ASCA News Digest (July 6, 2016)

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July 6, 2016

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ASCA Highlights


ASCA Payment Resources Updated to Reflect Medicare’s Third Quarter Rate Update

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its July addenda that provides third quarter (Q3) updates to the ASC payment system. ASCA has updated its payment resources to reflect these changes. Quarterly changes are made primarily to reimbursement rates for many of the ancillary codes. Please pay close attention to the different versions of the rate documents, particularly if you are looking at ancillary codes, and use the third quarter resources for any claims on or after July 1, 2016.
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The data collection period for the second quarter (Q2) of the 2016 ASCA Benchmarking Program is now open and will close on July 31. If you have not purchased your 2016 subscription yet, there is still time to sign up. ASCA Benchmarking features significant improvements for the 2016 program, including dynamic filtering, real-time data review and a streamlined, easy-to-complete survey design.
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Join hundreds of ASCs from around the country August 8–12 in celebrating National ASC Week. ASCA can help you set up a tour of your center with an elected official. Tours are the best way to show the great work you do. Contact Danielle Kaster at dkaster@ascassociation.org for additional information on ASC Week or help setting up a facility tour.
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4.1 PharMEDium  

Why 503B compounding makes sense?

PharMEDium is the leading provider of pharmacy-outsourced, ready to use compounded sterile preparations.  PharMEDium helps to:  mitigate medication supply issues, enhance patient safety efforts, reduce drug waste and simplify regulatory compliance.  PharMEDium, part of AmerisourceBergen, serves 3,000+ hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers through our state-of-the-art FDA Registered 503B Outsourcing Facilities.


Environmental experts say that ASCs have an opportunity to extend their impact outside of the facility. Visit the ASC Focus web site to read about how environmental stewardship can translate to financial savings, improved employee recruitment and retention.
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Let us know what you would like to see at ASCA 2017, May 3–6, in Washington, DC. Your ideas for session topics and speakers help us determine what educational content will be most meaningful to attendees. Topic and speaker submissions for ASCA 2017 will be accepted through July 31, 2016.
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AW0380-PolicyStat Product Showcase   PolicyStat Makes Surveys Easy and Pain Free


PolicyStat is policy management software that gets your staff the information they need when they need it. You're too busy to spend time searching for the most up to date policies and procedures. Stop searching and get consistently positive survey results with PolicyStat. Learn More


Last week, ASCA submitted comments in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). In the MACRA legislation, Congress streamlined these programs into a single framework to help clinicians transition to payments based on value instead of payments volume. The proposed rule would implement changes through this unified framework known as the Quality Payment Program.

In its comment letter, ASCA raised concerns regarding the weight put on the use of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT), specifically in the Advancing Care Information (ACI) category. Since most ASCs currently are not equipped with CEHRT, ASCA requested that ASC physicians be exempt from this portion of the overall calculation.
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Industry News


Report: Patients' Health Costs Jumped 13 Percent in 2015
Physician's Money Digest (06/16) Kaltwasser, Jared

Patients are feeling more of a squeeze when it comes to funding their healthcare, according to a new report. TransUnion Healthcare on Tuesday released a report showing patient deductibles and out-of-pocket costs both increased by 13 percent between 2014 and 2015.
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Rockford Ambulatory Surgery Center: An Outpatient Alternative
Northwest Quarterly (07/01/16) Rocha, Toni

Just a few decades ago, people who were told they needed surgery automatically assumed it would be performed in a hospital. As the trend toward increased outpatient surgeries expanded, on the strength of evolving technology in the form of minimally invasive equipment and methodology, limited-focus surgery centers such as Rockford Ambulatory Surgery Center (RASC) were developed.
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Doctors Less Satisfied, More Burned Out With Electronic Records
Reuters (06/28/16) Doyle, Kathryn

Most doctors who use electronic health records and order entry software tend to be less satisfied with how much time they spend on clerical tasks and are at higher risk of burnout than others, according to a new study. Electronic health records--EHR for short--are "focused on documentation for billing as opposed to efficient and effective documentation of clinical care," said Dr. Ann O'Malley of Mathematica Policy Research in Washington, D.C., who was not part of the new study.
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House Reps Introduce Healthcare Transparency, Cost Info Bill
RevCycle Intelligence (06/27/16) Belliveau, Jacqueline

With more individuals covered by a health insurance plan and high-deductible arrangements on the rise, patients and beneficiaries are increasingly demanding more health care transparency when it comes to costs of services and out-of-pocket expenses. In response to this call for action, Representatives Michael Burgess (R-TX), MD, and Gene Green (D-TX) have introduced the Healthcare Price Transparency Promotion Act of 2016, which would require hospitals and health insurers to provide health care cost information to patients and beneficiaries before the point of care.
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Patient Experience Is Key Focus at Western Connecticut Orthopedic Surgical Center
HamletHub -Ridgefield (06/13/16) Fitzpatrick, Kate

For decades, word of mouth advice has been important in the health care field, where people advise family and friends on their person experiences, both good and bad, about practitioners, procedures, and results. That communication has been a key influence for many years on how people choose their care.
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CMS' Open Payments Program Posts 2015 Financial Data
CMS Press Release (06/30/16)

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published 2015 Open Payments data, along with newly submitted and updated payment records for the 2013 and 2014 reporting periods, at https://openpaymentsdata.cms.gov/. The Open Payments program (sometimes called the "Sunshine Act") requires that transfers of value by manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologicals, and medical supplies that are paid to physicians and teaching hospitals will be published on a public website.
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Make Price Transparency a Priority in Health Care
Boston Globe (07/03/16) Stergios, Jim; Anthony, Barbara

Massachusetts' health care industry is troublingly immune to price competition. In what other market can a provider offer the same product, with the same quality, at a higher cost than other vendors and not go out of business?
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First Outpatient Spinal Surgery Performed at Seaside Surgery Center
Naples Daily News (FL) (06/29/16) Cooper, Ginny

According to his wife, Courtney Eagleston is used to being a "guinea pig." The 79-year-old had an innovative spinal surgery several years ago, fusing vertebrae from the L2 to the sacrum.
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CDC Releases 2017 ICD-10-CM Codes
ICD10Monitor.com (06/27/16) Johnson, Laurie M.

Since the release of the 2017 ICD-10-PCS codes, the health care vendor community has been waiting with bated breath for the 2017 ICD-10-CM codes. Now they're here.
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HHS Proposes to Streamline Medicare Appeals Process
Kaiser Health News (06/29/16) Jaffe, Susan

The Department of Health and Human Services Tuesday proposed key changes in the Medicare appeals process to help reduce the backlog of more than 700,000 cases. The measures "will help us get a leg up on this problem," said Nancy Griswold, chief law judge of the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals.
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CMS Finalizes Rule Giving Providers and Employers Improved Access to Information for Better Patient Care
CMS Press Release (07/01/16)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today finalized new rules that will enrich the Qualified Entity Program by expanding access to analyses and data that will help providers, employers, and others make more informed decisions about care delivery and quality improvement. The new rules, as required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), allow organizations approved as qualified entities to confidentially share or sell analyses of Medicare and private sector claims data to providers, employers, and other groups who can use the data to support improved care.
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Tennessee's Certificate Of Need New Process Becomes Effective Friday
Chattanoogan (06/30/16)

A new law modernizing Tennessee Certificate of Need program to help reduce the cost of health care and provide greater access to citizens is among a wide variety of laws that are set to become effective on Friday. The measure, sponsored by Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) and co-sponsored by Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Bo Watson (R-Hixson), makes changes, including removing several services from requiring certificates of need, as well as adding flexibility to the way that hospitals and physicians groups operate in the state.
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