ASCA News Digest (November 1, 2016)

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November 1, 2016





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ASCA Highlights


ASCA Seminar Can Help You Enhance Your Bottom Line

ASCA's new Finance and Accounting Seminar in San Antonio, Texas, taking place January 12–14, 2017, will provide ASC staffers with the tools they need to help run a successful surgery center in this age of growing costs, declining reimbursements and increased competition for market share.

Visit the meeting web site to learn more and register. ASCA members can save $200 be registering before December 13.
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently instituted a quality reporting program for ASCs that poses new challenges for perioperative leaders in the ASC setting.

During ASCA’s next webinar on Tuesday, November 15, at 1:00 pm ET, Gina Throneberry, RN, CASC, and Donna Slosburg, RN, CASC, will discuss the quality measures that ASCs need to report now and offer key definitions and answers to frequently asked questions about those measures. Register today!
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Earn continuing education (CE) credit for less than $3.00 per credit with ASCA's Regulatory Training Series. This program offers a collection of 24 on-demand courses that apply specifically to ASCs and are designed to train ASC staff on the most current regulations and standards of care. Eighteen of the interactive courses provide CE credits, and the entire series can be accessed online at any time.
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One Medical Passport

The number of anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) surgeries, one of the most common spine procedures performed in the US today, continues to rise. ACDF can be performed in the ASC environment with equivalent safety compared with safety in the inpatient hospital setting.

Visit the ASC Focus web site to learn about how to identify appropriate candidates for ACDF, the importance of education, pertinent quality metrics and more.
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its October addenda which provides fourth quarter updates to the ASC payment system. ASCA has updated its payment resources to reflect these changes. Quarterly changes are primarily made to reimbursement rates for many of the ancillary codes and are reflected in the revised rate calculator.

Please pay close attention to the different versions of the rate documents, particularly if you are looking at ancillary codes, and use the fourth quarter resources for any claims on or after October 1, 2016.

For more information, contact Kara Newbury at knewbury@ascassociation.org.
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Larsen Billing Service

Industry News


Survey: 29 Percent of Physicians Still Haven't Heard of MACRA
Healthcare Dive (10/31/16) Caspi, Heather

A new Medscape study, using survey data collected from September 12-30, 2016, found most respondents either haven’t heard of or don't know much about MACRA or MIPS. Of the responding physicians, 28.6 percent said they have not heard of MACRA and 39.2 percent said they have but don't know a lot about it.
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HSTpathways Addresses Impact of MACRA Final Rule on Ambulatory Surgery Centers
PR Web (10/28/16)

With the recent release of the Final Rule for the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), a new era of value-based payment models has arrived. Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) receive only a few direct mentions in the Final Rule and associated comments.
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NJAASC Sends Delegation to Washington D.C. to Garner Support for Two Bills to Improve Access to Care
NJ.com (10/24/16) Lesso, Loreen

The New Jersey Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers (NJAASC) sent a delegation to Washington D.C. in September 2016 to meet with the legislative staff of members of New Jersey's U.S. congressional delegation and U.S. senators to advocate for two bills--H.R. 1453, the "Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act of 2015" and H.R. 1220, the "Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2015"--that would provide for improved access to care in ambulatory surgery centers settings. The New Jersey delegation split into two groups.
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Vermont All-Payer ACO Model Joins Growing State-Based Efforts to Deliver Better Health Care, Reduce Costs
CMS Press Release (10/26/16)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the state of Vermont jointly announced today the Vermont All-Payer Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Model, a new initiative aimed at accelerating delivery system reform for Vermont residents. The Vermont All-Payer ACO Model aims to transform health care for the entire state and its population.
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Doctor Participation Down Slightly as Obamacare Enrollment Begins
Forbes (10/31/16) Japsen, Bruce

Even as some of the nation's largest health insurers scale back participation on public exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, doctors and hospitals expect similar levels of engagement in 2017 as this year. The number of doctors participating in health plans on public exchanges dipped 4 percent to 57 percent of physicians in "health insurance plans offered in the federal or state exchanges under the ACA," SERMO, a doctor social media network said.
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PolicyStat  

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Increased Premium Cataract Surgery Options Boost Outcomes, Conversions
Ocular Surgery News (10/25/16)

The premium IOL landscape has expanded dramatically in recent years with the advent of new multifocal, trifocal, toric and accommodating lenses and, most recently, an extended depth of focus lens. Cataract surgeons now have more opportunities to maximize visual outcomes and increase the rate at which patients choose premium IOLs over standard monofocal implants.
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CMS Announces Additional Opportunities for Clinicians to Join Innovative Care Approaches Under the Quality Payment Program
CMS Press Release (10/25/16)

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new opportunities for clinicians to join Advanced Alternative Payment Models (APMs) developed by the CMS Innovation Center to improve care and potentially earn an incentive payment under the Quality Payment Program created through the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). The Quality Payment Program rewards clinicians with sufficient participation in Advanced APMs that align incentives for high-quality, patient-centered care.
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Foundation Healthcare Announces the Sale of Its Minority-Owned Surgery Centers
PR Newswire (10/27/16)

Foundation HealthCare, Inc., which is an owner and operator of surgical hospitals, announced today the Company has sold the non-controlling interests it owned in seven ambulatory surgery centers and substantially all the assets of Foundation Surgery Management, LLC to Healthcrest Surgical Partners, LLC. The principals of Healthcrest were the management of the Company's ASC division prior to the transaction.
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State Variation in Electronic Sharing of Information in Physician Offices: United States, 2015
CDC NCHS Data Brief (10/27/16) No. 261 Jamoom, Eric W.; Yang, Ninee

In 2015, roughly one-third of all office-based physicians had electronically sent, received, integrated, or searched for patient health information from other providers. About 1 in 10 physicians had performed all four of these activities of electronic sharing of patient health information with other providers.
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Study: Dangerous Bacteria Can End Up on Nurses' Scrubs
CIDRAP (10/27/16) Dall, Chris

A new study shows that bacteria that can cause serious infections frequently spread from patients in intensive care units (ICUs) to nurses' scrubs and the environment, a finding that researchers say highlights the complexity of bacterial transmission and the importance of hospital infection control practices. The study, presented today at IDWeek2016, was a randomized controlled trial conducted at Duke University Hospital that included 167 ICU patients who received care from 40 nurses during three separate 12-hour shifts, for a total of 120 shifts.
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