ASCA News Digest (September 27, 2016)

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September 27, 2016

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Q3 Benchmarking Data Collection Period Opens Saturday

The data collection period for the third quarter (Q3) of the 2016 ASCA Benchmarking Survey opens Saturday, October 1, and will close 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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The 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10) grace period instituted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to ease the transition to the new coding requirements adopted in 2015 expires October 1, 2016. When it does, all diagnosis coding must be to the correct level of specificity. Claims that are not coded correctly might not be processed and could be audited.

To learn about the coding and billing changes that will take effect next year, attend ASCA’s Coding Update and Reimbursement Strategies Seminar in San Antonio, Texas, January 12–14, 2017.
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ASCA’s new Finance and Accounting for Administrators Seminar in San Antonio, TX, January 12–14, 2017, will teach you the fundamentals of finance and accounting in the ASC setting so that you can confidently assess your center’s bottom line and ensure that it stays financially healthy. This seminar also offers a great opportunity to prepare for the CASC exam in March.

Register now for ASCA’s Finance and Accounting for Administrators Seminar and receive an early registration discount!
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PolicyStat Banner

Declining numbers of available operating room (OR) nurses have led several ASCs to develop their own perioperative RN training programs. Visit the ASC Focus web site to learn how those centers are getting RNs without perioperative experience and new nurse graduates ready for the OR through their own training programs.
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ASCA hosted its second Evolution of Outpatient Surgery Summit (EOSS) in Washington, DC, on September 12. The EOSS is an invitation-only meeting that includes ASCA leaders and others from the ASC community, representatives from the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS), insurers, third-party administrators, transparency companies and other stakeholders. Building on the success of the first summit conducted in 2015, attendance and participation by health care stakeholders outside the ASC community continued to grow.
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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


Increasing Employment of Physicians in Hospitals Not Associated With Improved Quality of Care
Healio (09/20/2016); et al.

Over the past decade, the percentage of hospitals that employ physicians increased by 13 percent, according to data published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Kristin W. Scott, MPhil, PhD, from Harvard Medical School, and colleagues reported that this increase did not correspond with significant advances in hospital care.
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Survey of Over 17,000 Physicians Finds Shifting Practice Patterns Limit Patient Access to Care
Business Wire (09/21/16)

U.S. physicians continue to struggle to maintain morale levels, adapt to changing delivery and payment models, and provide patients with reasonable access to care. The combination of these factors leaves a majority of physicians feeling that they lack time to provide the highest level of care.
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Predictors of Unplanned Hospital Admissions At an Ambulatory Surgery Center Charted
Anesthesiology News (09/21/16) Crist, Carolyn

The patient's physical status, the duration of surgery and the surgical specialty are all factors affecting the likelihood of unplanned hospital admission after ambulatory surgery. "Ambulatory surgery patients with higher ASA [American Society of Anesthesiologists] physical status scores coming in for longer procedures are at greatest risk for needing an unplanned admission to the hospital," said Caryn Hertz, MD, associate professor of anesthesiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNCCH) School of Medicine.
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Ambulatory Care Centers Need Perioperative Data
Anesthesiology News (09/21/16) Crist, Carolyn

Anesthesiologists can take a few steps to improve the coordination of care throughout the perioperative period and should consider safety measures that will improve the preoperative process and postoperative outcomes. "Many of you probably say, 'I do that already,' but there are probably some aspects that you should consider that you probably aren't doing," said Douglas G. Merrill, MD, MBA, professor of anesthesiology at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center, in Orange.
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AGA Rejects ABIM's Proposed MOC Pathways
American Gastroenterological Association (09/22/16)

Last week, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) unveiled two proposed pathways to replace its beleaguered maintenance of certification (MOC) program. While AGA has advocated for MOC reform and welcomed the efforts of the ABIM to respond to demands for change, we object to the pathways proposed by ABIM, which fall short of our principles of individualization, lifelong education and low-stakes testing.
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Novant Gains Conditional State Approval for Kernersville Facility
Winston-Salem Journal (NC) (09/16/16) Craver, Richard

State regulators have conditionally approved a Novant Health Inc. request to build an outpatient surgery center in Kernersville. Kernersville Outpatient Surgery LLC, a Novant affiliate, submitted its certificate-of-need application March 15 to the N.C. Division of Health Service Regulation.
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Drugmakers Fought State Opioid Limits Amid Crisis
Associated Press (09/18/16) Mulvihill, Geoff; Whyte, Liz Essley; Wieder, Ben

The makers of prescription painkillers have adopted a 50-state strategy that includes hundreds of lobbyists and millions in campaign contributions to help kill or weaken measures aimed at stemming the tide of prescription opioids, the drugs at the heart of a crisis that has cost 165,000 Americans their lives and pushed countless more to crippling addiction. The drugmakers vow they're combating the addiction epidemic, but The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found that they often employ a statehouse playbook of delay and defend that includes funding advocacy groups that use the veneer of independence to fight limits on the drugs, such as OxyContin, Vicodin and fentanyl, the narcotic linked to Prince's death.
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United Nations Takes on Antimicrobial Resistance
Los Angeles Times (09/21/16) Healy, Melissa

Meeting under the umbrella of the United Nations General Assembly, international leaders on Wednesday launched new efforts to stem the rising tide of antimicrobial resistance, which has blunted the effectiveness of existing medications in treating infectious diseases. Heads of state and country delegates gathered at a U.N. meeting on the subject vowed to increase international coordination and funding aimed at monitoring the emergence of antimicrobial resistance and reducing the misuse of antimicrobial agents in human and veterinary health and agriculture.
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Air Force Academy Issues Alert to Patients Who Underwent Colonoscopies, Enteroscopies
Military Times (09/21/16) Kime, Patricia

The Air Force Academy is notifying 267 patients of the school's medical clinic and the Veterans Affairs Eastern Colorado Health Care System that they are at risk for a number of infectious diseases due to improperly sterilized endoscopy equipment. The patients all underwent gastrointestinal endoscopy procedures — either colonoscopies or enteroscopies — with endoscopes that were properly sanitized but not correctly processed beforehand during the required pre-cleaning protocol.
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