ASCA News Digest (January 12, 2016)

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January 12, 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!
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ASCA Highlights


ASCA Offers Month-Long Discount on Training Series

Register for ASCA’s Regulatory Training Series using the promo code "Leap 16" before February 29 to get a leap year discount of 10 percent.

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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ASCA’s 2016 Winter Coding Seminar begins this Thursday, January 14. Register now to join hundreds of other ASC professionals for this comprehensive program with more than 25 sessions designed to prepare coders for 2016’s billing and coding changes.

Attendees will be awarded up to 12.75 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 close of business today, January 12, 2016. Visit the ASCA web site for more details.
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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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Registration is now open for the 2016 ASCA Capitol Fly-In Program. This year’s events will take place June 13–14 and September 12–13. Fly-In participants directly lobby members of Congress and together provide a unified voice for the ASC community. Past Fly-Ins have resulted in more than 100 members of Congress cosponsoring ASCA supported legislation.
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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 with topics including social media strategy, conflict management, Medicare ASC payment changes and innovative ASC procedures. View the schedule and register on the ASCA 2016 web site.
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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 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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Businesses often file for bankruptcy as a tool to upright their financial stability, and health care vendors are no exception. Read about how ASCs can effectively manage vendor bankruptcy in the January issue of Focus magazine.
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In a recent report, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommended that Congress provide the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) with authority to equalize payment rates between hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) and physician offices for evaluation & management (E/M) office visits and other services.
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Industry News


Obama Vetoes Obamacare Repeal Bill
CNN (01/08/16) Acosta, Jim; Holmes, Kristen

President Barack Obama on Friday vetoed legislation that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act and cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The bill goes back to the Republican-led Congress, which does not have the votes to override the veto.
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Patient Chooses Oregon Outpatient Surgery Center for Three Joint Replacement Surgeries
Oregonian (01/04/16)

The Oregon Outpatient Surgery Center (OOSC) in Tigard is fast becoming a favorite among patients who require multiple joint replacements. Clayton Martin, a 55-year old firefighter and part-time contractor who became OOSC's first total hip replacement patient in May, 2014 is a prime example.
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Top 9 Issues That Will Affect Physicians in 2016
AMA Wire (01/04/2016) Parks, Troy

What issues should you follow closely in the year ahead? Crucial developments will emerge in health care regulations, legislation and the health insurance market—and many of them will profoundly impact your practice and patients.
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Helping Primary Care Doctors Contain Costs
Harvard Business Review (12/15) Ferguson, Margaret

Primary care physicians (PCPs) have always focused on quality of care, but we found that most in our large, multispecialty practices were unaware of the enormous impact their daily decisions have on the cost of care. In part, this is because we didn't give them much information about the costs they incurred.
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Massachusetts Cracks Down on Simultaneous Surgeries
AJMC.com (01/08/16)

After an investigation by The Boston Globe exposed problems when surgeons were double booked, typically without patients' knowledge, the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine yesterday approved a rule to regulate the practice. It is believed to be the first time a state agency has tried to put rules in place to govern double-booking, which has caused controversy around the country.
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Nurses to Join Protest Monday Outside the Supreme Court
PR Newswire (01/11/16)

Nurses from Washington to California will gather on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court Monday morning to warn that a case targeting worker and union rights poses a significant threat to public health, safety and quality of life, warned National Nurses United, the largest U.S. organization of nurses. Friedrichs v. CTA involves a challenge supported by anti-union groups to the right of public unions to require all employees who receive the benefits of representation, including higher wages, safer working conditions and better benefits, to pay their fair share of the cost of representation.
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Attempts to Roll Back CON Laws Underway in Virginia
Heartland Institute (01/06/16) Haskins, Justin

Few Americans know the substantial and detrimental effects certificate of need (CON) laws have on the quality of health care in the 36 states that have chosen to enact them. These laws not only reduce access to quality care, they place a substantial degree of power to make important health care decisions in the hands of government bureaucrats, ignoring the professional opinions of highly educated doctors and other medical experts.
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Aetna Departure a Major Blow for Insurers Group
The Hill (01/05/16) Sullivan, Peter; Wilson, Megan R.

Aetna, one of the nation's largest health insurers, announced Tuesday that it is leaving the insurer trade group America's Health Insurance Plans, dealing a blow to a powerful Washington lobbying group. "Aetna has decided not to renew our AHIP membership for 2016," said Aetna spokeswoman Cynthia Michener.
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Study Identifies Medical Specialties Receiving Highest Payments From Manufacturers
UCSD Medical Center (01/04/16)

The Physician Payments Sunshine Act, passed under the Affordable Care Act, requires all pharmaceutical and medical device companies to report payments to physicians, including consulting fees, gifts, speaking fees, meals, travel and research grants. This information is searchable to the public on a database called Open Payments, managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medical Services (CMS).
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Surprise Medical Bills
Kaiser Family Foundation (01/06/16) Pollitz, Karen

A Kaiser Family Foundation survey finds that among insured, non-elderly adults struggling with medical bill problems, charges from out-of-network providers were a contributing factor about one-third of the time. Further, nearly 7 in 10 of individuals with unaffordable out-of-network medical bills did not know the health care provider was not in their plan's network at the time they received care.
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