ASCA News Digest (March 29, 2016)

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March 29, 2016

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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.
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ASCA Highlights


Four Days Left to Save $100 on ASCA 2016

Early registration discounts for ASCA 2016, May 19–22, in Dallas, end this Friday, April 1. Sign up for the meeting before the end of this week to receive a $100 discount on one of the largest and most comprehensive ASC events of the year. ASCA members can save an additional $200 by registering two or more attendees at the same time.
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ASCA has upgraded its clinical and operational benchmarking platform to include several new features, including dynamic filtering capabilities, streamlined data entry and real-time results. The move to this upgraded platform comes in response to feedback ASCA received from subscribers and the availability of more advanced benchmarking technology.

The data collection period for the first quarter (Q1) of the 2016 ASCA Benchmarking Program opens April 1. If you have not already, make sure to sign up for the 2016 survey.
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In a year filled with change and uncertainty in health care, ASCA is offering ASC professionals a one-stop shop where they can get everything they need to manage their facility more effectively and make critical decisions that will ensure their ASC’s future success. ASCA 2016, May 19–22 at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, is that destination.

Read about all that ASCA 2016 has to offer in this Digital Debut from ASC Focus magazine.
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March 31 is the last day to renew ASCA memberships for 2016 before important benefits, such as subscription to ASC Focus magazine, access to 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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Reliable Drug Pharmacy is recalling all unexpired lots of compounded products due to concern of lack of quality assurance and potential mislabeling. All unexpired lots are subject to the recall. All recalled products were distributed to patients and veterinarians within California, and a few products were shipped to Hawaii, New Mexico, and Michigan. The recall was issued after a series of onsite inspections by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
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Participants in ASCA’s 2016 Capitol Fly-In, June 13-14 and September 12-13, will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with their members of Congress, discuss the impact of current ASC legislation with industry experts and network with ASCA members from across the country. Most importantly, Fly-In participants will help strengthen the collective voice of the ASC community.

If you have not already, ask your state leader which date your state is attending and register today.
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ASCA recently responded to the Workers Compensation Research Institute’s (WCRI) request for comments on three separate draft reports: Payments to Ambulatory Surgery Centers, 2nd Edition, Comparing Payments to Ambulatory Surgery Centers and Hospital Outpatient Departments, 2nd Edition, and Crossing State Lines for Ambulatory Surgical Care: Exploring Claims from New York.

ASCA raised many concerns with the drafts, including report language. A summary of these concerns can be found on ASCA’s web site.
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Industry News


Poor Controls Leave Healthcare.gov, State Exchanges Vulnerable
Federal Times (03/25/16) Boyd, Aaron

Since its inception, Healthcare.gov has been a prime target for hackers looking to gather sensitive information on American citizens. While the system has hit some bumps along the way, there has yet to be a significant breach and exfiltration of data, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office.
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FDA Announces Enhanced Warnings for IR Opioid Pain Medications Related to Risks of Misuse, Abuse, Addiction, Overdose and Death
FDA News Release (03/22/16)

In a continuing effort to educate prescribers and patients about the potential risks related to opioid use, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced required class-wide safety labeling changes for immediate-release (IR) opioid pain medications. Among the changes, the FDA is requiring a new boxed warning about the serious risks of misuse, abuse, addiction, overdose and death.
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Colorectal Cancer: What You Should Know
FDA Consumer Updates (03/22/2016)

Last year in the United States, more than 136,000 people were diagnosed with—and more than 50,000 died from—colorectal cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. It is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, striking some groups more often than others.
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N.Y. Legislature Mulling Collective Bargaining Bill for MDs
General Surgery News (03/24/16) Smith, Monica J.

Over the past 40 years, physicians have increasingly lost market power as insurance providers have gained it, to the point where many doctors believe they have little choice but to enter into take-it-or-leave-it contracts of adhesion with no room for negotiation. But a bill in Albany that arose from dissatisfaction with this marketplace imbalance would allow physicians to bargain collectively, with tight scrutiny and oversight by the state of New York, and could be a step toward restoring some degree of control to physicians.
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Savings to Medicare at Stake as 'Site Neutral' Discussions Continue
The Hill (03/22/16) Kenney, Kelly

Last fall, Congress passed legislation to adopt 'site neutral' payments to medical providers who treat Medicare patients. That means that regardless of where a patient is treated, providers would receive a set payment for care and the patient's cost-sharing would be the same, as well.
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HealthEast Partners With Surgical Care Affiliates in St. Paul, Minnesota
EconoTimes (03/21/16)

Surgical Care Affiliates, Inc. has partnered with HealthEast in St. Paul, Minnesota, effective March 1, 2016 on a merger of HealthEast's Midway Surgery Center and Maplewood Surgery Center, a joint venture owned by HealthEast, SCA, and physician investors. The merger strengthens SCA's and HealthEast's position in the St. Paul market as a provider of high quality, low cost surgical services.
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Device Maker Olympus Hiked Prices for Scopes as Superbug Infections Spread
Kaiser Health News (03/25/16) Terhune, Chad; Petersen, Melody

Soon after doctors at UCLA's Ronald Reagan Medical Center traced deadly infections to tainted medical scopes last year, they pressed the device maker to lend them replacements. But Olympus Corp. refused.
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Burbank-Based Nonprofit Seeks to Help Local Children in Need of Surgery
Los Angeles Times (03/17/16) Carpio, Anthony Clark

A local nonprofit is looking to help more than a dozen children who are in need of surgery. Mending Kids is currently accepting applications for free surgeries for children who require cosmetic, orthopedic or general outpatient surgeries that are too expensive for some families to afford, said Cristina Farrut, director of patient services for the Burbank-based nonprofit.
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Joint Commission: Sentinel Event Statistics Updated, Released Through End of 2015
Joint Commission (03/02/16)

The Joint Commission updated its sentinel event statistics through the end of 2015. The Joint Commission reviewed a total of 936 sentinel events through the end of 2015.
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