ASCA News Digest (October 4, 2016)

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October 4, 2016

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ASCA Highlights


ASC Focus October Issue Temporarily Open to Non-Members

ASC Focus magazine, the official magazine of the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, has opened up its online content to non-members for the month of October. The magazine is published monthly except for combined issues in June-July and November-December. ASCA members receive a free subscription to the magazine as part of their association membership. If you want to be a member, click here.
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The data collection period for the third quarter (Q3) of the 2016 ASCA Benchmarking Survey is now open. Current subscribers must submit their Q3 data before the collection period ends on Monday, October 31. The 2016 survey includes several new features, such as dynamic filtering capabilities, streamlined data entry and real-time data review.

If you have not already, subscribe to the 2016 survey today to participate in Q3 data collection. ASCA members receive a $300 discount on survey subscriptions.
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Ohio Specialty Surgical Suites in Canton, Ohio, has become the first ASC in the country to receive the Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement from The Joint Commission, according to a release from the ASC. The ASC is a physician-owned, multi-specialty facility, partnered with SurgCenter Development.
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Online membership renewal is now open for 2017. With your support, ASCA can continue to provide you with the resources you need to ensure your ASC's continued success. Click here to renew your facility membership today!
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Make emergency preparedness a top priority in your surgery center. Visit the ASC Focus web site to learn how you can make an effective plan to prepare your center for the worst.
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Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act’s prohibition on sex discrimination also requires language assistance for people with limited English proficiency and effective communication for individuals with disabilities.

Notice of the patient’s rights must be explained in a language and manner that the patient or his/her surrogate understands. Covered entities are required use qualified interpreters and translators. Third-party vendors are permitted to interpret, but those vendors will now have to comply with these requirements. The deadline to comply with these requirements is October 19, 2016.
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Industry News


CMS Sheds New Light on ICD-10 After Grace Period Ends
Healthcare IT News (09/16) Natale, Carl

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Oct. 1, 2016 will cease the year-long grace period wherein it accepted ICD-10 claims as long as they were submitted in the right family of codes. Ahead of the switch, CMS has now revised its Q&A "Questions and Answers Related to the July 6, 2015, CMS/AMA Joint Announcement and Guidance Regarding ICD-10 Flexibilities."
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Certificate-of-Need Laws and Hospital Quality
Mercatus Center (09/27/16) Stratmann, Thomas; Wille, David

Healthcare quality can be measured in many different ways, but until now, there hasn't been a comprehensive measure of the impact of states' certificate-of-need (CON) laws on hospital quality. As of 2015, 36 states and the District of Columbia had these laws, which give government regulators final approval over new or expanded healthcare services, facilities, and equipment.
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ACG Member Call to Action for Massachusetts Members: ASC Determination of Need Proposal Needs to Change
American College of Gastroenterology -- blog (09/30/16)

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) recently released a draft regulation that would prohibit freestanding ASCs from applying for any Determination of Need (DoN) for any purpose unless the ASC is affiliated with or in a joint venture with an acute care hospital. The recent proposal does, however, eliminate a moratorium on ASCs that has been in place since 1994.
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Certified EHR Technology Adoption Reaches 96 Percent Nationwide
EHR Intelligence (09/26/2016) Heath, Sara

A majority of hospitals in all but one state have adopted certified EHR technology as of 2015, according to an ONC data brief. Overall, 96 percent of hospitals have adopted CEHRT, with 49 states and Washington, DC, having at least 81 percent adoption rates.
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Specialty Drug Costs Soar 30 Percent for California Pension Fund
Kaiser Health News (09/28/2016) Terhune, Chad

Specialty drug costs jumped 30 percent last year to $587 million for the California Public Employees' Retirement System, one of the nation's largest health care purchasers. Though they amount to less than 1 percent of all prescriptions, specialty drugs accounted for more than a quarter of the state agency's $2.1 billion in total pharmacy costs.
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Vermont Is Moving Toward 'All-Payer' Health Care. Here's What That Means
Vermont Public Radio (09/29/2016) Dobbs, Taylor

Gov. Peter Shumlin announced Wednesday that the federal government gave preliminary approval to Vermont's planned "all-payer" health care system. So, what is "all-payer," and how does this fit in with everything else we've been hearing about health care?
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The Joint Commission Awards First Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement to Ohio Specialty Surgical Suites
PR Web (09/28/16)

Ohio Specialty Surgical Suites has become the first ambulatory surgical center (ASC) in the country to receive Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement by The Joint Commission. Ohio Specialty Surgical Suites, located in Canton, Ohio, is a physician-owned, multi-specialty facility, partnered with SurgCenter Development.
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Accelerating Number of Physicians Select Outsourced RCM Services to Align Clinical & Financial Outcomes
PR Newswire (09/29/16)

Black Book today announced key findings from its 2016 Revenue Cycle Management survey, deployed from a research study designed to trend the client satisfaction and customer experiences and patient payment challenges and strategies for physician practices, clinics, groups and ambulatory medical/surgical/diagnostic organizations. Survey findings from 2,000 independent physician practices and 200 hospital-based physician practices reveal profit margins continue to be impacted negatively by traditional patient billing solutions, steering 59 percent of medical providers and 86 percent of hospitals to set in motion plans to jettison time-intensive, error prone, manual, backend efforts to process and reconcile bills by Q3 2017.
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New Legislation Would Require CMS Coverage for Blood-Based Colorectal Cancer Screens
GenomeWeb News (09/29/16)

A bipartisan group of Congressional representatives today unveiled a bill that would require Medicare coverage for qualifying U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved blood-based colorectal cancer screening tests in order to boost screening in traditionally underserved communities. While the legislation was lauded by Epigenomics, which makes the only FDA-approved blood-based screen for colorectal cancer, Epi proColon, questions remain about the test's effectiveness.
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Ensuring Transparency in Health Care Provider Performance
Science Daily (09/19/2016)

Patients deserve valid and transparent measures of quality in health care, but a lack of standards and auditing for these measures can misinform consumers rather than guide their health care choices, say researchers from the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. The discussion paper titled "Fostering Transparency in Outcomes, Quality, Safety, and Costs" was published as part of Vital Directions for Health Care, a publication commissioned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, a consortium of nonprofit institutions that advises the federal government on health issues affecting Americans.
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EHR Contract Guide and Health IT Playbook Help Clinicians and Hospitals Get the Most Out of Health Information Technology
HHS News Release (09/26/16)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today released two practical, easy-to-understand tools to help health care providers get the most out of their health information technology (health IT), such as electronic health records (EHRs): an EHR contract guide - PDF and a newly expanded Health IT Playbook. The new contract guide, EHR Contracts Untangled: Selecting Wisely, Negotiating Terms, and Understanding the Fine Print, explains important concepts in EHR contracts and includes example contract language to help providers and health administrators in planning to acquire an EHR system and negotiating contract terms with vendors.
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Effects of Prescribing Trends on the Opioid Epidemic
Clinical Pain Advisor (09/26/16) Stiles, Laura

Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and BWH/Massachusetts General Health (MGH) Care Center (FXB) have found notable differences in opioid prescribing trends between the 2 institutions, establishing benchmarks that may help understand opioid prescribing decisions and areas of concern. These results were presented at the American Academy of Pain Management (AAPM) Annual Meeting, which took place September 22-25, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas.
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