ASCA News Digest (November 29, 2016)

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November 29, 2016





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ASCA Highlights


Early Registration Discounts for Winter Seminars End in Less Than Two Weeks

Registration prices go up $100 after December 12 for ASCA's three winter seminars, taking place January 12–14 in San Antonio. Choose from the Finance & Accounting Seminar, Regulatory & Legal Risk Seminar and the Coding & Reimbursement Seminar. You will learn from industry experts how to address your ASC's biggest challenges. There is something for every member of your staff: administrators and clinical staff, coders, billers, business office managers and physicians.
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If you want to make sure your ASC gets paid appropriately and adheres to Medicare's quality reporting requirements in 2017, don't miss ASCA's two December webinars.

"Understanding Medicare’s 2017 Final Payment Rule" on December 6 will feature Kara Newbury, ASCA’s regulatory counsel. She will discuss how ASC payment rates will change in 2017, what new procedures were added to the final list of those eligible to be performed on Medicare patients in the ASC setting and 2017 quality reporting requirements.

"CPT® Changes 2017: What's New, Revised and Deleted" on December 13 will feature Cristina Bentin, president of Coding Compliance Management. She will get you up to date on the new, revised and deleted American Medical Association (AMA) CPT codes effective for 2017 and AMA's reporting guidelines.

Register for both programs today.
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ASCA's HIPAA Workbook for ASCs is still available free to members of ASCA. The workbook is designed specifically for use within ASCs and provides comprehensive tools and essential information to help your ASC comply with the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). With an in-depth review of the HIPAA requirements and easy-to-use and customizable forms and worksheets, this workbook is the ideal tool for designing, evaluating and strengthening your ASC’s compliance program. Download the workbook.
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ASCA Benchmarking, an online clinical and operational benchmarking program, allows you to compare your ASC’s numbers with national performance statistics on clinical outcomes, staff indicators and billing performance. You can still subscribe to the 2016 survey, submit your ASC's Q4 2016 data between January 1–31, 2017, and review the findings for all ASCs from the full year in mid-February.

Now is also a good time to purchase a 2017 subscription. It is the same price as a 2016 subscription. Learn more and sign up today.
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Looking to improve your ASC's infection prevention performance? Attend ASCA 2017, May 3–6 in Washington, DC. On May 4, there is a full day of sessions dedicated to infection prevention on topics that include an infection preventionist's roles, performing an infection prevention risk assessment, endoscope reprocessing and sterilization quality control. Register today.
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One Medical Passport

ASCA's Chief Executive Officer Bill Prentice will speak at the University of Alabama at Birmingham's (UAB) Ambulatory and Non-acute Care Summit on January 27, 2017, in Birmingham, Alabama. The registration fee is $75 and includes a full day of presentations, breakfast, lunch and a cocktail reception.
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With social media usage on the rise, there is increasing pressure on ASCs to develop an online presence. But doing so can bring potential risks.

Go to the ASC Focus web site and learn eight common mistakes to avoid when developing an online presence.
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PolicyStat  

Are your Medicare policies current?

Demonstrating continuous compliance with Medicare standards just got a whole lot better. PolicyStat makes it easy to keep policies current, ensuring your patients receive the safest and highest quality care. Stop wondering if your policies are current and start managing them more efficiently.

Learn More


Congress recently returned to Washington, DC, and U.S. Representatives Mark Amodei (R-NV) and Andy Harris, MD (R-MD), joined a growing list of supporters for the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act of 2015 (H.R. 1453/S. 2071). The legislation, which now has 91 cosponsors in the House and eight in the Senate, would change the Medicare inflationary update factor that contributes to the growing disparity between ASC and HOPD payments. Click here to read a full description of the legislation and the ways it helps protect patient access to care in the ASC setting.

Congressman Amodei signed on to the legislation as a direct result of ASCA member Tom Mallon's participation in the ASCA Capitol Fly-in. Your help is needed to continue building momentum for this important piece of legislation—building support now helps our congressional champions hit the ground running in the 115th Congress. Please take a moment to write your members of Congress urging them to support the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act of 2015. ASCA can also help you invite and set up a tour of your center for your representative or senators.

For more information or assistance connecting with your legislators, contact Danielle Kaster at dkaster@ascassociation.org.
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Industry News


Poll: Americans Want Trump to First Focus on Healthcare
The Hill (11/17/16) Hensch, Mark

Americans say health care is the issue President-elect Donald Trump should tackle first upon entering office, according to a poll released Thursday. Twenty-one percent in the Reuters/Ipsos survey hope Trump makes the issue his top priority after his inauguration, followed by 16 percent who hope jobs would headline Trump’s agenda and 14 percent who want a focus on immigration.
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Larsen Billing Service
Independent Doctors Say Hospital Thwarts Competition
Burlington Free Press (11/28/16) D'Ambrosio, Dan

Days after they opened Northeastern Reproductive Medicine in a glass-and-granite building on Water Tower Hill, Doctors Christine Murray and Peter Casson were sued by the University of Vermont Medical Center. The complaint drafted by Eric Miller--now U.S. attorney for Vermont--alleged that Murray and Casson tried to steal patients from the medical center, where they had run the infertility program for nearly two decades.
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Report: Employees' Out-of-Pocket Health Costs Outpace National Average
Tennessean (11/22/16) Fletcher, Holly

The total spending per person covered in employer-sponsored health insurance in Tennessee in 2015 was below the national average, but people paid more out-of-pocket than in other states, according to a new study. Tennesseans who get their insurance through work spent an average of $928 in out-of-pocket costs in 2015--$115 more than the national average, per an annual report from the Health Care Cost Institute.
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Eye Robot: This Mechanical Surgeon Can Carry Out Cataract Surgery With Ultra-Precise Cuts
Digital Trends (11/14/16) Dormehl, Luke

Product design and development firm Cambridge Consultants created a medical robot capable of performing one of the world's most common but delicate operations: cataract surgery. Carried out around 20 million times per year, this life-changing surgery helps restore sight when a patient develops cataracts, turning their eye cloudy and making it hard for them to see.
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Anthem Argues Fortune 500 Will Not Suffer From Cigna Deal
Reuters (11/22/16) Bartz, Diane

Anthem Inc and the U.S. Justice Department dug in their heels on Monday in court over whether the lower prices the health insurer expects to negotiate after buying smaller rival Cigna Corp are an efficiency that benefits customers or an antitrust violation. In the first phase of what could be a two-stage trial, a lawyer for Anthem argued that the $45-billion deal, which was announced more than a year ago, would create a new, bigger insurer with the power to push down prices that it would pass onto customers.
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Simple Ways to Deter Improper Antibiotic Prescribing
AMA Wire (11/22/2016) O'Reilly, Kevin B.

Inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics is a long-standing practice that once seemed benign but whose consequences are coming into sharper focus. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria kill at least 23,000 Americans annually and cause more than 2 million illnesses in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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Appendicitis Patients Can Safely Leave Hospital the Same Day of Their Operations
EurekAlert (11/15/16)

Patients with acute appendicitis who undergo laparoscopic appendectomy (surgical remove of the appendix) do not experience higher rates of postoperative complications or costly readmissions when sent home on the same day of their operations compared with patients hospitalized overnight, according to study results published online as an "article in press" on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons website ahead of print publication. Each year, more than 250,000 appendectomies are performed in the United States for acute appendicitis.
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