ASCA News Digest (March 15, 2016)

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March 15, 2016

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ASCA Highlights

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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.
  • Click here to learn about some of the biggest challenges facing ASCs with Todd Logan, National VP of Sales, AmkaiSolutions.
  • Times are changing for ASCs. Click here to learn 10 reasons why your ASC needs an EMR now!
  • Four Key Features to Look For in a Modern Office Management System. Click here to download the free eBook.
  • Make sure to follow AmkaiSolutions on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

ASCA Highlights


ASCA 2016 Early Registration Prices End April 1

Time is running out to attend ASCA 2016 at a discount. Sign up for ASCA’s annual meeting, May 19–22, in Dallas, Texas, by April 1 to receive $100 off the cost of registration and save up to $200 more by registering two or more attendees at the same time.

Don’t miss this opportunity to attend one of the ASC industry's largest meetings at a discounted cost. Sign up for ASCA 2016 before the April 1 early registration deadline.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will conduct two question-and-answer sessions for ASCs on Thursday, March 17, from 2:00-3:00 pm ET and Monday, March 21, from 2:00-3:00 pm ET. During these sessions, CDC experts will take questions from ASCs that are reporting health care personnel influenza vaccination summary data through the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting health care professionals and patients not to use drug products intended to be sterile produced and distributed by I.V. Specialty, Ltd. due to lack of sterility assurance. On March 7, the FDA recommended that I.V. Specialty cease sterile production until appropriate corrective actions were implemented and recall all non-expired drug products intended to be sterile. The company has neither ceased sterile production nor initiated a recall.
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March 31 is the last day to renew ASCA memberships for 2016 before important benefits, such as the ASC Focus magazine, ASCA's Medicare Rate Calculator and the weekly Government Affairs Update expire.

You can renew today using a check or credit card securely through the ASCA web site. To request a renewal invoice or to confirm that your facility has renewed for 2016, write Renee Harris-Etheridge at rharris@ascassociation.org.
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ASCA now posts feature articles from upcoming issues of ASC Focus magazine online as Digital Debut stories before they go to print. Learn effective ways to keep on top of drug shortages and costs in this Digital Debut from ASC Focus magazine.
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ASCA Benchmarking subscribers can now access their clinical and operational benchmarking reports for the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2015. To view the report, log into the ASCA Benchmarking portal and click on the "Reports" page.
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Staff competencies must be evaluated upon hiring and annually thereafter. Ann Geier, RN, CASC, chief nursing officer of SourceMed in Wallingford, Connecticut, will discuss how surveyors expect your ASC to manage this process and provide the resources you need to avoid citations in this critical operational area during ASCA’s next webinar, “Managing the Fundamentals of Competency.” The webinar will take place on Tuesday, March 22, at 1:00 pm ET.
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In conjunction with Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, ASCA and Preventing Colorectal Cancer launched a new social media campaign this week encouraging individuals to undergo routine colonoscopies. Help promote this campaign by liking and following ASCA on Facebook and Twitter, and sharing ASCA’s messages from the campaign.
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Industry News


Owners of Ambulatory Surgical Care Centers and Car Washes Are Urging a Legislative Committee to Repeal Recent Taxes Imposed on Their Businesses
Associated Press (03/09/16) Haigh, Susan

Connecticut lawmakers were urged Wednesday to roll back taxes they imposed last year on ambulatory surgical care centers and car washes to help balance the state's budget. Business owners said they're suffering from the taxes and predicted establishments that operate on slim margins will close.
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Florida Senate Passes Healthcare Transparency Bill
Associated Press (03/10/16)

The Florida Senate passed a bill on Thursday that would give residents more transparency on the costs of health care. The bill (HB 1175), which passed 27-1, requires Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration to contract with a vendor for a website that will show cost and quality of care.
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Mitigating Workplace Violence at Ambulatory Care Sites
Campus Safety Magazine (03/03/2016) Lynch, Alan

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified health care workers as being among the highest risk groups for workplace violence, but most of the attention up to this point has been on hospitals. Freestanding site health care workers also have this risk, and it may be somewhat elevated because police or security officers are not routinely assigned to these locations.
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First-of-Its-Kind Cataract Surgery Using Stem Cells Shows Promise
CBS News (03/09/16) Marcus, Mary Brophy

A new form of cataract surgery using a patient's stem cells has restored vision in babies for the first time, and someday the technique may hold promise for millions of older Americans who undergo traditional cataract eye surgery every year, say scientists who developed the new procedure. Eye experts across the country who spoke with CBS News are alternately excited and cautious about the findings, published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
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CMS Proposes to Test New Medicare Part B Prescription Drug Models to Improve Quality of Care and Deliver Better Value for Medicare Beneficiaries
CMS Press Release (03/08/16)

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a proposed rule to test new models to improve how Medicare Part B pays for prescription drugs and supports physicians and other clinicians in delivering higher quality care. CMS values public input and comments as part of the rulemaking process, and looks forward to continuing to work with stakeholders through the rulemaking process to maximize the value and learning from the proposed tests.
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Colon Cancer Patients Getting Younger, No One Knows Why
WTOP Radio (03/14/16) Wolfson, Paula

Austin Thomas is a 28-year-old dietitian and athlete. She is also a colon cancer survivor.
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Outpatient Joint Replacement
WeAreCentralPA.com (03/01/2016) Ames, Charlotte

You can walk into a hospital or surgery center in the morning, and walk out that afternoon with a new hip or knee. At Baylor University Medical Center, Surgeon Jay Mabrey says, "We've gotten it down to where we can actually measure your length of stay in the hospital in terms of hours not days."
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NQF Provides Recommendations on Health Information Technology and Patient Safety
National Quality Forum (03/03/16)

A new National Quality Forum (NQF) report provides guidance on how to measure the safety and safe use of health information technology (health IT). Widely viewed as critical to accelerating widespread improvements in health care quality and the shift to value-based care, the use of health IT has introduced new patient safety challenges into the health care system.
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