ASCA News Digest (May 12, 2015)

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May 12, 2015





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ASCA Highlights


Important Information for ASCA 2015 Attendees

The ASCA 2015 has an important checklist of information for ASCA 2015 attendees, which kicks off tomorrow at 5:00pm in Orlando. Make sure you know how to retrieve your badge and conference materials, bookmark the mobile site on your phone or tablet, print out the session handouts, secure your transportation from the airport and more. MORE
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Even though online registration for ASCA 2015 has closed, there will still be room for you in Orlando this week; simply register on-site. On-site registration, located outside the Exhibit Hall, will be open today from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, tomorrow from 6:00am to 7:00pm, Thursday from 7:00am to 6:30pm, Friday from 7:00amto 5:00pm and Saturday from 7:30am–13:00pm. 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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Cut Supply Costs Fast with PriceGuide
ECRI Institute, an independent nonprofit that researches the best approaches to improving patient care, helps ambulatory surgery centers reduce total supply and capital spend without compromising quality. The PriceGuide™ and SELECTplus™ advisory services identify opportunities for immediate savings based on national benchmarks and custom analyses of an ASC’s actual spend and quoted pricing.



During the week of July 20 through 24, 2015, a final sample group of providers will have the opportunity to participate in ICD-10 end-to-end testing with Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) and the Common Electronic Data Interchange (CEDI) contractor. CMS is accepting additional July volunteers from May 11 through 22, 2015. MORE
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Read the latest issue of ASC Focus magazine to learn about price transparency models that work in ASCs, trends in payer contracting, key statistics to help your patients and ASC, using executive coaching to develop effective physician leaders and six ways for ASCs to optimize their business office performance. MORE
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ASCA staff met with Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) CEO Doug Erickson and FGI Managing Editor Pamela Blumgart last week to discuss the upcoming 2018 guidelines revision cycle. Erickson emphasized the desire to include our organization in the revision process and be responsive to our association's concerns. MORE
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Industry News


CMS Outlines Future for Clinical Quality Reporting Programs
Health IT Analytics (04/29/15) Bresnick, Jennifer

Clinical quality reporting programs for physicians are getting a makeover as part of CMS' ongoing efforts to better measure improvements in care quality, population health management, and patient safety, said Principal Deputy Administrator and Chief Medical Officer Patrick Conway, MD, in a CMS blog post earlier this week. The strategic vision for the future of the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and other components of the CMS Quality Strategy will rely on alignment between health care data analytics, industry feedback, and ongoing payment reforms.
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Global One Ventures, the Leader in Surgical Bundled Fees for Surgery Centers, Launches Bundled Payment Program
PR Web (05/06/15)

California-based Global One Ventures, in partnership with Blue Shield of California (BSC), launched the Bundled Fee Program, which provides a pre-determined single-payment option for an episode of care at an Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC). The program is designed to provide alignment with the facility, surgeon and anesthesiologist to which leads to a high-quality outcome in a lower cost setting.
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White House Moves to Fix 2 Key Consumer Complaints About Health Care Law
New York Times (05/09/15) Pear, Robert

The White House is moving to address two of the most common consumer complaints about the sale of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act: that doctor directories are inaccurate, and that patients are hit with unexpected bills for costs not covered by insurance. Federal health officials said this week that they would require insurers to update and correct "provider directories" at least once a month, with financial penalties for insurers that failed to do so.
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Reintroduced US House Bill Would Stop ICD-10
Medscape (05/07/15) Terry, Ken

Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.), supported by six of his Republican colleagues, has introduced a House bill to block the government-mandated transition to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 diagnostic code set in October. Dubbed the Cutting Costly Codes Act of 2015, the legislation would prohibit the Secretary of Health and Human Services from requiring the medical community to comply with the ICD-10 codes.
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Center for Healthcare Transparency Aims to Strengthen Quality, Cost Information
Fierce Healthcare (05/01/2015) Small, Leslie

The newly formed Center for Healthcare Transparency (CHT) has an ambitious goal--it wants half of the U.S. population to have access to reliable cost and quality information by 2020. But panelists at Friday's event to unveil the new initiative at the National Press Club in the District of Columbia said the health care industry's current transformation make now an ideal time to pursue such an effort.
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U.S. Lawmaker Slams FDA Response to Superbug Outbreaks
Los Angeles Times (05/08/15) Terhune, Chad

A federal lawmaker criticized the latest response from the nation's top health regulator on the recent superbug outbreaks and renewed his push for congressional hearings. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles) faulted the Food and Drug Administration for taking two months to answer a letter from a bipartisan group of 10 lawmakers in light of the public health threat.
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FDA Analyzes Long-Term Safety of Health Care Antiseptics
Modern Healthcare (05/01/15) Johnson, Steven Ross

Federal regulators are seeking more information on the use of hand sanitizers and washes in health care settings to examine their effectiveness in protecting against the spread of infection. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration published a proposed rule on Thursday asking manufacturers of over-the-counter antiseptics marketed for health care personnel use to provide evidence demonstrating that long-term, daily skin exposure to their products does not pose a potential health risk.
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Lawmakers Weigh Phasing Out Hospital-Expansion Controls
Post and Courier (SC) (04/27/2015) Borden, Jeremy; Sausser, Lauren

A complex set of health department rules that impacts nearly all aspects of the South Carolina hospital industry may be phased out over the next five years. South Carolina hospitals have long supported the so-called Certificate of Need program that regulates health care expansion, but the industry's chief lobbyist acknowledged Monday that a growing number of lawmakers seem eager to pass a bill eliminating the regulations by 2020.
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FDA Reveals 142 Cases of Tainted Scopes
Los Angeles Times (05/07/15) Terhune, Chad; Petersen, Melody

Federal regulators shed more light on the potential harm to patients from a controversial medical scope, disclosing 142 reports of contaminated devices and possible patient infections since 2010. The Food and Drug Administration had previously said it received about half that many reports, 75, on duodenoscopes that caused patient infections in 2013 and 2014.
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Ideas Emerge to Bridge Florida Legislature's Divide over Healthcare Funding
Miami Herald (05/09/15) Klas, Mary Ellen

Florida legislators may have ended their stalemate last week when they agreed to convene a three-week special session to resolve the budget crisis in June, but they didn't agree on the hard part: how to resolve stark differences over health care. Some compromise ideas are emerging — from using $600 million intended for tax cuts to bail out hospitals that treat poor patients, to seeking a one-of-a-kind federal waiver, to drawing federal money without passing it through Medicaid.
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Aetna to Stop Covering Routine Use of Power Morcellator
Wall Street Journal (05/05/15) Kamp, Jon

Aetna Inc. will stop covering routine use of the laparoscopic power morcellator this month, marking the most direct blow from a major health insurer to a surgical tool that regulators determined can spread hidden cancer in women. The nation's third-largest health plan with about 23 million medical members, Aetna will implement its new policy starting May 15, a spokeswoman said.
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TriState Centers Acquires MidWest EyeCenter
Cincinnati.com (OH) (05/04/15) Hussein, Fatima

TriState Centers for Sight, a physician-owned ophthalmology group practice in Greater Cincinnati, recently purchased MidWest EyeCenter, a regional eye care practice. Financial terms were not disclosed.
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