ASCA News Digest (February 23, 2016)

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February 23, 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.
  • 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.
  • Make sure to follow AmkaiSolutions on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

ASCA Highlights


Last Week to Save on ASCA’s Regulatory Training Series

ASCA’s online Regulatory Training Series leap year discount will end on Monday, February 29. Don’t miss out on this convenient and low-cost way to meet regulatory requirements, orient new staff and achieve top outcomes. Sign up today to start earning continuing education (CE) credits on your own time and without having to travel.
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Read the latest issue of ASC Focus to learn about new payment models that promote cost-effective sites of service, effective strategies for employee termination, maximizing the benefits of quality improvement studies, leadership development and more. ASCA members can the read the digital edition for free as part of their association membership, and non-members can subscribe to the magazine to get access.
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Register today for ASCA 2016, May 19–22, in Dallas, Texas, and plan to attend any of the six pre-meeting sessions. On Thursday, May 19, there will be an opportunity to attend a CASC review course or sessions on The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care accreditation, the Joint Commission surveys, social media, integrating infection prevention and into Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) programs and CMS’s Physical Environment and Life Safety Code.

ASCA members will receive a discount on the cost of pre-meeting sessions.
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Last week, ASCA released a video that explains what ASCs are 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 and on ASCA's YouTube Channel. ASCA encourages members of the ASC community to share the video with their own audiences.

Those 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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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 Friday, February 26 in Miami, Florida.
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a final rule regarding the identification, reporting and repayment of Medicare overpayments as required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The rule becomes effective March 14, 2016. Providers and suppliers who fail to report and return overpayments face potential False Claims Act liability, Civil Monetary Penalties Law liability and exclusion from federal health care programs.
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Industry News


CMS and Major Commercial Health Plans Announce Alignment and Simplification of Quality Measures
CMS Press Release (02/16/16)

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), as part of a broad Core Quality Measures Collaborative of health care system participants, released seven sets of clinical quality measures. These measures support multi-payer alignment, for the first time, on core measures primarily for physician quality programs.
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Senate Bill to Protect Outpatient Clinics From Over-Inflation
KPQ.com (02/18/16) Hair, Steve

The Washington Senate has passed a bill preventing the state from raising fees on outpatient surgery centers beyond the rate of inflation. The measure also states the facilities, which perform many knee, eye, shoulder and spine procedures, can only be inspected once every 18 months.
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Entry Regulation and Rural Health Care: Certificate-of-Need Laws, Ambulatory Surgical Centers, and Community Hospitals
Mercatus Center (02/18/16) Stratmann, Thomas; Koopman, Christopher

Certificate-of-need (CON) laws in 36 states and the District of Columbia restrict competition in health care facilities markets by requiring health care providers to obtain permission before adding or expanding any regulated facilities or services. One such CON program, currently implemented by 26 states, regulates the establishment and expansion of ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), "hospital substitutes" that provide select out-patient surgeries and procedures.
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Hollywood Hospital Pays $17,000 in Bitcoin to Hackers; FBI Investigating
Los Angeles Times (02/18/16) Winton, Richard

Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center paid a $17,000 ransom in bitcoin to a hacker who seized control of the hospital's computer systems and would give back access only when the money was paid, the hospital's chief executive said Wednesday. The assault on Hollywood Presbyterian occurred Feb. 5, when hackers using malware infected the institution's computers, preventing hospital staff from being able to communicate from those devices, said Chief Executive Allen Stefanek.
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DuPage Medical Group to Buy Stake in Naperville Surgery Center
Chicago Tribune (02/16/16) Sachdev, Ameet

DuPage Medical Group, the largest independent physicians group in the Chicago area, is wasting no time seeking opportunities to grow, after receiving a $250 million minority investment last month. The Downers Grove-based practice plans to acquire a majority stake in an outpatient surgery center in Naperville for $1.7 million, according to documents filed this month with the state health planning board.
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Pilot Study: Surgeons Work to Help Patients Quit Smoking Before Surgery
Society for Vascular Surgery (02/08/16)

A recent pilot study of vascular surgery patients found that patients facing surgery were more likely to quit smoking when their physician offered the right kind of assistance. The study's investigators, including vascular surgeons Dr. Philip P. Goodney and Dr. Emily Spangler of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH, and Dr. Alik Farber of Boston Medical Center, were particularly interested because patients who smoke often will have fewer post-surgical complications if they quit ahead of time.
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Nurses Press for Increased Workplace Protections
Salem News (02/21/16) Wade, Christian M.

Karen Coughlin has been spit on, kicked, punched in the face and even threatened with a makeshift knife by patients during more than 30 years as a nurse at Taunton State Hospital. "Similar incidents are happening every day in hospitals across the state," said Coughlin, who works mostly with psychiatric patients at the hospital.
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