ASCA News Digest (September 7, 2016)

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September 7, 2016

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ASCA Highlights


ASCA Offers a Seminar to Help Enhance Your Bottom Line

ASCA’s new Finance and Accounting Seminar in San Antonio, Texas, January 12–14, 2017, will provide ASC staffers with the tools they need to help run a successful ASC 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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Learn what to do and not to do when hiring, evaluating, disciplining and discharging staff during ASCA's next webinar "Hiring and Firing Employees." Marcus M. Crider, partner at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis will discuss best employment/human resources practices for an ASC and recent developments and trends in employment law. This program will take place Tuesday, September 13, at 1:00 pm ET.
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The federal government has initiated broad adoption of bundled payment methodologies in inpatient settings, and according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), more than 500 hospitals now participate in these programs. Visit the ASC Focus web site to find out how ASCs could successfully fit into the bundle payment model.
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PolicyStat Banner

ASCA Benchmarking subscribers can now access their clinical and operational benchmarking reports for the second quarter (Q2) of 2016 through the ASCA Benchmarking portal. These reports offer valuable data about ASCs that can be used to improve quality, boost performance and meet expectations of regulators, payers and patients.

Subscriptions for the 2016 survey are still available online. ASCA members participate at discounted rates.
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This week, the US House of Representatives resumes its legislative work for the month of September. Your help is needed to continue building momentum for key ASC legislation, such as the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act of 2015, before Congress adjourns for the election. Please take a moment to write your members of Congress, urging them to support this important piece of legislation.
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AW0380-PolicyStat Product Showcase  

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Ensure your facility has all of your policies and procedures ready the next time the Joint Commission, AAAASF, AAAHC, or HFAP shows up. With policies and procedures managed by PolicyStat, you can be assured that everyone has access to the most updated and compliant policies in real time.

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Industry News


A Year Later: ICD-10's Impact on Revenue Cycle Management
Health System Management (09/05/16) Jensen, David; Ward, Elizabeth; Starbuck, Lynda

Last year, U.S. providers feared falling productivity, increased denials and reduced revenue as they prepared for the inevitable shift from ICD-9 to ICD-10. The new coding system increased diagnostic codes from approximately 14,000 to more than 68,000 and procedure codes from 4,000 to 87,000 with promises to improve quality reporting and outcomes measurement, and streamline reimbursement processes.
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The Roadmap to Physician Payment Reform: What It Will Take for All Clinicians to Succeed Under MACRA
Health Affairs (Summer 2016) McClellan, Mark; McStay, Frank; Saunders, Robert

As the largest change in Medicare physician payment since the Sustainable Growth Rate formula, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) will affect up to 836,000 clinicians and allocate more than $1.2 billion in payment bonuses and penalties in its first year alone. Reflecting the importance of this policy, the 962 page proposed rule for its implementation generated thousands more pages of comments, with nearly 4,000 organizations and individuals submitting formal comment letters to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
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Minimally Invasive Techniques Are Redefining Spine Surgery
NJ.com (09/02/16)

Dr. Daveed Frazier, medical director of New York City Spine Surgery PLLC, with offices in Morristown and Manhattan, explains that over the past decade, technological advancements have changed the face of spine surgery. The Harvard-trained, board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon credits minimally invasive spine surgery (MIS), including less invasive fusions, with redefining not just the procedures, but also the recovery.
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Plans Unveiled for New Willmar Surgery Center
West Central Tribune (09/01/16)

Plans were officially unveiled Wednesday for an $11 million new home for the Willmar Surgery Center. The new facility, a joint venture between Affiliated Community Medical Centers and Rice Memorial Hospital, will replace the existing surgery center on the south end of the ACMC campus.
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The Government Just Announced Some Big Changes to Try to Fix Obamacare
Business Insider (08/29/16) Bryan, Bob

The government is offering some ideas to try to fix the Affordable Care Act amid a series of missteps that have befallen President Barack Obama's signature legislative achievement. With the law having being dogged by negative news over the past few weeks — as major insurers have pulled out of some public exchanges and regulators have said the exchanges are "near collapse" — the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed a series of changes to try to correct some of the exchange issues.
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Changes to ACA Exchanges May Be Enough to Keep Them Afloat for Now
Modern Healthcare (08/30/2016) Muchmore, Shannon

Proposed changes to help stabilize the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange markets should be enough to stop the bleeding, but further changes will likely be needed next year. The rule, which was released a couple of months earlier than expected includes changes in 2018 to the ACA risk-adjustment program as well as changes to plan requirements. The rule changes are a response to tumult in the exchanges as Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealth Group have all said they will be significantly scaling back their plan offerings in 2017.
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Hospital Surgery Rates for Workers' Compensation Vary Widely
Insurance Journal (08/30/16)

Hospital rates for outpatient surgery paid by workers’ compensation vary significantly across states with states with fixed fee schedules having lower surgery costs for injured workers. Workers compensation costs for injured worker surgery also vary a great deal from Medicare rates for common procedures, reports the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) in a new study, “Hospital Outpatient Payment Index: Interstate Variations and Policy Analysis, 5th Edition,” which looks at 33 states representing 87 percent of the workers’ compensation benefits paid in the country.
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Fed Rules Make Tiny Hospitals Profitable
Indianapolis Business Journal (09/03/16)

They’re smaller and less expensive to build than traditional hospitals. But micro-hospitals, which are springing up in Indianapolis and other cities, could reap big money for their owners. The tiny hospitals, with small overhead, can bill patients the same prices as traditional, acute-care hospitals for treating medical conditions that aren’t life-threatening, such as the flu or a twisted ankle. At the same time, they can fetch higher reimbursements than urgent-care centers or medical clinics for a wide assortment of related services, such as diagnostics imaging and surgery, due to recent changes in rules by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
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