ASCA News Digest (April 5, 2016)

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April 6, 2016

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ASCA Highlights


ASCA Benchmarking Q1 Data Collection Period Now Open

The data collection period for the first quarter (Q1) of the recently improved 2016 ASCA Benchmarking Survey is now open, and will close on April 30. The 2016 survey includes several new features, such as dynamic filtering capabilities, streamlined data entry and real-time data review.

If you have not already, subscribe to the 2016 survey today. ASCA members receive a $300 discount on survey subscriptions.
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4.1 PharMEDium  

Why 503B compounding makes sense?

PharMEDium is the leading provider of pharmacy-outsourced, ready to use compounded sterile preparations.  PharMEDium helps to:  mitigate medication supply issues, enhance patient safety efforts, reduce drug waste and simplify regulatory compliance.  PharMEDium, part of AmerisourceBergen, serves 3,000+ hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers through our state-of-the-art FDA Registered 503B Outsourcing Facilities.


ASCA will offer a social media workshop on the first day of ASCA 2016, May 19–22, in Dallas, Texas. “Essential Social Media: Protecting Your Reputation and Building Your Business Online,” designed for busy surgical center teams, will give attendees the knowledge and tools they need to ensure that medical review web sites, social media platforms and other digital mediums work in their favor.

Register today for this ASCA 2016 pre-meeting workshop and learn practical, affordable and efficient steps to help improve your center's online presence.
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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting health care professionals and patients not to use unexpired drug products that are intended to be sterile and produced by Medaus Pharmacy in Birmingham, Alabama, due to lack of sterility assurance. Medaus’ products were distributed nationwide and internationally.
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During March, the Colorectal Cancer Awareness month, ASCA ran an advertising campaign on Facebook with the goal of encouraging high-risk groups to get screened and educating policymakers on the number of Medicare patients receiving colonoscopies in the ASC setting. The advertisements ran for less than one month and reached 97,729 people. More than 8,000 people who saw the advertisements clicked through to visit ASCA’s “The Fight Against Colorectal Cancer” page.

To help with future campaigns, please follow ASCA’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages, and engage with posts like the one above when they come out.
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Join your fellow ASC professionals at ASCA’s 2016 Capitol Fly-In, June 13-14 and September 12-13, and meet face-to-face with members of Congress, discuss the impact of current ASC legislation with industry experts and, most importantly, help strengthen the collective voice of the ASC community.

If you have not already, ask your state leader which date your state is attending and register today.
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its April addenda that provides second quarter updates to the ASC payment system. ASCA has updated its payment resources to reflect these changes. Quarterly changes are primarily made to reimbursement rates for many of the ancillary codes.

Please pay close attention to the different versions of the rate documents, particularly if you are looking at ancillary codes, and use the second quarter resources for any claims on or after April 1, 2016.
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Industry News


Why Hackers Are Going After Health-Care Providers
Washington Post (03/28/16) Peterson, Andrea

Washington is reeling from the news of a hack at MedStar, one of the largest medical providers in the area. A computer virus infecting the organization's computer systems forced MedStar to shut down much of its online operations Monday.
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Keep Spreading the Message of Colon Cancer Awareness Month
American Gastroenterological Association (03/31/16)

As Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month 2016 comes to an end, it is important to remember the message: all patients who reach screening age (50 for average-risk individuals) must get screened. AGA's own expert, Dr. Lawrence Kim of South Denver Gastroenterology, P.C., sums up everything patients need to know in his new Media Planet article, "Turning 50 and Taking Cancer off Your Mind."
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Top 5 Infection Prevention-Related CMS Survey Citations
Infection Control Consulting Services (03/25/16)

Since the beginning of 2016, Infection Control Consulting Services (ICCS) consultants have visited numerous hospitals and ASCs throughout the country that are working to address CMS infection prevention-related citations and deficiencies. Phenelle Segal, RN CIC, President of ICCS, reports that remediation efforts have been challenging, but successful.
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A Threat to Health Cost Transparency
New Hampshire Business Review (04/01/16) Sevigny, Roger

New Hampshire is considered a national leader in health cost transparency, and the NH Insurance Department has played a key role in providing information to consumers. Almost 10 years ago, we developed the website NHHealthCost.org, which allows employers and consumers to compare the cost of medical procedures performed by different providers in the state, based on the prices insurance companies have paid for these procedures in the past.
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50 Top-Paying Careers in Health Care
Fiscal Times (03/28/16) Dent, Millie

If you're looking for a career in an industry that's likely to grow over the next decade, consider a job in health care. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that of the 30 fastest growing occupations, health care dominates the list with 20 different jobs.
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Surgery on Sunday Cares for 15 Patients
Lexington Herald-Leader (03/28/16)

On March 20, 60 volunteers, including physicians, surgeons, nurses and administrative staff, volunteered at the monthly Surgery on Sunday. The free surgeries were performed at the Lexington Surgery Center for patients who were unable to pay for outpatient procedures.
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Doctors Feel Rewarded by Treating Patients Despite Burnout, Says Medscape Study
PR Newswire (04/04/16)

WebMD Health Corp., the leading source of health information, today released its annual Medscape Physician Compensation Report, an annual analysis of how compensation influences physician career considerations and satisfaction. The 2016 report reveals that doctors still feel rewarded by treating patients despite widespread burnout, and a growing number would not choose medicine if they had a 'do-over'.
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Session Notes: Governor Names Certificate of Need Task Force
CT Mirror (04/01/2016) Becker, Arielle Levin

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has named 17 people to a task force intended to review how the state regulates health care facilities and organizations. In a February executive order, Malloy called for the review of the state's certificate of need process, which governs whether hospitals, nursing homes, residential care facilities and certain physician organizations can open certain facilities, acquire certain equipment, change ownership or eliminate services.
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Report: Electronic Transactions Could Save Healthcare $8B Yearly
HIT Consultant (03/30/16)

Despite steady increases in the industry adoption of HIPAA electronic administrative transactions, the U.S. health care system could potentially save more than $8 billion annually by reducing manual business transactions, according to the 2015 CAQH Index released today. The report reveals increasing adoption of fully electronic claims-related processes, but opportunity for significant improvement remains.
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AHIMA Seeks Public Support for National Patient Safety ID
Health Leaders Media (03/22/2016) Commins, John

A leading trade group for the nation's health information technology sector is asking patients to endorse the creation of a national voluntary patient safety identifier. The American Health Information Management Association said Monday that it has launched a petition and wants to send the Obama administration at least 100,000 signatures from patients who support the idea.
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Penn Researchers Show Rising Opioid Prescriptions Following Low-Risk Surgeries
EurekAlert (03/18/16)

Physicians are prescribing more opioid painkillers than ever before to patients undergoing common surgeries, according to new research from the department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Their work is published online this week in JAMA simultaneously with a major new guideline from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that calls on physicians to avoid over-prescription of opioids for surgical patients and other patients with painful conditions.
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