ASCA News Digest (August 2, 2016)

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August 2, 2016

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ASCA Highlights


Two Weeks Left to Get Your Discount on ASCA Capitol Fly-In

Register for the ASCA Capitol Fly-In, September 12–13, by Friday, August 12, to receive $50 off your hotel stay. The Fly-In brings together ASC industry leaders, trains them on how to best advocate for ASCs, and then sends them to Capitol Hill to ask their members of Congress to support legislation that would benefit ASCs nationwide. It is one of the most effective ways to ensure that ASCs remain a viable health care option. Register today to help strengthen the collective voice of the ASC community on Capitol Hill.
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ASCA recently added a continuing education (CE) credit-bearing course on latex allergy to its online Regulatory Training Series. Visit ASCA’s web site today to see what’s covered in each of the 24 courses and order them all online using the new “Purchase Now” button.
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Learn strategies and techniques you can implement quickly to increase employee engagement, decrease stress when preparing for accreditation surveys during ASCA’s next webinar on Tuesday, August 9, at 1:00 pm ET. Speakers Kathleen Bernicky, RN, BSN, vice president of risk management and clinical operations at Regent Surgical Health and Amiee Mingus, RN, director of clinical operations at Regent Surgical Health will cover leadership, clinical compliance and fiscal responsibility.
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ASCs looking to improve their accreditation survey performance might want to consider involving anesthesia personnel in the preparation efforts. Visit the new ASC Focus web site to learn about how anesthesia can help ASCs overcome common accreditation pitfalls.
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The deadline to submit 2015 data for the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program is Monday, August 15, 2016. ASCs should start the process to report data for the required measures now.
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There was an error in the original 2017 proposed rule rate calculator that was posted last week. That document was corrected and replaced on Friday. It is available to members only on ASCA’s Medicare payment resources page and by using the direct Medicare Rate Calculator link. Please make sure you are using the most updated version.
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Industry News


Saving Big Bucks on Medical Care by Surgery Shopping
KATU.com (OR) (07/26/16) Douglass, Joe

Huge bills for medical procedures give many of us a big shock after a visit to the hospital. But what if you could cut those bills in half or come close to it?
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The Payment Reform Landscape: A Road Map for States to Bring Their Transparency 'A' Game
Health Affairs Blog (07/27/16) Delbanco, Suzanne; de Brantes, Francois; Hibbard, Judith

It is accepted truth in some academic and policy circles that pursuing real price transparency is a fool's errand, that making health care prices clear to consumers may only be trivially useful or even counterproductive. Earlier this year, a group backed by health plans intimated that only a small portion of health care services are "shoppable," and therefore transparent pricing could lead only to a small reduction in the costs of care.
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HIPAA Fines at Record Levels, But Experts Say Don't Panic About Audits
Fierce Healthcare (07/27/2016) Hall, Susan D.

Six months in, 2016 already is a record-breaking year for HIPAA enforcement actions from the Health and Human Services Department's Office for Civil Rights, reports HealthcareInfoSecurity.com. The recent $2.75 million penalty against the University of Mississippi Medical Center was the ninth enforcement action this year.
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Report: Healthcare Tops for Ransomware Incidents in Q2
Fierce Healthcare (07/27/2016) Bowman, Dan

The health care industry, far and away, led all others in volume of ransomware detections in the second quarter of 2016, according to a recent security firm report. Roughly 88 percent of all ransomware detected was discovered in health care, while the next most targeted industry was education at 6 percent, according to the report, published by Solutionary.
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Doctors: Company Has Monopoly on Outpatient Surgery in Bend
Bend Bulletin (OR) (07/26/16) Bannow, Tara

Three Bend doctors argue in a federal antitrust lawsuit that a multibillion- dollar company has a monopoly hold over the local outpatient surgery market, a position they say stifles patient choice and drives up prices. Their case, however, may have taken a hit this month when an out-of-court arbitration panel decided in favor of AmSurg, a company that took in more than $2 billion last year and owns and operates about 250 outpatient surgery centers nationwide.
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The CORE Institute to Collaborate With CDC and Joint Commission
AZ Big Media (07/31/16)

The CORE Institute, powered by Excellence Headquarters, will be collaborating with The Joint Commission and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on an initiative designed to adapt, enhance and disseminate CDC guidance related to infection prevention and control in ambulatory health care settings. The goal of this effort, which is supported through a CDC contract, is to create model infection control plans and expand the reach, uptake and adoption of these and other infection prevention and control guidance materials to prevent infections in outpatient settings.
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Lawmaker Calls for More Scrutiny of Scope Maker After Emails Are Disclosed
Los Angeles Times (07/27/16) Terhune, Chad

A U.S. lawmaker is renewing his push for Congress to toughen requirements on medical-device warnings, calling Olympus Corp.'s 2013 decision against issuing a broad alert to U.S. hospitals about scope-related superbug outbreaks "despicable." Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) said internal Olympus emails about that decision, detailed for the first time in a Times article on Sunday, were "incredibly disturbing" and that the company officials involved should face questions at a congressional hearing.
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University of California OKs $8.5 Million Payout in Spine Surgery Cases
Kaiser Health News (08/01/16) Terhune, Chad

The University of California regents have agreed to pay nearly $8.5 million to settle two lawsuits alleging a well-known UCLA spine surgeon failed to disclose his conflicts of interest with a leading device maker before using the company's products in harmful surgeries. The settlements were approved last month in separate Los Angeles County Superior Court cases that focused on the financial ties among the surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Wang, UCLA and Medtronic, the world's largest medical-device company.
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The Mall of the Future Will Offer Dinner, Movies, and a Colonoscopy
Bloomberg (07/25/16) Clark, Patrick

The Runway at Playa Vista in Los Angeles recently added a Whole Foods, a movie theater, and upscale shops and restaurants--retail center staples intended to attract affluent shoppers, condo-buyers, and tech companies to the mixed-use development. The next big tenant slated to move in, however, is a little different: A 32,000-square-foot doctors' office, where the Cedars-Sinai Health System plans to house outpatient services, including cardiology and orthopedics.
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Anthem Tells Judge Cigna Deal Helps Health Insurance Markets
Bloomberg (07/27/16) Harris, Andrew M.

Anthem Inc. said its proposed $48 billion merger with rival health insurer Cigna Corp. will lower consumer costs and extend coverage to more people, in response to a U.S. lawsuit seeking to block the deal. The Indianapolis-based company also said the combined carrier would fortify the online insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act at a time when other insurers are withdrawing from them, according to papers filed late Tuesday in federal court in Washington.
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