ASCA News Digest (July 26, 2016)

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July 26, 2016

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ASCA Highlights


Seven Days Left to Submit Q2 Data for ASCA Benchmarking

The data collection period for the second quarter (Q2) of the 2016 ASCA Benchmarking Program ends this Sunday, July 31. Benchmarking subscribers who have not submitted their data should start today. If you haven't subscribed yet, you can sign up online now and submit your data before the second quarter ends.
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In April, insurance giant Aetna won $37.4 million in a jury verdict against Bay Area Surgical Management (BASM) that alleged that the firm recruited physicians to refer their patients for out-of-network procedures at overblown prices and billed Aetna millions of dollars fraudulently.

While stories like this generate a lot of negative press, there are times when an ASC should consider going out-of-network. Visit the ASC Focus web site to learn about the benefits and drawbacks.
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The ASCA Capitol Fly-In, September 12–13, is less than two months away. This important event brings together ASC industry leaders, trains them on how to best advocate for ASCs, and then sends them to Capitol Hill to ask their members of Congress to support legislation that would benefit ASCs nationwide. It is one of the most effective ways to ensure that ASCs remain a viable health care option. Register today.
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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.


ASCA recently added "The Importance of Hand Hygiene Compliance" to its online Regulatory Training Series. Visit ASCA’s web site today to see what’s covered in each of the 24 courses and order them all online using the new “Purchase Now” button.
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ASCA’s Medicare payment resources have been updated to reflect changes in the proposed 2017 payment rule. Visit ASCA’s web site for access to in-depth analysis of the 2017 Proposed Rule, Medicare Rate Calculator and more. These resources are available only to ASCA members.
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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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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 Sunday, July 31, 2016.
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An in-depth analysis of the 2017 Proposed ASC Payment Rule is now available. Visit the “Medicare Payment Resources” page on ASCA’s web site for a table that summarizes select proposals from the ASC rule. The table also explains the potential impact of each proposal on ASCs.

These resources are available to ASCA members only.
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Industry News


9 Ways to Cut Down on Medical Waste
Healthcare Dive (07/12/16) Henry, Julie

According to a recent report published by MarketsandMarkets, medical waste management market costs are expected to increase from $10.3 billion in 2015 to $13.3 billion in 2020. Appropriate waste management would likely have a huge impact on those numbers.
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11 Million Patient Record Breaches Make June Worst Month for Information Security in 2016
Healthcare IT News (07/16) McCarthy, Jack

The number of health care security attacks continues to grow with breaches of over 11 million patient records in June, more than any other month this year, according to a report from security firm Protenus and DataBreaches.net. The June breaches totaled 11,061,649 patient records, representing 23 of 29 incidents for which exact numbers were available.
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Olympus Told Its U.S. Executives No Warning About Tainted Medical Scopes Was Needed, Despite Superbug Outbreaks
Los Angeles Times (07/21/16) Terhune, Chad

Faced with superbug outbreaks in three countries by early 2013, Japanese device giant Olympus Corp. told U.S. executives not to issue a broad warning to American hospitals about potentially deadly infections from tainted medical scopes, internal emails show. After two dozen infections were reported in French and Dutch hospitals, the company alerted European customers in January 2013 that a scope it manufactured could become contaminated.
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Justice Department Sues to Block Two Health Care Mega-Mergers
Washington Post (07/21/16) Merle, Renae; Johnson, Carolyn Y.

The Obama administration on Thursday sued to block two blockbuster mergers involving health insurers, setting up a potential showdown with four of the nation's largest carriers covering tens of millions of individuals and families. Allowing Anthem's $54 billion acquisition of Cigna, the largest health insurance merger in history, and Aetna's $37 billion deal to buy Humana, would harm consumers by increasing premiums, reducing benefits and slashing competition in many parts of the country, the Justice Department said in two lawsuits filed Thursday.
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For Surgeons, Talking About Adverse Events Can Be Difficult: Study
Kaiser Health News (07/20/16) Tan, Zhai Yun

Dr. Thomas Gallagher has been through many tough conversations with patients. He remembers once standing in front of a patient and the patient's family, preparing to tell them about a mistake that had occurred.
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$42 Billion Saved in Medicare and Medicaid Primarily Through Prevention
CMS Blog (07/20/16) Agrawal, Shantanu

Today, CMS released a report showing that investments made in program integrity activities--which include stamping out fraud and deterring and reducing other improper payments--pay off for taxpayers and beneficiaries. From October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2014 (Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 and FY 2014), every dollar invested in CMS' Medicare program integrity efforts saved $12.40 for the Medicare program.
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Humana to Leave 'Substantially All' ObamaCare Markets
The Hill (07/21/16) Ferris, Sarah

Humana, one of the nation's top health insurers, is pulling out of ObamaCare plans in all but a handful of states after a year of nearly $1 billion in losses. The company plans to exit nearly half of the markets next year, it announced during an earnings report Thursday.
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Surgery Center Says Transparent Pricing Is the Future
Newsplex.com (07/22/16) Stuart, Courteney

For many patients, the first clue about how much a medical treatment costs is when the bills arrive. The Monticello Community Surgery Center is working to change that paradigm by posting prices of various outpatient procedures prominently on its website.
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