ASCA News Digest (January 5, 2016)

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January 5, 2016

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ASCA Highlights


Q4 Now Open for ASCA Benchmarking

The data collection period for the fourth quarter (Q4) of the 2015 ASCA Benchmarking Program is now open. The collection period will close February 5. If you have not purchased your 2015 subscription yet, there is still time to sign up. Those who sign up now, during Q4, will still be able to access the national/specialty report for Q1, Q2 and Q3.
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ASCA’s Winter Coding Seminar will take place next week, January 14–16, in Scottsdale, Arizona, and there is still time to register. Don’t miss this comprehensive program with more than 25 sessions designed to help position your ASC for success.

Attendees will be awarded up to 12.75 of AEU credits and up to 14 coding CEUs.
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ASCA is encouraging its members to nominate qualified candidates to serve on its board of directors. To nominate, you must be an ASCA member and complete the Call for Nominations Online Form, or download the PDF form and return it by January 12, 2016. Visit the ASCA web site for more details.
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Michael O'neal, DPh, MBA, pharmacist consultant will discuss the standards, regulations and best practices for medication management and delivery during ASCA’s next webinar, on Tuesday, January 26, at 1:00 pm ET. Learn about sterile compounding standards, how to manage sterile products safely and more.
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ASCA’s Online Regulatory Training Series includes 21 courses, designed specifically for ASCs, to help train ASC staff on the latest regulations and standards of care. For less than $3.00 per continuing education (CE) credit, ASCs can ensure they are meeting training requirements in critical operational areas like medication management, infection prevention, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and domestic abuse assessment.
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The complete schedule for ASCA 2016, Thursday to Sunday, May 19–22, in Dallas, Texas is available online. 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 and register on the ASCA 2016 web site.
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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


City-Wide Effort Boosts NYC's Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates and Eliminates Racial Disparities in Screening
HealthCanal.com (01/04/2016)

A concerted effort to increase colorectal cancer screening rates led to a dramatic increase in NYC screening colonoscopy rates among average-risk men and women and eliminated racial/ethnic disparities in screening. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the program may serve as a foundation for other communities to boost cancer screening rates.
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New California Laws Affecting Outpatient Surgery Settings Go Into Effect January 1, 2016
Lexology (12/28/15)

California Senate Bill 396 (SB 396), which strengthened requirements for outpatient clinics such as ambulatory surgery centers, was recently signed into law and becomes effective January 1, 2016. SB 396 builds upon the existing legal requirements that apply to ambulatory surgery centers and office-based surgery practices.
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The Future of Outpatient Cancer Surgery Takes Shape With New, First-of-Its-Kind Facility
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (12/28/15)

A major transformation is beginning in cancer surgery that will enable patients to go home within a day of undergoing a significant operation. The new Josie Robertson Surgery Center (JRSC), opened by Memorial Sloan Kettering, exemplifies that transformation: a patient-focused facility that leverages technology and highly trained clinical teams to provide optimal care.
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More Patients May Be Able to Safely Shower After Surgery
Reuters (01/01/16) Rapaport, Lisa

Many patients may be able to shower just two days after their operations without increasing their risk of infections around the incision site, a recent study suggests. Even though showering can lift patients' spirits, potentially speeding recovery, concerns about contamination often prompt doctors to advise against getting wounds wet until stitches are removed, which can take many days, or even weeks.
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More People Turn to Faith-Based Groups for Health Coverage
Fox News (01/04/16) Armour, Stephanie

A growing number of people are turning to health-care ministries to cover their medical expenses instead of buying traditional insurance, a trend that could challenge the stability of the Affordable Care Act. The ministries, which operate outside the insurance system and aren't regulated by states, provide a health-care cost-sharing arrangement among people with similarly held beliefs.
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Health Insurers to Face Fines for Not Correcting Doctor Directories
NASDAQ (12/28/15) Beck, Melinda

St. Louis dermatologist Madhavi Kandula is listed in a UnitedHealth Medicare Advantage HMO directory for 2016, although she opted out of Medicare 10 years ago and isn't eligible to participate in the program. "We just tell patients it is an error and they let it go at that," said Dr. Kandula who said she repeatedly has asked UnitedHealth Group Inc. to remove her name from its Medicare directory.
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ANA to Launch 'Culture of Safety' Campaign
HealthLeaders Media (12/30/15) Pecci, Alexandra Wilson

The American Nurses Association will spend 2016 promoting its new "Culture of Safety" campaign to champion improved safety for patients and healthcare providers. It's been more than 15 years since the Institute of Medicine released two landmark reports on quality and safety: To Err is Human: Building A Safer Health System and Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century, notes ANA President Pam Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.
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AORN: Guideline for Prevention of Retained Surgical Items
AORN Journal -- Periop Briefing (12/15) Putnam, Kelly

The updated "Guideline for prevention of retained surgical items” provides guidance to perioperative team members regarding the accounting of surgical items before, during, and after invasive procedures. The retention of surgical items within a patient is considered a surgical never event because of its serious and preventable nature.
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