ASCA News Digest (January 20, 2016)

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January 20, 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.
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ASCA Highlights


Get a 'Leap Year' Discount on CE Credits

Register for ASCA’s Regulatory Training Series using promo code "leap 16" before February 29 to get a 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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Michael O’Neal, 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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The data collection period for the fourth quarter (Q4) of the 2015 ASCA Benchmarking Program will close on Friday, February 5. If you have not already, please submit your data.

If you are not currently a subscriber, sign up today. You will receive the national/specialty report for Q1, Q2 and Q3 when you subscribe.
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has release updated information about its March 26, 2015 clearance decision on the model TJF-Q180V duodenoscope manufactured by Olympus. The FDA has now cleared this model with specific design modifications.
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Abbott's Compounding Pharmacy is voluntarily recalling all unexpired lots of sterile compounded products due to concerns of lack of sterility assurance. All unexpired lots are subject to the recall. These include injectable medications, sterile solutions, eye drops, and eye ointments.
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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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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt announced last week that the current Meaningful Use program will be replaced this year. Though it is unclear at this time how a replacement to Meaningful Use may impact ASCs, this announcement substantially moves up the timeline for eliminating the program.
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Industry News


Differences in Colonoscopy Quality Among Facilities: Development of a Post-Colonoscopy Risk-Standardized Rate of Unplanned Hospital Visits
Gastroenterology (01/16) Vol. 150, No. 1, P. 103 Ranasinghe, Isuru; Parzynski, Craig S.; Searfoss, Rana; et al.

Colonoscopy is a common and costly outpatient procedure, with more than 90 percent of colonoscopies performed in the outpatient settings of hospital outpatient departments, ambulatory surgery centers, and physician offices. Although colonoscopy is used for the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of conditions, most outpatient colonoscopies are for colorectal cancer screening among relatively healthy patients.
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Healthcare Price Transparency: Patients and Payers Versus Providers?
HealthLeaders Media (01/04/16) Betbeze, Philip

Healthcare price transparency is a laudable concept. Patients want it because they are contributing a larger share of the cost of care each year, through larger deductibles and larger out-of of-pocket maximums.
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'Repeal and Replace'? No Thanks
American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (01/11/16) Smith, G. Keith

Republicans are being urged to "repeal and replace" Obamacare (the so-called Affordable Care Act). No thanks.
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Supreme Court Union Ruling Could Have Significant Effect on Health Care System
California Healthline (01/19/16) Lauer, George

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in a case challenging mandatory union dues in California will deal only with government employees and probably won't have an immediate impact on health care either nationally or in California. But if the court removes the requirement for public employees to pay "fair share service fees," which are tantamount to membership dues, the long-term ramifications could significantly change the health care delivery system, experts predict.
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Major Drugmakers Push Back in U.S. Price Debate
Reuters (01/15/16) Humer, Caroline

With a backlash brewing over the price of medicines in the United States, drugmakers are pushing back with a new message: Most people don't pay retail. Top executives from Eli Lilly and Co., Merck & Co., and Biogen Inc. said in interviews with Reuters this week that the media focus on retail, or "list prices," for branded medications is misplaced.
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FDA Outlines Cybersecurity Recommendations for Medical Device Manufacturers
FDA News Release (01/15/16)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued a draft guidance outlining important steps medical device manufacturers should take to continually address cybersecurity risks to keep patients safe and better protect the public health. The draft guidance details the agency's recommendations for monitoring, identifying and addressing cybersecurity vulnerabilities in medical devices once they have entered the market.
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Chicago Surgery Center OK'd to Sue Malpractice Insurer for Refusing Settlement, Costing $4 Million
Cook County Record (01/13/2016) Herra, Dana

The 900 North Michigan Surgical Center can proceed in its bad faith lawsuit against its malpractice insurers, after a Chicago federal judge said there was sufficient evidence to believe the medical practice has a legal leg to stand on in contending its insurers needlessly cost the practice $4 million by deciding to take a malpractice case to trial and refuse a "sympathetic" plaintiff's offer to settle the matter for $1 million. The insurers, American Physicians Assurance Corporation Inc. and American Physicians Capital Inc., collectively referred to in court documents as APAC, had moved to dismiss claims of bad faith and breach of contract brought by the Surgery Center at 900 North Michigan Avenue LLC in federal Case No. 15-CV-04336.
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Medical Devices Linked to Outbreaks of Superbug Infections
SF Gate (01/13/16) Colliver, Victoria

More patients than previously reported have needlessly been infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria in recent years because of problems linked to a type of medical scope, according to a U.S. Senate health committee report released Wednesday. The report, which was critical of federal oversight of the devices, cited 25 outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant infections at 19 U.S. hospitals, including two centers in Los Angeles, and six in Europe.
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Physician Burnout Rates Increase Across Specialties: Study
Hospitals & Health Networks (01/16) O'Connor, Matt

Ensuring that hospital staff are satisfied and ready to take on the day is crucial to patient care and hospital effectiveness, but according to one study, some physicians are more unhappy than ever. Today, Medscape released its "Medscape Lifestyle Report 2016: Bias and Burnout" that surveyed 15,800 physicians from more than 25 specialties.
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Legislature's Bills Could Alter Hospital Surgery
Miami Today (01/12/16) Lackner, Catherine

Two bills currently before the Florida Legislature would have far-reaching consequences for traditional hospitals if they become law, observers say. One would increase the length of time patients could stay in ambulatory surgical centers; the limit now is 23 hours.
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Studies Find Improved Access to Surgery After Health Reform
General Surgery News (01/11/16) Frangou, Christina

Health care reform in the United States is improving access to surgical services and reducing surgical inequities, according to several studies presented at the 2015 American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress. "Our research shows that insurance expansion is working."
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