact with your fellow members and to learn more about your member benefits from ASCA staff. 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.

ASCA has partnered with HealthStream to offer a collection of 21 courses that apply specifically to ASCs and are designed to train ASC staff on the most current regulations and standards of care. 16 of the interactive courses provide continuing education (CE) credit. Subscribers can lock in low-cost yearly contracts up to three years. MORE
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ASCA’s June Capitol Fly-In is less than two months away. Taking place June 16–17 in Washington, DC, the Fly-In offers you the rare opportunity to speak directly with your members of Congress. Register today. Rooms with discounted rates are available—thanks to generous contributions to the ASCA Advocacy Fund. MORE
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Tomorrow kicks off the beginning of National Nurses Week, which is celebrated annually from May 6 through May 12. ASCA would like to recognize all of the nurses working in ASCs today for their contributions to the ASC community and the patients we serve. MORE
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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) invited Richard Edelson, MD, to interview for a position on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) on Monday. Dr. Edelson is the first candidate nominated by ASCA to progress to the final round. MORE
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Industry News


Ambulatory Surgery Centers Provide Excellent Setting for Spine Surgery
Neurosurgery Blog (04/28/15) Wohns, Richard N.W.

It is well known that ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) provide surgical services at costs lower than hospitals — due in large part because ASCs typically limit their procedures to simpler, lower-risk, ambulatory procedures. In a controversial leap forward, starting in 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved several new spine surgery codes that neurosurgeons can perform at an ASC.
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Months After Anthem Cybersecurity Breach, Examinations Continue in N.H. and Nationally
Concord Monitor (NH) (05/02/15) McDermott, Casey

It's been nearly three months since Anthem announced that it had fallen victim to a massive security breach, nearly two months since the insurer clarified that as many as 667,866 current or former customers in New Hampshire could have been affected. In the months since, officials at the state and national level are continuing to scrutinize the incident.
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An Obamacare Payment Reform Success Story – One Health System, Two Procedures
Kaiser Health News (04/30/15)

To understand how the health law is supposed to fix the mediocre, overpriced, absurd medical system, you could read wonky research papers on bundled payments and accountable care organizations. Or you could look at what’s going on at Baptist Health System in San Antonio.
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Technology, Patient Demand Has Boosted Outpatient Services in Las Vegas Valley
Las Vegas Review Journal (04/30/15) Moore, Steven

Medical clinics across the Las Vegas Valley are performing treatments formerly available only in a hospital, driven by new technologies, patient demands for outpatient services and the goal of delivering the most cost-effective care. The shift from inpatient to outpatient services, once opposed by hospital executives because it affected their bottom line, is now embraced by medical centers, community hospitals, for-profit chains and nonprofit providers alike.
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Ethical Implications of Patients and Families Secretly Recording Conversations With Physicians
Journal of the American Medical Association (04/28/15) Vol. 313, No. 16, P. 1615 Rodriguez, Michelle; Morrow, Jason; Seifi, Ali

With recent advances in technology, smartphones can become recording devices with the touch of a button. This technological capability gives patients and their families the ability to easily and surreptitiously record conversations with physicians.
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Data-Breach Alert Laws May Be Eased
Wall Street Journal (05/04/15) P. B4 Schectman, Joel

U.S. companies wouldn’t have to disclose some cybersecurity breaches under proposed legislation introduced in both chambers of Congress in recent months.
Under the proposed legislation, companies would be allowed to decide whether a breach of consumer data merits notifying customers.
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Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority Data Shows High Harm Events in Pennsylvania Healthcare Facilities Decreased 45 Percent Since 2005
PR Newswire (04/30/15)

High harm events in Pennsylvania health care facilities have decreased 45 percent since 2005 as shown in data published in the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority's 2014 Annual Report released today. "High harm events according to Pennsylvania reporting requirements fall into one of three categories: events that occurred and resulted in permanent harm to the patient; events that occurred and resulted in a near-death event; or events that resulted in a patient's death," said Rachel Levine, M.D., acting chair of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority board of directors.
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U-M Study: Nearly Half of American Hospitals Not Taking Key Steps to Prevent C. Diff Infections
News-Medical.net (04/25/2015)

Nearly half of American hospitals aren't taking key steps to prevent a kind of gut infection that kills nearly 30,000 people annually and sickens hundreds of thousands more - despite strong evidence that such steps work, according to a new study. While nearly all of the 398 hospitals in the study use a variety of measures to protect their patients from Clostridium difficile infections, 48 percent haven't adopted strict limits on the use of antibiotics and other drugs that can allow the dangerous bug to flourish, the researchers report.
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Occupational Traumatic Injuries Among Workers in Health Care Facilities — United States, 2012–2014
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (04/24/15) Vol. 64, No. 15, P. 405 Gomaa, Ahmed E.; Tapp, Loren C.; Luckhaupt, Sara E.; et al.

In 2013, one in five reported nonfatal occupational injuries occurred among workers in the health care and social assistance industry, the highest number of such injuries reported for all private industries. In 2011, U.S. health care personnel experienced seven times the national rate of musculoskeletal disorders compared with all other private sector workers.
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Blue Belt Technologies Announces First Ambulatory Surgery Center in Minnesota to Perform a CT-Free Robotics-Assisted Partial Knee Replacement
Business Wire (04/16/2015)

Blue Belt Technologies, a medical device company specializing in solutions for orthopedic surgery, announces the first ambulatory surgery center in Minnesota to perform a CT-free robotics-assisted partial knee replacement. The case was performed by Dr. Eric Green at St. Cloud Surgical Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota, utilizing the Navio Surgical System.
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