ASCA News Digest (February 17, 2016)

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February 17, 2016

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ASCA Highlights

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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.
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ASCA Highlights


ASCA Releases ASC Video

ASCA has released a video that explains ASCs in clear and concise terms. The video has been posted to ASCA’s Advancing Surgical Care web site on the “What is an ASC?” page. In the coming weeks, ASCA will send the video out through its social media channels and promote it to members of the media.

ASCA members who would like to share the video, or add it to their own web sites, can do so through this link.
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Starting this week, ASCA will begin posting feature articles from upcoming issues of ASC Focus magazine online before they go to print.

The inaugural story covers the Joint Commission's new Total Hip and Knee Replacement Advanced Certification Program. Read more about the program in this Digital Debut from the June-July issue of ASC Focus magazine.
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Earn continuing education (CE) credit online for less than $3.00 each with ASCA’s Regulatory Training Series. Register using the promo code "leap 16" before February 29 to receive a 10 percent discount on all 21 courses.
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Phenelle Segal, RN, president of Infection Control Consulting, will review the recent edits to the surveyors’ worksheet that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released in June 2015. She will analyze the ways that the changes might affect your ASC and provide information on an effective infection prevention plan. The webinar will take place on Tuesday, February 23 at 1:00 pm ET.
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ASCA 2016 Winter Coding Seminar attendees have until February 29 to submit their evaluations to receive AEU credits or a certificate of participation. To submit online, you will need your ID number located on the back of your attendee badge. If you no longer have your badge, you can request your ID number by sending an email to registration@ascassociation.org.
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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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This month, US Senator Bill Cassidy, MD, and US Representative Ami Bera, MD, joined a growing list of supporters for the ASC Quality and Access Act of 2015 (H.R. 1453/S. 2071). The legislation now has 66 cosponsors in the House and seven in the Senate. This legislation would fix the Medicare inflationary update factor that causes the growing disparity in payments between the ASC and HOPD settings.
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Industry News


Providers Must Report Medicare Overpayments Going Back Six, Not 10 Years
Modern Medicine (02/11/16) Dickson, Virgil

The CMS has finalized a controversial rule that will require providers to return Medicare overpayments. The Affordable Care Act compels providers to return overpayments within 60 days of identifying them.
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The International Association for Ambulatory Surgery Has to Focus on Development of Day Surgery in the World
Forever News (02/11/16)

The European Congress of Ambulatory Surgery was recently held on 28th-29th January, 2016 at EuroDisney, Paris, France. It was attended by 700 International delegates.
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New PriceCheck Resource to Help Floridians
Health News Florida (02/11/2016) Shedden, Mary

Consumers skeptical about the real cost of health care will soon have a resource where they can ask and share with their neighbors the price of common medical procedures. Health News Florida in April will be launching PriceCheck, a database that blends together prices we've collected with information from consumers living in South Florida and the Tampa Bay area.
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Insurers Under Pressure to Improve Margins on Health Plans
NASDAQ (02/10/16) Mathews, Anna Wilde

After most health insurers racked up financial losses on Affordable Care Act plans in 2014, many companies' results for last year worsened, creating heavy pressure to improve performance this year. An analysis of filings by not-for-profit Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurers--among the biggest players in the law's exchanges for buying individual insurance--shows the challenge facing the industry as it seeks a turnaround in the individual business.
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Humana May Withdraw From Obamacare Exchanges
Forbes (02/10/16) Japsen, Bruce

Humana profits fell 30 percent in last year's fourth quarter with the insurer unable to manage the rising medical costs of newly insured Americans signing up for individual coverage under the Affordable Care Act, leaving its participation on public exchanges in doubt beyond this year. The Louisville-based health insurance company, which is being taken over by rival Aetna in a deal that may close later this year, said net income fell to $101 million, or 67 cents a share, in the fourth quarter from $145 million, or 94 cents a share in the year-ago period.
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Proposed 2017 Budget Includes Funding for Key AGA Priorities
American Gastroenterological Association (02/11/16)

President Obama released his proposed budget for a $4.1 trillion spending plan for fiscal year 2017, which "invests in accelerating the pace of American innovation, so we can create jobs and build the economy of the future while tackling our greatest challenges, including addressing climate change and finding new treatments and cures for devastating diseases." The budget includes increased funding for many programs that will benefit the science and practice of gastroenterology, as well as potential changes to other programs that AGA is still analyzing.
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SGNA Releases Two Infection Prevention Practice Documents for GI Professionals
Infection Control Today (02/09/16)

The Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, Inc. (SGNA) announces the release of two new practice documents focused on infection prevention. The revised Standards of Infection Prevention in Reprocessing of Flexible Gastrointestinal Endoscopes (2015) details the recommended steps for successful reprocessing; the new Standard of Infection Prevention in the Gastroenterology Setting (2015) includes specific considerations to maintain infection prevention and safety during GI procedures.
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Federal Funds Set Aside for New Surgical Center
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (NY) (02/10/16) Hand, Jon

The proposed 2017 federal budget has $6.9 million set aside for an outpatient surgical center for veterans in the Rochester area, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, announced Wednesday. The surgical center is what Schumer calls "Phase II" of improvements to the local medical resources provided by the Office of Veterans Affairs and "will complement the new 84,000-square-foot VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic that the VA intends to open in Monroe County to replace the outdated current VA Clinic on Westfall Road."
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Joint Commission Names Ronald Wyatt, MD, MHA, First Patient Safety Officer
Joint Commission (02/11/16)

The Joint Commission has named Ronald M. Wyatt, MD, MHA, to the newly created position of patient safety officer, reflecting the organization's commitment to promoting a safe and high-quality health care system with a goal of zero patient harm. Dr. Wyatt has served as The Joint Commission's medical director in the Division of Healthcare Improvement since he joined the organization in 2012.
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