ASCA News Digest (November 24, 2015)

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November 24, 2015

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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.
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ASCA Highlights


ASCA Announces Member-Get-A-Member Winner

ASCA congratulates Clifton Lee of Frisco Ambulatory Surgery Center in Frisco, Texas for winning ASCA’s inaugural Member-Get-A-Member campaign that ended September 30. For his efforts, Lee will receive a $100 Visa gift card from ASCA.

ASCA started the Member-Get-A-Member campaign in July to encourage its members to recruit their colleagues. To find out how to participate in the next Member-Get-A-Member campaign, write Mykal Cox at mcox@ascassociation.org, or visit the ASCA website.
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Sign up for ASCA 2016, taking place Thursday to Sunday, May 19–22, at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. You can learn more about the meeting and register on the ASCA 2016 website.

ASCA 2016 will feature more than 60 educational sessions to help you strategically position your ASC for success and multiple opportunities to network and exchange best practices with other ASC professionals from around the country.

ASCA members receive a discounted rate and can save even more by registering multiple attendees at the same time.
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Register for ASCA’s 2016 Winter Coding Seminar, January 14–16, 2016, in Scottsdale, Arizona, before December 1 to get $100 off the registration cost. This comprehensive program will cover coding tips for commonly performed ASC procedures, coding accuracy and productivity assessment, Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) changes that will take effect in 2016, the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) issues, best practices and more.

Attendees will be awarded up to 17.75 units of AEU credit from the Board of Ambulatory Surgery Certification (BASC).
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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


Compass Surgical Partners in Raleigh, North Carolina, appointed Doug Driver as chief financial officer. He will help Compass assist clients with the development of optimal capital structures, negotiating bank instruments, assessing the feasibility for capital investments and developing projections and budgets.
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Resources to assist ASC operators in determining the impact of Medicare’s 2016 payment changes are now available on ASCA’s web site. These resources include ASCA’s Medicare Rate Calculator, information regarding changes to payment rates between the 2015 final and 2016 proposed rules, payment indicators for each code and more.
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Renew your ASCA membership through ASCA's 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 membership renewal, contact Renee Harris-Etheridge at 703.636.0609 or rharris@ascassociation.org.
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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.
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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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Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model, set to begin on April 1, 2016. This model will hold hospitals accountable for the costs and quality of major leg procedures from the time of surgery through 90 days after hospital discharge.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, write Kara Newbury at knewbury@ascassociation.org.
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ASCA’s Regulatory Counsel Kara Newbury will speak at the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association of Illinois (ASCAI) Annual Meeting on December 9 in Chicago, Illinois.
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Industry News


Americans Again Cite Cost and Access as Top Health Issues
Gallup.com (11/18/15) Riffkin, Rebecca

Americans continue to name the cost of (22%) and access to (20%) health care as the most urgent health problems facing the U.S. Obesity and cancer are next on the list, cited by 15% and 14%, respectively.
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New Coalition Formed to Boost Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates in New York City
News-Medical.net (11/23/2015)

A coalition formed by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) which included a team from Mount Sinai to increase colorectal cancer screening rates in New York City resulted in a 40 percent increase in screening rates over four years. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the program may serve as a foundation for other communities to boost cancer screening rates.
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Northwest Ambulatory Surgery Center Conducts First Commercial Implantation Of The Senza Spinal Cord Stimulator in Portland, Oregon
PR Newswire (11/20/15)

Northwest Ambulatory Surgery Center, Portland, OR, is pleased to announce the first commercial implantation of the Senza spinal cord stimulator (SCS) in Portland, Oregon. The Senza SCS system, which delivers Nevro's proprietary HF10 therapy (Nevro Corporation, Menlo Park, CA), is a recently FDA-approved spinal cord stimulator that has demonstrated superior results compared to traditional SCS for the treatment of back and leg pain in a large multicenter study in the United States.
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UnitedHealth Warns It May Exit Obamacare Plans
USA Today (11/20/15) Bomey, Nathan; O'Donnell, Jayne

The nation's largest health insurer warned Thursday that it may pull out of the Obamacare exchanges after 2016--forcing more than a half million people to find other coverage--after low enrollment and high usage cost the company millions of dollars. The possible move by UnitedHealth Group raises new questions about the viability of President Obama's signature health law and follows the departure of more than half of the non-profit insurance cooperatives this year.
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Protect Doctor-Patient Confidentiality
New York Times (11/19/15) Jauhar, Sandeep

When should a doctor betray a patient's confidence? This week the Supreme Court of the State of Washington heard arguments on this question in a case that has profound implications for the doctor-patient relationship.
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More Patients, High Tech, New Payment Models Drive Outpatient Facilities Growth
Crain's Detroit Business (11/15/15) Greene, Jay

Massive increases in insured patients in Michigan in the past 18 months because of the Affordable Care Act, new types of risk-based reimbursement models that reward lower-cost care and ongoing technological advances are driving a new round of outpatient center expansion. Take the Detroit Medical Center, where CEO Joe Mullany said the seven-hospital system will add a large multispecialty ambulatory center in northwest Detroit and three urgent care centers over the next two years to its growing lineup of outpatient centers in Southeast Michigan.
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Specialty Drugs a Focus at HHS Forum on High Drug Costs
Medscape (11/23/15) Ault, Alicia

The increasing number of patients using specialty drugs has helped to drive a 12 percent increase in the nation's overall pharmaceutical spending so far in 2015, according to an analysis presented at a US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) conference Friday. As one of the biggest payers, the federal government has been acutely feeling the rise, said Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt.
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Many Nurses Happy With Pay, Would Still Change Careers
Reuters (11/18/15) Rapaport, Lisa

Many U.S. nurses are satisfied with their pay but a lot of them would choose a different job or career path if they could, a new survey suggests. Overall, nurses typically earn more--$95,000 to $170,000--with advanced degrees that let them specialize in areas such as anesthesia, midwifery and primary care, according to the Medscape Nurse Salary Report 2015.
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Intravascular Medical Devices: FDA Safety Communication - Lubricious Coating Separation
FDA MedWatch (11/23/15)

The FDA wants to make health care providers aware of the possibility that hydrophilic and/or hydrophobic coatings may separate (e.g., peel, flake, shed, delaminate, slough off) from medical devices and potentially cause serious injuries to patients. Coating separation can be caused by a number of factors, ranging from the difficulty of the procedure and the patient's anatomy to practitioner technique or using the wrong device for the procedure, to improper preconditioning of the device and improper storage conditions as well as issues with device design or manufacturing processes.
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