ASCA News Digest (July 19, 2016)

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July 19, 2016

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Order ASCA 2016 Session Recordings

Order the entire package of all of the ASCA 2016 session recordings on ASCA's Learning Center. If you could not make it to the meeting or if you were unable to sit in on every session that you wanted to attend, order session recordings to review all of the educational content that you missed.
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ASCA’s Salary and Benefits Survey can be a valuable tool during budget season. The most recent survey results include data on 20 ASC job positions, employee benefits and ASC demographics.

ASCs that did not participate in the survey last year or responded to fewer than 50 percent of the questions, can purchase online access to the final results using the "Purchase Results" button on the Salary and Benefits Survey Page.
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The data collection period for the second quarter (Q2) of the 2016 ASCA Benchmarking Program closes on Sunday, July 31. If you have not purchased your 2016 subscription yet, there is still time to sign up and submit your data.
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AW0380-PolicyStat Product Showcase  

Is maintaining your accreditation causing you stress?

Stay compliant with any accreditation body or association by managing your policies and procedures effectively. Take the first step–get your policies and procedures organized with PolicyStat.


With phase two of the HIPAA audit program underway, ASCs should ensure they have all the resources they need to comply. Earlier this year, ASCA released the HIPAA Workbook for ASCs to assist its members in achieving compliance. The workbook is designed specifically for use within the ASC setting and provides comprehensive tools and essential information.

This resource is available for free to all facility and corporate members of ASCA.
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Courses on hand hygiene, latex allergy and healthcare-related influenza were recently added to ASCA's Regulatory Training Series. You can order all 24 courses online now and start earning continuing education (CE) credit for less than $3 each.
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For the past decade, ASCA has helped ASCs across the country to open their doors on National ASC Day and educate the public and key policymakers on the high-quality, cost-efficient care that ASCs provide to millions of Americans each year. This year, ASCA will celebrate National ASC Week, August 8–12, to help ASCs increase awareness and host facility tours. Learn more about National ASC Week on the ASC Focus web site.
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ASCA would like to thank everyone who participated in a recent Independent Facility Member Survey. We truly value the information provided by our members. It will be integral in helping us provide an experience that meets the standards of excellence that our members expect.

Six survey participants have been randomly selected to receive free gift cards in appreciation of their time and insights. The names of the winners have been added to ASCA’s web site.
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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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US Representatives Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Kristi Noem (R-SD), and Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) joined a growing list of supporters for the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act of 2015 (H.R. 1453/S. 2071). The legislation, which now has 81 cosponsors in the House and seven in the Senate, would change the Medicare inflationary update factor that contributes to the growing disparity between ASC and HOPD payments.
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Industry News


Pennsylvania Ambulatory Surgery Center Alerts 13K Patients to Ransomware Attack
HIPAA Journal (07/15/16)

Langhorne, PA-based Ambulatory Surgery Center at St. Mary has announced that it was the victim of a ransomware attack on June 1, 2016, according to the Bucks County Courier Times. The IT department was alerted to the ransomware infection by staff members who were prevented from accessing files stored on its computer network.
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2015-2025 Projections of National Health Expenditures Data Released
CMS Press Release (07/13/16)

Total health care spending growth is expected to average 5.8 percent annually over 2015-2025, according to a report published today as a 'Web First' by Health Affairs and authored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) Office of the Actuary (OACT). Projected national health spending growth remains lower than the average over previous two decades before 2008 (nearly 8 percent).
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Medicare Plans May Be More Competitive Than the DOJ Thinks—Here's Why It Matters
CNBC (07/17/16) Coombs, Bertha

The Department of Justice is widely expected to be nearing a decision on Aetna's $34 billion deal with Humana and Anthem's $54 billion agreement to buy Cigna, one year after the mega-health insurance mergers were announced. For months, analysts thought the Anthem-Cigna deal was the more challenged of the two when it comes to regulatory approval, because of the potential impact their combination would have on competition in the commercial large-employer market.
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CMS' Slavitt Acknowledges Possibility of MACRA Delay
Healthcare Informatics (07/13/16) Leventhal, Rajiv

During a July 13 U.S. Senate Committee on Finance hearing on the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt left open the possibility that the new sweeping changes set to overhaul physician payment could be pushed back from the intended start date of Jan. 1, 2017. The Congressional hearing, led by Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR), set out to give Slavitt a chance to describe MACRA's implementation efforts and give members of Congress a chance to address issues and concerns towards the CMS head.
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New Tool Searches Health Prices by Doctor, Insurance
USA Today (07/12/16) O'Donnell, Jayne; Ungar, Laura

Starting Tuesday, consumers worried about high out-of-pocket health costs can search for procedure prices ranging from knee surgeries to vasectomies, based on their doctor and type of insurance so they can eliminate most of the surprise bills that show up long after their wounds have healed. Amino, a health data company that launched last fall, was already helping connect patients to doctors in their areas based on quality data.
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Many New ICD-10-PCS Codes – Preparation and Follow-Through Is Key
ICD10Monitor.com (07/11/16) Bryant, Gloryanne

Just like with the full implementation of ICD-10 here in the United States last October, we need to prepare for this change as well. One of the first steps to attend to is to review the CMS 2017 ICD-10 PCS files online at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coding/ICD10/2017-ICD-10-PCS-and-GEMs.html.
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Kentucky Leads the Nation in Colon Cancer
Richmond Register (07/13/16)

All too often Kentuckians don't get screened for colon cancer because of fear, embarrassment, lack of access and cost concerns. What many may not know is that preventive screenings are covered by most health plans, and a decision to get screened could save your life.
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Virtual Reality Providing Cutting-Edge Training for Surgeons
WGN-TV (07/05/16)

Residents at Rush University Medical Center will soon be using virtual reality to practice surgical techniques instead of practicing on pigs. Residents will use a joystick or surgical tools while they see a virtual patient through a screen.
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Health Care Has Improved, Study Finds, But the Changes Are Small
Washington Post (07/14/16) Beachum, Lateshia

The quality of health care has gotten better in many communities across the country, though the degree of change has been relatively small, according to a national study released Thursday. Researchers for the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund, who looked at conditions in 306 communities, found that health systems improved more than they worsened between 2011 and 2014.
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