ASCA News Digest (October 14, 2015)

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October 14, 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.
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ASCA Highlights


ASCA Introduces Eurasian Health Professionals to ASCs

Last week, ASCA hosted 20 healthcare professionals visiting from eight Eurasian countries as part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s 2015 Special American Business Internship Training Program’s Healthcare Management: Outpatient Care program. ASCA Board Member Arnaldo Valedon, MD, and ASCA staff provided an introduction to ASCs and answered questions about the ASC model of care. Afterward, the group toured the Massachusetts Avenue Surgery Center in Bethesda, Maryland—a three-operating room/one-procedure room, multi-specialty ASC that performs approximately 4,000 cases each year.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released data in the Ambulatory Surgery Center Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program showing that 99 percent of all Medicare-certified ASCs reported using a Safe Surgery Checklist in their facility.
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ASCA’s online membership renewal portal opens this 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 later this week detailing the online renewal process.

If you have questions concerning the membership renewal, contact Renee Harris-Etheridge at 703.636.0609 or rharris@ascassociation.org.
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ASCA's Chief Executive Officer William Prentice, Regulatory Counsel Kara Newbury and Director of Education and Clinical Affairs Gina Throneberry will speak at the 2015 NY Metro ASC Symposium on October 15 in New York City, New York.

Kara Newbury will also speak at the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association of Illinois (ASCAI) Annual Meeting on December 9 in Chicago, Illinois.
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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.
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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


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


Same Day Surgery for Total Joint Replacement
Foster's Daily Democrat (NH) (09/27/15) Laurent, Suzanne

The biggest postoperative difficulty for patients undergoing total knee or hip replacements is pain. It kept them in the hospital on an average of three days during which pain was managed and physical therapy was started before they went home or to a rehabilitation facility.
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FDA Orders Duodenoscope Manufacturers to Conduct Postmarket Surveillance Studies in Health Care Facilities
FDA News Release (10/05/15)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today ordered the three manufacturers of duodenoscopes marketed in the U.S. to conduct postmarket surveillance studies to better understand how the devices are reprocessed in real-world settings. "This is a significant step in the effort to combat infections spread through duodenoscopes."
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So Far, Smooth Rollout for New ICD-10 Medical Codes, Insurers Say
Forbes (10/13/15) Japsen, Bruce

The launch of tens of thousands of new government-mandated "ICD-10" codes used to describe diseases and hospital procedures in the billing process has seen few problems in the early days of its launch, large health insurers say. The news of a smooth rollout thus far comes from Humana (HUM) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH) despite reports that one in four doctor practices weren't ready for the October 1 transition to International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, known as "ICD-10."
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Health Mergers Might Mean Higher Prices for Patients
WFAA.com (10/07/15) Harris, Byron

When buying a new washer or dryer, people don't think twice about shopping for the lowest price. In fact, not doing so often means paying too much.
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Bill Would Add Nurses, Physician Assistants to Pharma Payments Database
ProPublica (10/08/2015) Ornstein, Charles

A bill proposed Wednesday by two U.S. senators would require drugmakers and medical device manufacturers to publicly disclose their payments to nurse practitioners and physician assistants for promotional talks, consulting, meals and other interactions. The legislation would close a loophole in the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, which requires companies to report such payments to doctors, dentists, chiropractors, optometrists and podiatrists.
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Hospital Workers Often Transfer Germs When Removing Gloves, Gowns
Reuters (10/12/15) Doyle, Kathryn

Florescent lotion and black light revealed that health care workers often contaminate their skin and clothing while removing their protective gear, researchers say. This contamination can spread germs and place the health care workers at risk for infection, the authors write in JAMA Internal Medicine.
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U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Seeks Comments on Draft Recommendation Statement on Screening Adults for Colorectal Cancer
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (10/06/2015)

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) today posted a draft recommendation statement, draft evidence review, and decision modeling study on screening for colorectal cancer. The Task Force found that evidence continues to show that the overall benefit to screening is substantial for many adults.
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Primary Care Makes Strides in Improving Quality and Costs
CMS Blog (10/07/15) Conway, Patrick

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced promising results of the first shared savings performance year for the Comprehensive Primary Care (CPC) initiative. This model is part of our broader effort at CMS to promote better care, smarter spending, and healthier people.
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HealthCare.gov to Get Major Changes to Ease Shopping for Coverage
San Antonio Express-News (10/12/15) Pear, Robert

Acknowledging at least tacitly the difficulties of some health care consumers, the Obama administration plans major changes to HealthCare.gov this year to make it easier for shoppers to find health insurance plans that include their doctors and to predict their health care costs for the coming year. With substantial premium increases coming in some states in 2016, administration officials are expecting that many consumers in the Affordable Care Act's networks will have to switch health plans and find new doctors as they scramble for cheaper alternatives.
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Experts Say Malnutrition, Sleep Deprivation Should be Part of the Standard Safety Checklist
Infection Control Today (10/06/15)

A Johns Hopkins surgeon and prominent patient safety researcher is calling on hospitals to reform emergency room, surgical and other medical protocols that sicken up to half of already seriously ill patients--in some cases severely--with preventable and potentially dangerous bouts of food and sleep deprivation. In a commentary published ahead of print Sept. 8 in BMJ Quality & Safety, Martin Makary, MD, MPH, and his co-authors urge the wide adoption of protocols to end the practice of imposing needlessly long fasts on patients preparing for operations and to improve sleep quality in those recovering from such procedures.
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Hospital Payments for Outpatient Services Rise Faster Compared to ASCs
FierceHealthFinance.com (10/11/15) Shinkman, Ron

The prices for procedures at hospital outpatient departments have increased in recent years at a much higher rate than ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), according to a study published in Health Affairs. ASCs have become more common as a cost-effective alternative for some inpatient procedures, although experts continue to question their overall safety.
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