ASCA News Digest (November 10, 2015)

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November 10, 2015

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ASCA Highlights

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  • What does the Electronic Health Fairness Act of 2015 mean for your ASC? Understand the implications with this Q&A with Heather Ashby of ASCA.
  • Click here to learn about some of the biggest challenges facing ASCs with Todd Logan, National VP of Sales, AmkaiSolutions.
  • Times are changing for ASCs. Click here to learn 10 reasons why your ASC needs an EMR now!
  • Four Key Features to Look For in a Modern Office Management System. Click here to download the free eBook.
  • Make sure to follow AmkaiSolutions on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

ASCA Highlights


Renew ASCA Membership Online for 10 Percent off Benchmarking Subscription

Renew your ASCA membership through the new online portal using a credit card or check by December 31 to receive 10 percent off an ASCA Benchmarking subscription.

If you have questions concerning the membership renewal, contact Renee Harris-Etheridge at 703.636.0609 or rharris@ascassociation.org.
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In an effort to raise awareness of the value ASCs provide to both Medicare and its beneficiaries, ASCA launched a social media campaign highlighting the high-quality, cost-efficient care ASCs provide to the community. This campaign, called “ASCs are Part of the Solution,” highlights the value proposition ASCs provide to our nation’s seniors.

Help promote this campaign by liking and following us on Facebook and Twitter, and sharing our messages from the campaign.

For more information about ASCA’s social media presence, write Brian Stevenson at bstevenson@ascassociation.org. For more information about this campaign, write Jesse Chimes at jchimes@ascassociation.org
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As promised in ASCA’s initial rule release, in-depth analyses of the final 2016 ASC and physician payment rules are now available on the ASCA website.

In addition to the rule analyses, ASCA has updated its Medicare Rate Calculator to reflect the changes made to payment rates in the 2016 final rule. These resources are available only to ASCA members.

For more information, write Kara Newbury at knewbury@ascassociation.org
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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.

AW0275-MedIQ CME/CE Webcast: Selecting Intraoperative Opioids

Watch this CME/CE Webcast, sponsored by Med-IQ, to explore strategies that address the challenges of balancing cost, safety, and efficacy when selecting short-acting intravenous opioid anesthesia regimens. This activity also presents insights on effective communication among anesthesiologists, CRNAs, and hospital-based pharmacists regarding patient needs and economic factors. WATCH TODAY


Looking to recruit? Start your candidate search with a more targeted approach and reach high-quality candidates through the ASCA Career Center and ASCA's alliance with the National Healthcare Career Network (NHCH). Advantages include easy online job listing management, email notifications when job-seekers match your criteria, member discounts and multiple job posting packages. Visit the Career Center and start your search today.
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ASCA offers a collection of 21 courses, designed specifically for ASCs, to help train ASC staff on the latest regulations and standards of care. Sixteen of the interactive courses provide continuing education (CE) credit. Reduced prices are available through January 31, 2015.
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Attend ASCA’s next webinar, "Understanding Medicare’s 2016 Final Payment Rule," on Tuesday, December 1, at 1:00 pm ET to get the final word on the changes to Medicare’s ASC payment system taking effect next year. ASCA Regulatory Counsel Kara Newbury will discuss the new payment rates, procedures added to the final list of those eligible to be performed on Medicare patients in the ASC setting, and how other policy changes will impact ASC payments. Register today.
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Mark your calendars for the 2016 ASCA Capitol Fly-In. The first Fly-In of 2016 will be June 13—14 at the Marriott Marquis, and the second will be September 12—13 at the Washington Court.

The ASCA Capitol Fly-In provides an opportunity to build a personal connection with your member of Congress and to meet other ASCA members from across the country. Registration will open in January of 2016.

For additional information on the 2016 ASCA Capitol Fly-In or to host a facility tour, write Danielle Kaster at dkaster@ascassociation.org.
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ASCA's Chief Operations Officer Steve Miller will speak at the Washington Ambulatory Surgery Center Association Annual Education Conference and Trade Show on November 16 in Tulalip, Washington.

ASCA’s Regulatory Counsel Kara Newbury will speak at the Washington Ambulatory Surgery Center Association of Illinois (ASCAI) Annual Meeting on December 9 in Chicago, Illinois.
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Industry News


Comments Made at Competitiveness Panel Underscore Need to Repeal Tax on Surgical Centers
Pharmacy Choice (11/06/15)

Connecticut Citizens for Affordable Heath Care (CCAHC), a broad coalition of health professionals and patient advocates mobilizing to preserve patient access to community-based surgical care, said that recent comments by Speaker of the House Brenan Sharkey to the Commission on Economic Competitiveness further illustrate mounting concerns with the policies included in the Connecticut FY16-FY17 Biennium Budget, including increased taxes on healthcare providers. One such provision is an unprecedented 6 percent provider tax on freestanding, community-based ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), which advocates warn puts an important healthcare sector and critical driver of economic activity and healthcare savings at extreme risk.
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Poll Shows New Tax a Surprise
West Hartford News (11/06/15) Rosner, Cara

The vast majority of Connecticut voters are unaware of a new 6 percent provider tax levied on same-day procedures and surgeries performed at ambulatory surgery centers, but most who learn of the tax oppose it, according to a poll released this week. When polled earlier this month by Connecticut Citizens for Affordable Health Care, a new coalition that aims to preserve community access to community-based surgical care, 79 percent of people in the state who were asked didn’t know the tax was implemented as part of the most recent state budget.
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Higher Physician Spending Linked With Fewer Malpractice Claims, Finds U.S. Study
EurekAlert (11/04/15)

A higher use of resources by U.S. physicians is associated with a reduced risk of malpractice claims, finds a study published by The BMJ this week. However, the researchers say it is uncertain whether higher spending is defensively motivated.
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DEA Releases 2015 Drug Threat Assessment
DEA News Release (11/04/15)

DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg today announced results from the 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment (NDTA), which found that drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the United States, ahead of deaths from motor vehicle accidents and firearms. In 2013, more than 46,000 people in the United States died from a drug overdose and more than half of those were caused by prescription painkillers and heroin.
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HealthCare.gov Pilots New Doctor Lookup Feature
CMS Press Release (11/03/15)

Beginning today, HealthCare.gov is piloting a new beta feature that allows consumers to search plans by their preferred provider or health facility. Some consumers will be part of a pilot that allows them to use the beta Doctor Lookup feature as they compare their coverage options in window shopping or when selecting a plan.
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CDC Challenge: Find Better Ways to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Blood Clots
CDC News Release (11/03/15)

To identify best practices and to increase use of strategies to prevent healthcare-associated blood clots, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today launched a challenge designed to find, honor and recognize hospitals, multi-hospital systems, hospital networks, and managed care organizations that have implemented innovative and effective prevention strategies or interventions. Venous thromboembolism (VTE), blood clots occurring as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, or both, is an important and growing public health concern.
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Why Consumers Often Err in Choosing Health Plans
New York Times (11/01/15) Frakt, Austin

It's open enrollment season for almost every kind of health insurance in America. Millions of Americans using Medicare plans, employer-sponsored health insurance or Affordable Care Act marketplaces select health plans each fall.
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Groups Want More Notice About Bad Docs
San Diego Union Tribune (10/30/15) Sisson, Paul

Hundreds of doctors across California, including about three dozen in San Diego County, are currently on probation for infractions ranging from poor record-keeping to sexual assault. While state regulators automatically alert hospitals and malpractice-insurance companies about these violations, they allow most of the physicians to avoid telling their patients about the disciplinary actions.
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Clinical and Office Staff Salary Report 2015
Medscape (10/28/15) Peckham, Carol

Medscape asked physicians to tell us how much they pay their staff, what benefits and raises they give, and what positions will be added and cut in the coming year. More than 1050 physicians across 25 specialties described their practice and staff situations.
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Virtual Training Tool May Help Doctors to Develop Their Communication Skills
News-Medical.net (10/22/2015)

University of Huddersfield researcher Yeshwanth Pulijala is dedicated to bringing about big improvements in medical training by harnessing the power of virtual reality and 3D technology. Now, he is part of a team that has developed the prototype for an innovative tool that will enable doctors to develop their communication skills--including the breaking of bad news--by conducting a simulated interview with a virtual patient.
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