ASCA News Digest (December 20, 2016)

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December 20, 2016

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ASCA Highlights


ASCA Members: Renew Your Membership

We appreciate your membership in ASCA and hope you will continue your participation. Renew your ASCA membership before the holidays. Maintain access to all of the education and industry tools you have come to rely on. Renew today!
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Meet with the companies that can answer your questions and help your ASC succeed in the exhibit hall at ASCA 2017, May 3–6, in Washington, DC. Traditionally the largest ASC-specific exhibit hall of the year, you will find the most advanced solutions for improving operations in your ASC while saving time and money and continuing to make top-quality patient care your priority. Check out the current list of sponsors and exhibitors.
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Keep up with the latest ASC news and announcements by following ASCA on social media. Visit ASCA on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Show your support by giving these accounts a follow today!
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Larsen Billing Service

ASCA members: Before you close the books on your 2016 hiring budget, visit the ASCA Career Center and make the most of the special recruitment discounts available for members only. Use the promotional code YE30DAY to receive a 20 percent discount on a 30-day posting or code YE60DAY to receive 25 percent off a 60-day posting. Take advantage of the discounts through December 30. Do not wait until qualified candidates have already crossed their job search off their New Year's resolution list. Click here to get started!
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If you are an ASC professional with a role in selecting and using infection prevention products and services in an ASC, you are invited to complete a survey about health care cleaning and disinfecting products. The survey will take approximately 25 minutes to complete. Following completion of the survey, you will be rewarded with a $75 Amazon gift code that will be emailed to you. Note: Only the first 50 participants will be accepted.

It is recommended that you take the survey on a computer or tablet and not a smartphone. This survey is for research purposes only. There will be no direct sales or promotions as result of your participation. Your individual responses will be kept confidential and anonymous and reported in aggregate.

To see if you qualify, please click here.
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Drug shortages create challenges for ASCs that could threaten patient safety and force an ASC to spend well over its budget for its medications.

Visit the ASC Focus web site and learn about the reasons for drug shortages, strategies to contain rising costs and how the federal government is working to address the problem.
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Last Tuesday, President Barack Obama signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act, a piece of legislation that includes two key provisions that benefit Medicare beneficiaries and the physicians who care for them in ASCs. ASCA recently commended Congress for recognizing the value that ASCs provide by approving the two provisions as part of this legislation.

These provisions were included in the legislation thanks in large part to ASCA members who invested their time and energy to participate in fly-ins and grassroots efforts to educate their elected officials. These efforts resulted in broad, bipartisan support by members of Congress for the provisions.

The first provision, Section 4012, directs the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create a public, searchable web site that allows Medicare beneficiaries to compare differences in their out-of-pocket costs and in the total expenses for various surgeries when those procedures are performed in hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) and ASCs.

The second provision, Section 16003, protects physicians who practice in an ASC from potential penalties tied to the Medicare meaningful use program. Current law requires Medicare providers to adopt and use certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) for a fixed percentage of their patients; unfortunately, no CEHRT is currently available for ASC encounters. As a result, physicians who bring patients to ASCs could face cuts in their professional fees even though meeting the program’s threshold is not possible in the ASC setting. This legislation protects physicians who perform surgery in ASCs and authorizes HHS to approve CEHRT for the ASC setting.

To all the individuals who made this possible, thank you! Your letters, phone calls and meetings with your elected officials made these victories possible. For more information on the 21st Century Cures Act, write Kristin Murphy.
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One Medical Passport

Industry News


Why Violence Against Nurses Has Spiked in the Last Decade
The Atlantic (12/01/16) Campbell, Alexia F.

Here's an alarming statistic: Around one in four nurses has been physically attacked at work in the last year. Patients often kick, scratch, and grab them; in rare cases even kill them.

PolicyStat   Are your Medicare policies current?

Demonstrating continuous compliance with Medicare standards just got a whole lot better. PolicyStat makes it easy to keep policies current, ensuring your patients receive the safest and highest quality care. Stop wondering if your policies are current and start managing them more efficiently.

Learn More
FDA Bans Powdered Surgeon Gloves; Powdered Patient Examination Gloves; Absorbable Powder for Surgeon's Glove
Federal Register (12/19/16)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that Powdered Surgeon's Gloves, Powdered Patient Examination Gloves, and Absorbable Powder for Lubricating a Surgeon's Glove present an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury and that the risk cannot be corrected or eliminated by labeling or a change in labeling. Consequently, FDA is banning these devices. This rule is effective on January 18, 2017.

CT Imaging to Guide Surgeons in Performing Ambulatory Tubeless PCNL to Remove Kidney Stones
Health Imaging (12/16/16) Maglaya, Jodelle

Leading kidney stone surgeons from Chesapeake Urology in Westminster, Maryland, will be performing tubeless percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL), a minimally invasive but complex technique, utilizing CT imaging to remove large kidney stones in an ambulatory surgery center. Julio Davalos, MD, and Joel E. Abbott, DO, will be heading the surgical technique which is the first of its kind in the U.S. Ambulatory tubeless PCNL means that it will be a same-day surgery and patients will not need to pay those hefty hospital bills to stay overnight, but instead recover in the comfort of their homes.

Aetna CEO Denies Obamacare Pullout Driven by U.S. Merger Suit
Bloomberg (12/09/16) McLaughlin, David

Aetna Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Bertolini defended the decision this year to withdraw from Obamacare markets, saying the move was driven by mounting losses and not the U.S. lawsuit against the health insurer’s planned takeover of Humana Inc. In testimony Friday in Washington, Bertolini disputed that Aetna's pullout from the insurance exchanges was triggered by the Justice Department's case.

Limits on Hospitals, Health Clinics Get Fresh Scrutiny
Stillwater News Press (12/16/16) Nolin, Jill

A controversial plan to loosen state control over medical facilities is being resuscitated, creating fresh worries for fragile rural hospitals. The measure targets Georgia’s rigid process for approving new healthcare services, which critics say protects existing providers while limiting patient options for more affordable service. "It’s the state, frankly, granting licenses as a form of franchises to selected medical providers," said Rep. Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs, in an interview. Willard said it’s too soon to say what will be in his bill when he files it next month, but it likely will resemble a measure he filed last session to repeal of what is known as the "certificate of need" program.

CMS Announces Additional Opportunities for Clinicians Under the Quality Payment Program
CMS Press Release (12/15/16)

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced more new opportunities for clinicians to join Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) to improve care and earn additional incentive payments under the Quality Payment Program, which implements the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). Beginning in January and February 2017, CMS will open applications for new rounds of two CMS Innovation Center models for the 2018 performance year – for new practices and payers in the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) model and new participants in the Next Generation Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model.

Building on the Nation's Progress in Health Care
CMS Blog (12/14/16) Slavitt, Andy

It's great to be with you here this morning as we look forward to the final 45 days in what has been an incredible period of progress in working to improve and deliver care for millions of Americans. It is obviously an interesting period with some big open questions as the new Administration moves from campaigning into governing mode

Better Tool to Help Assess LASIK Patients
FDA Voice blog (12/14/16) Eydelman, Malvina

LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) eye surgery is an alternative for patients who need glasses or contacts to see well. Some 600,000 to 800,000 patients undergo LASIK in the U.S. each year, and a very high number of those patients are satisfied with their surgical outcomes.

PokitDok Reveals 5 Healthcare Technology Trends for 2017
Business Wire (12/07/2016)

PokitDok today unveiled its predictions for 2017 in the wake of an historic U.S. presidential election that brings sweeping changes to the administration and the $3T U.S. health care industry. "Mapping these important trends will help participants in the health care system prepare for a year of both ambiguity and fundamental transformation," said Lisa Maki, co-founder and CEO, PokitDok.

Physicians Endoscopy Acquires Majority Ownership in ACCESS Surgery Center
PR Newswire (12/13/16)

Physicians Endoscopy, LLC, (PE) along with the Physicians of Atlantic Gastro SurgiCenter, LLC, known as ACCESS Surgery Center, are pleased to announce that on November 1, 2016, the two organizations finalized a joint venture relationship. PE acquired a majority interest in ACCESS Surgery Center, making this their 42nd ASC and fifth partnership in the state.

Surgical Care Affiliates Partners With the Surgery Center at Doral
Globe Newswire (12/12/16)

Surgical Care Affiliates, Inc., a leader in the outpatient surgery industry, has partnered with The Surgery Center at Doral effective December 1, 2016. This partnership establishes SCA's presence in the Miami market as SCA continues to strategically collaborate with physicians and health plans to provide patients access to high quality surgical care at a lower cost.

Partner Expansion for Bone & Joint, Surgery Center
Jackson Sun (Tennessee) (12/07/16)

West Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic P.C. and Physicians Surgery Center are partnering for an expansion project to create a more spacious and comfortable environment for patients. The organizations will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at the surgery center and adjacent clinic, 207 Stonebridge Blvd., at 4 p.m. Friday.



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