ASCA News Digest (June 14, 2016)

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June 14, 2016

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ASCA Highlights


ASCs Reduce Costs for Commercially Insured Patients by $38 Billion Annually

An analysis of private health insurance claims from across the country found ASCs reduce the cost of outpatient surgery by more than $38 billion dollars per year by providing a lower cost site of care compared to hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs). The research concluded that ASC prices are significantly lower than HOPD prices for the same procedures throughout the country, regardless of payer.
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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 attend every session that you wanted, order session recordings to review all of the education content that the conference had to offer.
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As a part of its continued efforts to assess compliance with the HIPAA Privacy, Security and Breach Notification Rules, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has begun its next phase of audits of covered entities and their business associates. Learn more about phase two of the program in the Digital Debut section of the new ASC Focus web site.
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4.1 PharMEDium  

Why 503B compounding makes sense?

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If you attended ASCA 2016 in Dallas, you have until June 30, 2016, to submit your continuing education (CE) credits online. To submit online, you will need your ID number located on the back of your attendee badge. If you no longer have your badge, you can request your ID number by sending an email to registration@ascassociation.org.
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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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ASCA has introduced a new and more convenient online payment system for its Regulatory Training Series. You can now purchase all 21 interactive courses through ASCA’s web site and start earning continuing education (CE) credits year round right from your computer.
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Last week, ASCA staff participated in a meeting with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding implementation of the compounding provisions of the Drug Quality and Security Act.

ASCA raised general concerns with any guidance that might serve to exacerbate drug shortages already being faced by our facilities. ASCA staff is currently reviewing the proposed guidance, and welcomes your questions or feedback. Write Kara Newbury at knewbury@ascassociation.org with any questions or concerns.
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Industry News


Providers Lag Behind in Transition to Value-Based Payment
Health Data Management (06/13/16) Slabodkin, Greg

Despite efforts to move the healthcare industry rapidly to value-based contracts, it appears that provider organizations are struggling to make the transition. Moving to the information systems and data requirements of the new reimbursement system, which rewards more coordinated, value-based care, is proving to be a daunting challenge, as organizations still try to remain economically viable in a fee-for-service world. A recent survey of provider organizations suggests that only a tiny percentage provide more than half of their care under value-based care arrangements, a target that federal agencies have set for the industry.
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States Attack a Severe Doctor Shortage
Stateline (06/10/16) Ollove, Michael

Earlier this month, dignitaries gathered at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro to cut the ribbon on a new medical school, only the second in a state with a dire shortage of doctors. The school will greet an incoming class of 115 students in August, but it will not belong to the state university.
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Doctors' Hand Hygiene Plummets Unless They Know They're Being Watched, Study Finds
ABC News (06/10/16) Barzilay, Julie

For doctors and nurses, hand hygiene is supposed to be as intuitive as breathing. But is this behavior really second-nature, or do health care workers need supervision to keep their hand cleaning habits on target?
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5.2 Sponsored Content  
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The Downside of Merging Doctors and Hospitals
New York Times (06/13/16) Frakt, Austin

Considering how much we already pay for health care, you have to wonder why doctors, hospitals and insurance providers so often fail to coordinate their patients’ care. Your primary care doctor, the hospital you visit and the various specialists you are sent to are typically part of different organizations that do not communicate effectively with one another. Balls get dropped and care suffers. In part, it’s a consequence of siloed medical practice.
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Healthcare Spending, Revenues Up Year Over Year in 2016 Q1
Healthcare Dive (06/09/16) Caspi, Heather

U.S. health care and social assistance revenue for the first quarter of 2016 was estimated at $597.3 billion, according to the latest Quarterly Services Survey from the U.S. Department of Commerce. That amounts to an increase of 0.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015 and 5.2 percent from the first quarter of 2015, the report found.
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CMS Provides Additional Resources to Improve Care and Prepare for the Quality Payment Program for Clinicians
CMS Blog (06/10/16) Conway, Patrick

Last year, an overwhelmingly bipartisan Congressional majority--with the support of the medical community and stakeholders--passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, or MACRA. The law ended more than a decade of last-minute fixes and 17 potential payment "cliffs" for thousands of Medicare fee-for-service clinicians, while moving away from paying for each service a physician provides towards a system that rewards physicians for coordinating their patient's care and improving the quality of care delivered.
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Medicare's Efforts to Curb Backlog of Appeals Not Sufficient, GAO Reports
Kaiser Health News (06/10/16) Jaffe, Susan

Despite interventions by Medicare officials, the number of appeals from health care providers and patients challenging denied claims continues to spiral, increasing the backlog of cases and delaying many decisions well beyond the timeframes set by law, according to a government study released Thursday. The report from the Government Accountability Office, said the backlog "shows no signs of abating."
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Affordable Care Act Brought Healthcare Coverage to Rural Areas
HealthPayer Intelligence (06/13/16) Gruessner, Vera

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has brought a fair amount of healthcare access and coverage to the American people. This does not just include those living in urban areas or the suburbs. Recent research suggests that the Affordable Care Act has made a significant impact on improving healthcare coverage among Americans residing in rural regions.
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U.S. Study Highlights Earnings Gap Among Black and White Male Physicians
EurekAlert (06/07/16)

White male physicians in the United States earn substantially more than black male physicians, even after accounting for factors such as medical specialty, experience, and hours worked, finds a study published by the BMJ today. The results also show that, while incomes of black and white female physicians are similar to each other, they are significantly lower than their male counterparts.
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Mastectomy Operations Jumped 36 Percent From 2005 Through 2013 Among Americans
Daily Star (NY) (06/11/16)

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports more American women with breast cancer — skyrocketed in recent years in 13 U.S. states — are choosing to have Mastectomy operation over more breast-sparing procedures. According to the federal analysis, breast cancer patients opt for more invasive procedures over breast-sparing ones. More women in the United States are undergoing Mastectomy operation, even though the overall rate of breast cancer has remained stable In sheer numbers, the mastectomy rate increased from 66 to 90 per 100,000 women during the study period. There was a particularly steep climb in double mastectomies, which more than tripled: From nine to 30 per 100,000 women. By 2013, double mastectomies accounted for one-third of all mastectomies.
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Promoting Colorectal Cancer Screening Through Community Organizations
BioMed Central Blog (06/10/16) Maxwell, Anette

Among cancers affecting both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States. But if everyone aged 50 years or older had regular screening tests, at least 60 percent of deaths from this cancer could be avoided.
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11 Deaths at Huntington Hospital Among Patients Infected by Dirty Scopes, City Report Says
Los Angeles Times (06/01/16) Petersen, Melody

Pasadena health officials said Wednesday that 16 patients were infected by dangerous bacteria from medical scopes at Huntington Hospital from January 2013 to August 2015, including 11 who have now died. Many of those patients were already severely ill, including some with cancer
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$10 Million Building to Double Surgical Rooms of Growing Practice
Albany Business Review (05/27/16) French, Marie J.

With wait times for new patients as long as eight weeks, a local specialty physician practice has plans to build a free-standing surgical center to help with high demand. "We really have so much pent up demand in our practice, so we've been recruiting (more physicians) just to get patients seen in the office and we've run out of office space, let alone room for procedures," said Debbie Hunt, the administrator of Saratoga Schenectady Endoscopy Center LLC.
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