ASCA News Digest (September 22, 2015)

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September 22, 2015

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ASCA Highlights

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amkaitest  
  • 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


Earn CE Credits through ASCA's Regulatory Training Series

ASCA's online Regulatory Training Series offers 21 education modules developed specifically for ASC professionals. Sixteen of those interactive courses provide continuing education (CE) credits. The series can help your ASC meet training requirements in critical operational areas like medication management, infection prevention, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and domestic abuse assessment. Use promotional code “SUMMER 15” and sign up by September 30 to get a 10 percent discount off the purchase price. MORE
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Register now for ASCA's 2015 Fall Seminar that will take place October 8–10 in Louisville, Kentucky. The seminar 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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ASCA is preparing a strategic plan to help guide its future activities. To ensure this plan aligns with its member needs, ASCA requests feedback from its members. Please review the draft and share your comments with Steve Miller at smiller@ascassociation.org by September 23. MORE
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Learn how to choose the right topics for your ASC's Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) program and understand what is required to perform an effective and compliant QAPI study during ASCA's next webinar. Nancy Jo Vinson, RN, CASC, will present the "Improving Quality Studies and QAPI in Your ASC," on Tuesday, September 29, at 1:00 pm ET. MORE
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Transitional pass-through payments—Medicare reimbursement paid on top of an ASC’s facility fee for a limited amount of time—give patients access to novel therapies, but the benefits are not widely understood. Find out how the provision, established by Congress, fosters innovation and removes financial barriers to important new products. MORE
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AW0280-Navicure

Simplify your patient collections
 
Navicure® Payments™ can help your ASC collect more revenue from patients faster and with less effort. The solution facilitates:
 
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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



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.




The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a new infographic to help you successfully bill for your services. If your systems are not ready and you are unable to submit claims with ICD-10 codes, now is the time to explore your options for submitting ICD-10 claims. Visit ASCA’s ICD-10 Resource Center and scroll down to “Are You Ready for ICD-10” under “CMS.” 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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ASCA is nominating a candidate to the Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment (HOP). The HOP governs many aspects of physician payment and its members have a direct impact on ASC payment issues. A full description of the position can be found here. 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 to access the document and submit feedback. MORE

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Industry News


OSHA's Health Care Crackdown
NH Business Review (09/18/2015) Stevens, Charla Bizios

On June 25, the U.S. Occupational and Health Safety Administration issued an inspection guidance for inpatient health care settings, including hospitals and nursing and residential facilities, resulting in more intense scrutiny by the agency's inspectors. According to OSHA, inpatient health care settings have some of the highest rates of injury and illness among industries for which nationwide injury and illness rates are kept.
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New Oversight for Outpatient Surgery
California Healthline (09/21/15)

Outpatient surgery centers in California face new regulations and oversight under a brand-new law. After much discussion and several amendments, the California Legislature last month passed SB 396, by state Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo).
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Medistat RX Sterile Drug Products: Recall - Possible Contamination
FDA MedWatch (09/10/15)

FDA alerted health care professionals and patients of a voluntary recall of all non-expired drug products produced for sterile use and distributed nationwide by Medistat RX, LLC, in Foley, Alabama, due to possible contamination. During an ongoing inspection, FDA investigators and Alabama state inspectors observed significant deficiencies that raise concerns about Medistat's ability to assure the sterility of drug products that it produced.
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NH Website Allows Residents to See Cost of Medical Services
Foster's Daily Democrat (NH) (09/19/15) Dinan, Elizabeth

The New Hampshire Insurance Department is fortifying a little-known website to allow residents to see how much medical services and procedures cost, based on data from insurance companies. Called NH HealthCost, the site reveals the cost of dozens of medical procedures and by the end of the year will also include prices for prescription drugs, lab work and dental services.
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'Hospital' Designation Means Higher Costs for Health Care
Intelligencer (PA) (09/18/15) De Vita, Michael

ASCs (ambulatory surgery centers) are free-standing outpatient surgical centers often used by patients for procedures that can be done in a non-hospital setting. It is in the financial interest of insurance companies for patients to use ASCs.
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ICD-10 Ombudsman: Transition Will Be 'Rocky' Couple of Months
Health Data Management (09/18/15) Slabodkin, Greg

As the newly-appointed ICD-10 ombudsman, William Rogers, M.D., is the internal advocate within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services charged with investigating and addressing stakeholder complaints and problems they might encounter starting October 1—the compliance deadline for the new code set. Should the code switchover go south and Medicare claims be rejected in droves, Rogers' email—icd10_ombudsman@cms.hhs.gov—will no doubt become the ICD-10 equivalent of dialing the 9-1-1 emergency number for providers in trouble.
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Medicare Advantage Premiums Remain Stable; Enrollment at All-Time High
CMS Press Release (09/21/15)

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Medicare Advantage premiums will remain stable and more enrollees will have access to higher quality plans while, for a sixth straight year, enrollment is projected to increase to a new all-time high. In addition, CMS released today new information that shows that millions of seniors and people with disabilities with Medicare continue to enjoy prescription drug discounts and affordable benefits as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
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Bipartisan Effort Fights Health Law Rule That Could Raise Premiums
New York Times (09/21/15) Pear, Robert

Members of Congress from both parties, as well as some employers, insurers and state insurance commissioners, are calling for changes in the Affordable Care Act to prevent premium increases that are expected to affect workers at many small and midsize companies next year. Lawmakers see the potential for a rare bipartisan agreement on the issue, after five years in which Republicans have repeatedly tried to repeal the law and Democrats have blocked their efforts.
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Women as Physician Leaders: Challenges and Opportunities
Medscape (09/17/15) Cajigal, Stephanie; Weiss, Greg; Silva, Nelson

Medicine, a once male-dominated profession, has seen huge growth in the number of women joining its ranks. While in 1975 there were just over 35,000 female physicians in the United States, by 2012 this figure grew sixfold to over 321,000.
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Physician Re-Entry Program Aims to Ease Physician Shortage
AAFP News Now (09/01/15) Porter, Sheri

Sometimes, physicians need a boost to restart a successful clinical career ended too early by choice or put on hold by life's circumstances. An online educational program--Physician Retraining & Re-entry(prrprogram.com)--founded by retired surgeon and former University of California-San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine professor Leonard Glass, M.D., aims to help physicians get back to work and, at the same time, put a dent in the nation's shortage of physicians trained to deliver primary care medicine.
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New Jersey Health Systems, Insurer & Medical Group Unite to 'Transform' Health Care Delivery
Philadelphia Business Journal (09/10/15) George, John

Horizon BCBSNJ, six New Jersey health systems and a large physician group have joined together to create the Omnia Health Alliance, which has a goal of "radically altering" how health care is financed and delivered in New Jersey. The alliance members--which includes the Inspira Health Network in South Jersey--want to accelerate the transformation away from the traditional, fee-for-service medicine.
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