ASCA News Digest (October 18, 2016)

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October 18, 2016

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ASCA Highlights


Master the Fundamentals of Finance and Accounting

Join ASCA in San Antonio, Texas, January 12–14, 2017, to learn the fundamentals of finance and accounting for ASCs so that you can confidently assess your bottom line and ensure the financial health of your center.

John Goehle, MBA, CPA, CASC, of Ambulatory Healthcare Strategies, LLC, will lead each session at ASCA's new Finance and Accounting for Administrators Seminar to help prepare you for the challenges of running a successful ASC in this age of growing costs, declining reimbursements and increased competition for market share. He has more than 25 years of experience in ASC administration and is a nationally recognized speaker, author and financial management consultant.

ASCA members can save $200 by registering before December 13.
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ASCA launched its second generation clinical and operational benchmarking program in 2013 to provide ASCs with a way to make apples-to-apples comparisons with others centers around the country. Earlier this year, the program changed to a new and improved survey platform and the response has been encouraging. Visit the ASC Focus web site to find out how ASCs like yours are using this program to learn more about the industry and improv their centers.

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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On Friday, October 14, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its final rule establishing the new Medicare payment methodology for physician services furnished under Medicare Part B, known as the Quality Payment Program (QPP). Visit the ASCA web site for a broad overview of the final rule.
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One Medical Passport

ASCA has introduced a new and more convenient online payment system for its Regulatory Training Series. You can now purchase all of the program's interactive courses through ASCA’s web site using the "Purchase Now" button and start earning continuing education (CE) credits year round 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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Industry News


GAO Calls for Meaningful, Better-Aligned Healthcare Quality Measures
Fierce Healthcare (10/14/2016) Hall, Susan D.

The Department of Health and Human Services must set priorities in its bid to better align healthcare quality measures across payers and programs, and work to make those metrics truly meaningful, according to a report published Oct. 13 by the Government Accountability Office. In the push toward value-based reimbursement, payers don’t agree on which quality measures to track.
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HHS Finalizes Streamlined Medicare Payment System That Rewards Clinicians for Quality Patient Care
HHS News Release (10/14/16)

Today, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) finalized a landmark new payment system for Medicare clinicians that will continue the Administration's progress in reforming how the health care system pays for care. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) Quality Payment Program, which replaces the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR), will equip clinicians with the tools and flexibility to provide high-quality, patient-centered care.
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How Narrow Is It? Gov't Begins Test of Comparison Tool for Health Plan Networks
Kaiser Health News (10/14/2016) Andrews, Michelle

The incredible shrinking provider network is nothing new in marketplace plans. One way insurers have kept premiums in check on the individual market is by reducing the number of providers available in a plan's network.
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MA Proposed Rule May Cut Savings From Ambulatory Surgery Centers
HealthPayer Intelligence (10/13/16) Gruessner, Vera

New proposed changes to current legislation from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health may either decrease the use of or potentially eliminate ambulatory surgery centers, according to a press release from Healthcare Bluebook. The reason health payers need to be aware of this occurrence is because ambulatory surgery centers significantly reduce the cost of outpatient surgery and the proposed changes could impact healthcare spending and access to care.
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Rep. Kennemer Visits EyeHealth Eastside Surgery Center to Discuss Issues Facing Ambulatory Surgery Centers
OregonLive.com (10/13/16)

EyeHealth Eastside Surgery Center (EHSC), one of two ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) operated by EyeHealth Northwest, recently hosted a visit from Rep. Bill Kennemer (R-39). After getting a first-hand look at how an ASC operates, Kennemer received briefings on the top issues facing ASCs by Shane K. Kim, M.D.; Ann Hulett, CEO, EyeHealth Northwest; Cherie Shevlin, RN, ASC director; and Doug Riggs, lobbyist with NW Grassroots & Communications.
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Outpatient Shoulder Replacement Surgery Seen as Safe as Inpatient Surgery
Orthopedics Today (10/16) Tingle, Casey

Shoulder replacement performed in the outpatient setting is as safe as it is performed in the inpatient setting, according to results presented at the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Annual Meeting. "[I]nitial data suggest that it is safe in comparison to inpatient to perform these surgeries as an outpatient, but we need to refine the indications."
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West Virginia's Certificate of Need Laws Need to Be Repealed, Expert Says
West Virginia Record (10/14/16) Kidd, Karen

An economics professor predicts that West Virginia would be better off without the almost 40-year-old certificate of need laws. "The states that still have these laws should consider repealing them," Thomas Stratmann, Mercatus Center scholar and professor of economics and law at George Mason University, told The West Virginia Record.
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CMS Announces New Initiative to Increase Clinician Engagement
CMS Press Release (10/13/16)

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new initiative to improve the clinician experience with the Medicare program. As we implement delivery system reforms from the Affordable Care Act and the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), this new long-term effort aims to reshape the physician experience by reviewing regulations and policies to minimize administrative tasks and seek other input to improve clinician satisfaction.
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Waste Anesthetic Gases Survey Finds Gaps in Protection
Occupational Health & Safety (10/12/16)

A new article from NIOSH reports that systems used to prevent waste anesthetic gases from escaping into operating room are widely used, but other recommended practices to minimize health workers' exposure to those gases aren't always followed. The study was published in the October 2016 issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene and is based on results from the 2011 NIOSH Health and Safety Practices Survey of Healthcare Workers, the largest federally sponsored survey of health workers in the United States.
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HHS Issues Final Rule to Enhance the Reliability, Transparency, Accountability, and Safety of Certified Health Information Technology
HHS News Release (10/14/16)

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued a final rule that emphasizes the importance of protecting public health and safety while also strengthening transparency and accountability in the ONC Health IT Certification Program ("Program"). The "ONC Health IT Certification Program: Enhanced Oversight and Accountability" final rule will enable the ONC Health IT Certification Program to better support physicians and hospitals--the vast majority of whom use certified electronic health records (EHRs)--and the rapid pace of innovation in the health information technology (health IT) market.
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The Importance of Being
Health Affairs (Fall 2016) Vol. 35, No. 10, P. 1924 Verghese, Abraham

Recently a colleague asked if I would address a small, informal quarterly gathering of hospitalists. We settled on a date, and when she asked me for a title for my remarks, I offered: "Presence."
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