ASCA News Digest (October 6, 2015)

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October 6, 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.
  • 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!
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ASCA Highlights


Government Affairs Update: Congress Meets with ASCs During Capitol Fly-In

Seventy-five representatives from the ASC community convened on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. last week to support key legislation by directly lobbying their members of Congress. ASCA members from 20 states met in groups with their representatives and senators to ask for their support of the ASC Quality and Access Act and the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act. In total, ASC advocates conducted more than 120 meeting with their members of Congress.

This was the second and final Capitol Fly-In for 2015. Watch this space for the dates of ASCA's 2016 Fly-Ins. For questions about the ASCA Capitol Fly-In please write Danielle Kaster at dkaster@ascassociation.org. MORE
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Following a recent $500,000 lawsuit filed against a Virginia anesthesiologist who was recorded insulting a sedated patient, health care providers are becoming more cautious of technology use in their facilities. Read about how to manage the risks and rules related to personal electronic devices in the October issue of Focus Magazine. MORE
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ASCA’s online membership renewal portal opens next week, giving all current facility members and affiliates (formerly supporter members) the opportunity to renew their memberships securely, via the ASCA web site, using a check or credit card. Members will receive an email next week detailing the online renewal process.

If you have any questions concerning the membership renewal, please contact Renee Harris-Etheridge at 703.636.0609 or rharris@ascassociation.org.
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Online registration for ASCA's 2015 Fall Seminar is closed, but those interested can still attend by completing an on-site registration form and bringing it with them to the event this Thursday, October 8, in Louisville, Kentucky.

The program will offer educational sessions on key topics that drive development and daily operations at your ASC, lively networking opportunities, continuing education contact hours and the Certified Administrator Surgery Center (CASC) review course and exam. MORE
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Learn the details of carrier specific payment methods and obstacles that impact your revenue during ASCA's next webinar, October 13 at 1:00 pm ET. Lisa Rock, President of National Medical Billing Services, will present “How to Take Full Advantage of Managed Care Contracts Throughout Your Revenue Cycle,” a step by step process of reviewing how your managed care contracts look through the eyes of your billing team. This webinar is free to all ASCA members. MORE
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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


A group of industry experts, including ASCA Chief Executive Officer William Prentice, will convene at Nossman LLP's second annual West Cost Ambulatory Surgery Center Seminar to discuss a range of topics, including obtaining higher acuity of care, trends in ASC mergers and acquisitions, tips for managed care contracting and insight into unique human resources issues. MORE
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The results of ASCA's 2015 Salary and Benefits Survey are now available. The final report includes national, regional and state data on 20 ASC job positions, employee benefits and ASC demographics. ASCs can use this information to determine how their ASC's compensation package compares to similar ASCs and to attract and retain the best employees. ASCs that completed more than 50 percent of the survey can access the results for free. Others can purchase access to the online survey results. MORE
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ASCA recently submitted comments in response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) physician payment rule. The response to the rule included comments regarding the advisability of and appropriate payment rates for cataract and endoscopic sinus surgery in the office setting as an alternative to the ASC and hospital outpatient department. As with all surgical procedures performed on an outpatient basis, ASCA’s primary concern is that these procedures continue to be performed in an environment that has policies and protocols in place addressing patient safety. MORE
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The public comment period for proposed revisions to the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care’s (AAAHC) Standards for 2016 is underway. AAAHC encourages all interested parties to review and provide comments on existing AAAHC standards and proposed revisions by 5:00 pm CT on October 16. Click here" target="_blank">Click here to access the document and submit feedback. MORE
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Industry News


Outpatient Ambulatory Centers Can Reduce Costs and Maintain Quality
Spine Surgery Today (09/29/15)

An outpatient ambulatory center can reduce surgical costs by 30% to 70% while sustaining similar patient satisfaction scores as hospital operating rooms, a speaker said [at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting]. Domagoj Coric, MD, stated his ambulatory surgical center completes about 1,200 spine procedures a year, including more than 1,000 anterior cervical discectomies and fusion procedures (ACDF).
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Insurers Find Out-of-Network Bills as Much as 1,400 Percent Higher
Kaiser Health News (10/01/15) Gorman, Anna

It's common knowledge that consumers have to pay more money if they choose doctors or hospitals outside of their insurance plan's network. But a new analysis prepared by the insurance industry seeks to show just how much more in each of the 50 states.
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Experts See Minor Hiccups With ICD-10 Launch; Expect Problems to Surface in Coming Weeks
Healthcare Finance News (10/01/15) Morse, Susan

Some said the change to ICD-10 was easier than expected; others vented their frustrations online, but if anything is certain, Thursday's rollout had everybody talking. Ed Hock, managing director of The Advisory Board, said the switchover largely met expectations.
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CDC/FDA Health Update: Immediate Need for Healthcare Facilities to Review Procedures for Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Sterilizing Reusable Med. Devices
CDC Health Alert Network (10/02/2015)

As a follow-up to HAN 00382 (distributed September 11, 2015), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are providing this update to rescind the following recommendation: If healthcare facilities contract maintenance and repair of these devices to third-party vendors, healthcare facilities should verify that these vendors are approved or certified by the manufacturer to provide those services. We are making this change because there are currently no formal standardized programs or processes through which all manufacturers certify third-party vendors.
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Connecticut Citizens for Affordable Health Care Calls for Immediate Repeal of Provider Tax Levied On Community Ambulatory Surgery Centers
PR Newswire (10/01/15)

Connecticut Citizens for Affordable Health Care (CCAHC)--a newly formed coalition mobilizing to preserve patient access to community-based surgical care--today warned patients could soon have reduced access to same-day surgical procedures at ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) statewide, due to a new six percent provider tax effective today. The tax--included within the Connecticut FY16-FY17 Biennium Budget--will affect the state's 47 ASCs, and the tens of thousands of patients they serve annually, by driving up health care costs and triggering closures.
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EHRs in the ASC: Is There 'Real' Meaningful Use?
Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today (09/01/15) Gardner, Larry; Richardson, Brenda; Orisich, Karen

Electronic health records (EHRs) are getting a bad rap. Many of the advantages that should be obvious when using EHRs have been obscured by the complexity of meeting Meaningful Use (MU) in clinical practice.
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Bipartisan Group of U.S. Senators Applaud State Medical Board Effort to Streamline Medical Licensing
Newswise (10/01/15)

With the recent enactment of the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators sent a letter to the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), applauding state medical and osteopathic boards on the progress they have made in implementing an Interstate Compact to support medical license portability and expanding access to care. Signed by U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), John Thune (R-SD) and 11 other Senators, the letter praises states for moving swiftly and efficiently to implement a Compact that will streamline the licensing process for physicians who wish to practice in multiple states.
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CDC Awards $22,800,000 to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening
CDC News Release (09/30/15)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today it has awarded a total of $22,800,000 to 24 state health departments, as well as six universities, and one American Indian tribe to increase colorectal screening. The grants, awarded in a competitive process, are designed to increase colorectal (colon) cancer screening rates among men and women aged 50 to 75 years.
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New Sentinel Event Alert Focuses on Preventing Patient Falls
Joint Commission (09/28/15) Zhani, Elizabeth Eaken

Preventing patient falls and fall-related injuries is the focus of the new Sentinel Event Alert: Issue 55 released today by The Joint Commission. The new alert examines the contributing factors to patient falls and includes suggested solutions to be implemented by health care organizations to help reduce patient falls and falls with injury.
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Telehealth Visits May Be an Option After Surgery
Reuters (09/23/15) Seamen, Andrew M.

People may happily, and safely, forgo in-person doctors' visits after surgery by opting instead for talking with their surgeons by phone or video, suggests a small study of U.S. veterans. Most patients preferred the virtual visits and the doctors didn't miss any infections that popped up after surgery, the researchers report in JAMA Surgery.
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