ASCA News Digest (August 30, 2016)

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August 30, 2016

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ASCA Highlights


ASCA Introduces Three Winter Seminars to Help ASCs Address High-Priority Concerns

ASCA is offering three separate seminars in San Antonio, Texas, January 12–14, 2017, to help ASC professionals—from administrators and clinical staff to coders, billers and business office managers—address their greatest challenges. Learn how to minimize your ASC’s legal and regulatory risk, update your coding practices and refine your reimbursement strategies or manage your finance and accounting functions more effectively. Registration for all three seminars is now open. Visit the web sites below for more information and register for the program that best suits your needs.

Coding Update and Reimbursement Strategies Seminar


Finance and Accounting for Administrators Seminar



Minimizing Your Regulatory and Legal Risk Seminar

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ASCA will submit comments raising industry-wide concerns regarding the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) 2017 proposed ASC payment rule, but it is important that CMS hears from individual centers. ASCA has developed a web page with resources to help you share your individual view of how the proposed changes will impact your center. Comments are due Tuesday, September 6 at 5:00 PM ET.
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In recent years, hand hygiene has become more of a focal point for accreditation surveyors. Visit the new ASC Focus web site for tips from a experts on how to assess hand hygiene and stay compliant.
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ASCA Benchmarking subscribers can now access their clinical and operational benchmarking reports for the second quarter (Q2) of 2016 through the ASCA Benchmarking portal. These reports offer valuable data about ASCs that can be used to improve quality, boost performance and meet expectations of regulators, payers and patients.

Subscriptions for the 2016 survey are still available online. ASCA members participate at discounted rates.
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On Monday, August 22, the Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment (HOP) unanimously recommended that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) remove total knee arthroplasty (TKA) from its inpatient-only list. This recommendation was made after a presentation by ASCA member Sohrab Gollogly, MD, an orthopedic surgeon affiliated with the Monterey Peninsula Surgery Center in California.
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Industry News


AAAHC Report IDs Best Practices for Colonoscopy
MedPage Today (08/26/16) Bachert, Alexandria

Compliance with national recommendations on colonoscopies can improve the safety of the procedure and increase patient satisfaction, according to a report from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) Institute for Quality Improvement (IQI). Specific best practices noted in the report include being sure to test reprocessing fluids, pre-sterilize equipment, and educate patients about bowel preparation.
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6.27 Affiliate News  
Affiliate News:
Pamlico Capital Announces Sale of Physicians Endoscopy
Business Wire (08/22/2016)

Pamlico Capital today announced that Kelso & Company has acquired Physicians Endoscopy, LLC in a recapitalization transaction with management. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
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Health Insurers' Pullback Threatens to Create Monopolies
Wall Street Journal (08/29/16) Wilde Matthews, Anna; Armour, Stephanie

Nearly a third of the nation’s counties look likely to have just a single insurer offering health plans on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges next year, according to a new analysis, an industry pullback that adds to the challenges facing the law. The new study, by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, suggests there could be just one option for coverage in 31 percent of counties in 2017, and there might be only two in another 31 percent. That would give exchange customers in large swaths of the U.S. far less choice than they had this year, when 7 percent of counties had one insurer and 29 percent had two.
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Ambulatory Surgery for the Patient With Breast Cancer: Current Perspectives
Open Access Surgery (08/16/16) Pek, C.H.; Tey, J.; Tan, E.Y.

Ambulatory surgery is now commonplace in many tertiary centers and has been embraced as a safe and economical alternative to inpatient admission. Patients are either discharged the same day of surgery or within 23 hours (ambulatory surgery, AS23), and therefore a fast recovery from anesthesia and return to normal function are necessary.
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Study Calls for Interventions to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening in Hispanic Men
OncLive (08/28/2016) Casey, Allie

Colorectal cancer mortality rates have been on the decline in California for both men and women since the mid-1990s, but for one group—Hispanic men—rates have remained essentially unchanged, and a new study suggests that lower rates of screening may be the chief driver of this disparity. Data compiled by the National Cancer Institute revealed that only 46.2 percent of Hispanic men in the United States and 44.9 percent in California were screened for colorectal cancer (CRC) in 2014, compared with 67.6 percent and 72.4 percent, respectively, of white men in the US as a whole and in California.
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CDC Encourages Prompt Action for Early Sepsis Recognition, Treatment and Prevention
Infection Control Today (08/29/16)

Sepsis is caused by the body's overwhelming and life-threatening response to an infection and requires rapid intervention. It begins outside of the hospital for nearly 80 percent of patients. According to a new Vital Signs report released by CDC, about 7 in 10 patients with sepsis had used health care services recently or had chronic diseases that required frequent medical care. These represent opportunities for healthcare providers to prevent, recognize, and treat sepsis long before it can cause life-threatening illness or death.
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The Consortium for Universal Healthcare Credentialing to Succeed Coalition
PR Web (08/24/16)

Partners from a broad range of health care product companies joined together in June 2016 to create the Consortium for Universal Healthcare Credentialing, which will succeed the Coalition for Best Practices in Healthcare Industry Representatives. Since 2012, the Coalition has been active in developing and promoting a set of best practices for credentialing representatives of health care products companies who need to gain access to health care facilities.
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FDA Advises Testing for Zika Virus in All Donated Blood and Blood Components in the U.S.
FDA News Release (08/26/16)

As a further safety measure against the emerging Zika virus outbreak, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a revised guidance recommending universal testing of donated Whole Blood and blood components for Zika virus in the U.S. and its territories. "There is still much uncertainty regarding the nature and extent of Zika virus transmission," said Peter Marks, MD, PhD, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. "At this time, the recommendation for testing the entire blood supply will help ensure that safe blood is available for all individuals who might need transfusion."
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AORN: Evidence Supporting ACS Surgical Attire Guidelines Is Lacking
HealthLeaders Media (08/22/16) Wilson Pecci, Alexandra

A dress code for surgical teams intended to "support professionalism on behalf of patients," has been met with questions from a nursing group, which says the code lacks rigor. The guidelines on operating room attire issued by the American College of Surgeons this month notes the symbolism of the skullcap to the surgical professional, and says that the skullcap "can be worn when close to the totality of hair is covered by it and only a limited amount of hair on the nape of the neck or a modest sideburn remains uncovered." The iconic, wing-tipped nursing cap is a symbol of the nursing profession, but that doesn't mean it has any place in the operating room, says Lisa Spruce, DNP, RN, CNS-CP, CNOR, ACNS, ACNP, FAAN, Director of Evidence-Based Perioperative Practice for the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN).
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Sunshine Act has Made Only a Small Dent in Physician-Industry Transparency
MinnPost (08/29/16) Perry, Susan

When the Physician Payments Sunshine Act went into effect in 2013, it was called a “watershed moment” that would "usher in a new era of transparency regarding the financial relationships between doctors and the makers of drugs and devices." Under the law, drug and medical device companies had to, for the first time, disclose to the public all payments over $10 made to physicians for such things as consulting and speaking fees, research funding, meals and gifts.
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CMS: Medicare ACOs Saved $466 Million in 2015
Healthcare IT News (08/26/16) Morse, Susan

More than 400 Medicare ACOs generated some $466 million in savings, said Patrick Conway, MD, Chief Medical Officer of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on August 25. Of those, 125 qualified for shared savings payments by meeting quality performance standards.
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EHR Report: Top 5 Most Widely Used EHRs by Physicians
HIT Consultant (08/29/16) Pennic, Jasmine

Epic, Cerner, eClinicalWorks, NextGen, and MEDITECH have been named the most widely used EHRs by physicians, according to Medscape’s 2016 EHR Report. Epic continues to dominate the EHR market for hospitals and health systems at 28 percent representing 48 percent of users—more than three times as many as Cerner (13 percent), its next largest competitor.
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Feds Plan to Investigate More Healthcare Breaches
Health Data Management (08/22/16) Goedert, Joseph

The HHS Office for Civil Rights, which enforces rules surrounding HIPAA, has announced it will investigate breaches of protected health information affecting fewer than 500 individuals. In September 2015, the HHS Office of Inspector General recommended that OCR begin posting smaller data breaches on its public web site, and OCR now is doing that.
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