ASCA News Digest (October 12, 2016)

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October 12, 2016

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ASCA Highlights


Help Support Victims of Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew has killed as many as 900 Haitians and left more than 1 million people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Many have no clean water and are vulnerable to cholera and other dangerous water-borne diseases.

Please consider donating to Partners in Health (PIH) today to support its relief efforts in Haiti. PIH will use your contribution to provide emergency treatment for the ill and implement preventive measures to stop the spread of water-borne ailments, which are especially dangerous to children. You can make a contribution through ASCA’s PIH donation portal.
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Join ASCA in San Antonio, Texas, January 12–14, 2017, to learn how you can maximize reimbursements at ‎your ASC‎. The experts at ASCA’s Coding Update & Reimbursement Strategies Seminar will discuss the coding and billing changes that will take effect next year and best practices for making sure you are paid appropriately for the services you provide in 2017.

ASCA members can save $200 by registering before December 13.
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If you are looking to fill a position in your ASC, consider doing a candidate search on ASCA’s Career Center before closing the books on your 2016 hiring budget.

To help you get started, ASCA is offering its members 20 percent off a 30-day job posting placed in the ASCA Career Center between October 10 and November 4. Use the promotional code OCTJOBS16 to receive your discount.
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ASCA recently added "The Importance of Hand Hygiene Compliance," "Latex Allergy" and "Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Influenza in Ambulatory Care" to its library of Regulatory Training Series courses. Use the new “Purchase Now” button on the web site to sign up and begin earning continuing education (CE) credits right from your computer.
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In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, 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.

For the month of October, ASC Focus has opened up its online content to non-members, so please feel free to share this and other articles with your peers who have not yet joined ASCA.
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For recommendations on nondiscrimination regulation compliance, how to train staff and answers to frequently asked questions on the Affordable Care Act Section 1557, visit ASCA’s resources page.

Please write Nawa Arsala at narsala@ascassociation.org if you have any questions.
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Industry News


Total Ankle Replacement Yielded Cost Savings When Performed at ASCs
Orthopedics Today (10/16)

Total ankle replacements performed in an ambulatory surgical center offered more cost-savings benefits than an inpatient facility, according to results presented at the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgeons Annual Meeting. "Performing total ankle replacement in ambulatory surgery centers is cost-effective," Christopher E. Gross, MD, told Orthopedics Today.
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60 Percent of Facilities Require Patients to Bring CPAP Device
Anesthesiology News (10/04/16) Vlessides, Michael

When the Society for Ambulatory Anesthesia released its consensus statement on preoperative selection of patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), it recommended that ambulatory surgery centers instruct patients on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to bring their devices on their day of surgery. Now, a survey by a Texas research team has shown that some 60 percent of facilities follow the recommendations, with more reporting that they have a device on hand, should it become necessary.
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High Schoolers Get Hands-On With Surgical Robot
KENS5.com (TX) (10/05/16) Wendland, Bryan

The Intuitive DiVinci Surgical Machine is not a toy. But, seniors from the Health Careers High School got their chance to play around with it Wednesday afternoon at the Christus Santa Rosa Ambulatory Surgical Center.
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The Joint Commission Launches Online Resource Center to Prevent Workplace Violence in Health Care
Joint Commission Press Release (10/04/16)

The Joint Commission today launched an online resource center dedicated to preventing workplace violence in health care settings. The resource center, "Workplace Violence Prevention Resources," provides a broad range of resources for health care organizations, health care professionals, and the general public.
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Insurance Premiums Stable, But Out-of-Pocket Health Costs Rising
Houston Chronicle (10/10/16) Deam, Jenny

The good news for consumers is that the cost of premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose only modestly in 2016, in keeping with recent trends, a new health care economic study shows. But the bad news is that the low price is often now being offset by rapidly rising out-of-pocket costs as more and more workers are steered into high-deductible plans that force them to pay thousands of dollars upfront before their coverage kicks in, according to findings in the Kaiser Family Foundation 2016 Employer Health Benefit Survey, released Wednesday.
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Hospitals Report Skyrocketing Drug Prices Are Challenging Their Budgets
Washington Post (10/11/16) Johnson, Carolyn Y.

A third of hospitals reported that drug price increases had a "severe" effect on their budgets and ability to manage costs, according to a new survey funded by organizations that lobby on behalf of hospitals. The survey included responses from more than 700 community hospitals and two group purchasing organizations that negotiate prices on behalf of 1,400 hospitals.
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Rethinking Automatic Insurance Coverage for Preventive Health Care
NPR Online (10/10/16) Kodjak, Alison

Three doctors who have led a task force that evaluates preventive medical services say the group's recommendations shouldn't be tied by law to insurance coverage. The former chairmen of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force say the link between medical recommendations and insurance coverage leads to financial incentives that can corrupt the process and distort people's health care decisions.
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The Case of the Disappearing Hospital Beds
Healthcare Dive (10/06/16) Gale, Luke

Healthcare is leaving the traditional four walls of hospitals. As patients, payers, and providers seek to reduce costs and improve quality, they are relying less on inpatient stays and more on outpatient services.
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AMA Introduces New Tools to Help Physicians Prepare for 2017 Medicare Changes (MACRA)
AMA News Release (10/05/16)

With physicians facing the most notable changes in Medicare in a generation, the American Medical Association (AMA) today unveiled several online tools to help physicians through pending Medicare payment and delivery changes and to improve their opportunity for success under the new program that will go into effect in 2017. "MACRA represents the most significant change to Medicare's physician payment system in a generation, and the AMA is working to help physicians navigate this change and make sure they are prepared for it," said AMA President Dr. Andrew Gurman.
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Yale Study Suggests Your Doctor's Politics Can Matter
Hartford Courant (CT) (10/05/16) Becker, Arielle Levin

You might know where your doctor went to medical school, but does it matter if he's a Republican or a Democrat? A new study by Yale researchers suggests it might--at least when it comes to politically charged issues such as marijuana use, abortion or having a gun at home.
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Surgery During Pregnancy Carries Low Risk
Reuters (10/07/16) Thrasybule, Linda

Surgical procedures during pregnancy are generally safe, new research indicates. "Clearly, surgery during pregnancy should only be considered if absolutely necessary," said Paul Aylin, study co-author and an epidemiologist at the Imperial College London in England.
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Physician Burnout: Mayo Researchers Identify Effective Interventions
EurekAlert (10/04/16)

After highlighting that more than half of American physicians are experiencing burnout, Mayo Clinic researchers now have identified some solutions that are being used to prevent or lessen burnout around the world. The findings show that some of the approaches being used are effective and making a difference.
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