ASCA News Digest (February 2, 2016)

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February 2, 2016

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  • 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.
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ASCA Highlights


Q4 of ASCA Benchmarking Closes Friday

The data collection period for the fourth quarter (Q4) of the 2015 ASCA Benchmarking Program closes this Friday, February 5. There is still time to sign up and participate if you have not already, but make sure you allow enough time to review your data. Once the submission period has closed, data cannot be corrected or adjusted.
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Use the promo code "leap 16" when you register for ASCA’s Regulatory Training Series to save 10 percent before February 29. The series offers continuing education (CE) credits for less than $3.00 each.
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Plan to join us at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Dallas for ASCA 2016, May 19–22. This year's event will feature more than 60 educational sessions covering everything from social media strategy and conflict management to Medicare ASC payment changes and innovative ASC procedures. View the schedule at a glance for more information.
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Charlie Leonard, ASCA's public affairs and public relations consultant and Kay Tucker, ASCA's director of communications, will provide tips for reaching out and responding to local media during ASCA’s next webinar, "In Print, On Air and Online: The Challenges and Opportunities of Media Relations," on Tuesday, February 9, at 1:00 pm ET. Learn the most effective ways to work with reporters and how to discuss headline news with your patients. This webinar is free to ASCA members.
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ASCA’s Chief Executive Officer William Prentice will speak at McDermott Will & Emery’s 14th annual ASC Symposium on February 26 in Miami, Florida.
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Industry News


New Proposal to Give Providers and Employers Access to Information to Drive Quality and Patient Care Improvement
CMS Press Release (01/29/16)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today proposed rules that will expand access to analyses and data that will help providers, employers, and others make more informed decisions about care delivery. The new rules, as required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), will allow organizations approved as qualified entities to confidentially share or sell analyses of Medicare and private sector claims data to providers, employers, and other groups who can use the data to support improved care.
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Nearly 1,000 Canadians Treated at WNY Hospitals
Buffalo Business First (01/29/16) Drury, Tracey

Western New York continues to be a popular place for Canadians to access health care. Faced with long wait times ranging from hours for emergency services to years for elective procedures, Canadians who have government-sponsored health care, are instead coming to Niagara Falls and Buffalo for ambulatory surgery as well as routine care, most paying out of pocket in exchange for speedier access.
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Surgery Center Tax Crippling
Hartford Courant (CT) (01/29/16) Rockoff, Thomas

During this past legislative session, a 6 percent gross-receipts tax on ambulatory surgery centers was passed. This tax, the highest in the nation, was imposed without a public hearing and no understanding of its impact on Connecticut's health care system.
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CDC Foundation and GOJO to Enhance Hand Hygiene Educational Outreach in U.S. Healthcare Settings
Infection Control Today (01/24/16)

The CDC Foundation is partnering with GOJO to provide unbranded hand hygiene educational materials and tools for patients, health care providers and caregivers in U.S. health care facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes and other ambulatory care locations. The goal of this initiative is to improve hand hygiene practices in these settings to help reduce the number of health care-associated infections (HAIs).
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'Transparency' Backed in Senate Amid Questions
Health News Florida (02/01/2016)

A Senate budget panel last week approved a bill that seeks to increase transparency about health-care costs, but the measure drew pointed questions from some lawmakers. The bill (SB 1496), sponsored by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, comes after Gov. Rick Scott has spent months accusing hospitals of engaging in "price gouging" --- an allegation that the hospital industry refutes.
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Small Number of Doctors Behind Big Share of Malpractice Claims
CBS News (01/27/16) Pallarito, Karen

Just 1 percent of active U.S. physicians are responsible for nearly a third of the nation's paid malpractice claims, a new study finds. And, the more paid claims doctors incurred, the higher their risk of future paid claims, the study found.
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Bill That Would Add Seat to Health Licensing Board Advances
Tennessean (01/27/16) Fletcher, Holly

A bill to add a new governor-appointed seat to the state's Board for Licensing Health Care Facilities will move to the House health committee for discussion. Rep. Dawn White is proposing to add a member seat dedicated to an ambulatory surgery center representative, bringing the number of board members to 19.
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Unspecified Codes Among Issues Being Monitored
ICD10Monitor.com (01/25/16) Finn, Jill; Croxton, Ana

At the four-month mark of ICD-10 implementation, practice management vendors are continuing to look for trends and potential issues for their clients. Several things currently being tracked are the overutilization of unspecified codes, claim submission, and payment productivity – and whether payers have implemented some, part, or all of the ICD-10 edits that will impact the financial health of providers.
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Patients Express Health Care Concerns
KDRV (OR) (01/20/2016) Abad, Jacquelyn

The Grants Pass Surgery Center serves more than 4,000 patients in southern Oregon. Administrators say it provides lower cost alternatives for surgery procedures.
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