ASCA News Digest (August 15, 2017)

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August 15, 2017

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Develop an Effective Risk Management Program for Your ASC

Learn how to protect your ASC and keep your staff, your patients and yourself free from harm during ASCA’s upcoming webinar Risk Management: Beyond Adverse Incident Reporting. On Tuesday, August 22, at 1:00 pm ET, Ambulatory Strategies Inc. Chief Executive Officer Sandra Jones, MBA, will discuss how to develop a risk assessment program, prioritize activities and integrate with Quality Assessment/Performance Improvement, infection control, billing, regulatory compliance and accreditation. The cost to sign up is $100 for ASCA members and $150 for nonmembers. Register.
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Last week, ASCA representatives met with the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Chief of Staff Lance Leggitt and HHS Counselor for Health Policy John Brooks. ASCA staff acknowledged that the overall tone of the ASC payment rule was more positive than in previous years, but there are many areas in which HHS and ASCA can work together to improve Medicare policies. Read more.
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Candidates who plan to take the Certified Administrator Surgery Center (CASC) exam in October must submit an application by August 31. New this application period is the ability for a candidate to apply electronically. The CASC credential is a distinction that demonstrates expertise in ASC management and is earned by ASC professionals in a variety of roles, including administrators, medical directors, directors of nursing and clinical staff. Learn more.
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OrthAlign

Get 2018 off to a great start by attending ASCA’s 2018 Winter Seminars, January 11–13 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Choose from three specialized programs, designed specifically for ASC professionals: Coding Update & Reimbursement Strategies, Minimizing Your Regulatory & Legal Risk and—new this year—Infection Control & Prevention Techniques for ASCs. Register.
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ASCA Benchmarking subscribers can now access their clinical and operational benchmarking reports for the second quarter (Q2) of 2017. To access the reports, simply log into the ASCA Benchmarking portal and click the “Run Reports” tab. If you have not yet subscribed to the 2017 survey, sign up today and receive valuable data that can help you improve clinical outcomes, billing performance, staffing and more at your ASC.
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Thank you to everyone who celebrated National ASC Week this year. During August, more than 20 federal and local officials will be visiting ASCs across the country to learn about the vital role surgery centers play in America’s health care system. Your advocacy engagement is essential in gaining continued support from Congress. Thank you for your commitment to the future of the ASC industry. If you participated in National ASC Week and would like your photos featured, please contact Danielle Kaster.
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Word of mouth is a proven way to refer membership to your peers. That’s why ASCA is awarding a $25 gift card to every member who recruits a new ASC to join the association before September 29. Any individual working in an ASC that is a member of ASCA is eligible to participate. Learn more.
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3M Health Care  
Free Continuing Education Credit - Register Now
Join us August 31 from 2-3 PM CST for a live education webinar with Donna Slosburg, ASC Quality Collaboration Executive Director.  We will be discussing CMS ASC Quality Measure Reporting Requirements & Regulatory Updates - Review of Current & New Measures.  Reserve your space today!

It has been brought to our attention that several individuals have been approached by third-party companies offering to sell ASCA’s contact lists. ASCA does not sell its contact lists through any third-party groups; any company that claims to have this information is misleading you.
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The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), passed in 2015, instituted new mechanisms for Medicare physician payment, replacing the old Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. To find out what you need to know about MACRA, including an overview of the latest developments and insights into how this new system may affect clinicians operating in ASCs in the coming years, visit the ASC Focus website.
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Today is the deadline to submit 2016 data for the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program. This applies to measures ASC-6, ASC-7, ASC-9 and ASC-10. Learn more.
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Industry News


Colon Cancer Rates Rising Among Younger White Adults -- And Falling Among Blacks
Kaiser Health News (08/08/17) Rodriguez, Carmen Heredia

When Crawford Clay discovered blood on his shorts at the end a routine run in the spring of 2014, he did not know the stains were a symptom of a condition that also afflicted his family. His doctor said it was likely hemorrhoids, but as a precaution, the physician scheduled a colonoscopy.

Making Ambulatory Surgery Safer
Joint Commission Ambulatory Buzz blog (08/09/17) Castro, Gerard M.; Miller, Melissa

More than 23 million surgeries are performed annually in U.S. ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). It is likely that this number will continue to increase as more and more procedures are being performed in ASCs rather than hospital settings.

Nearly Half of Practices Spend More Than $40K Per Physician to Comply With Federal Regulations
Fierce Healthcare (08/10/2017) Finnegan, Joanne

Physician practices are racking up dollars trying to comply with new and existing federal regulations, according to a new Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) survey. Nearly half of the 750 group practices surveyed said they spend more than $40,000 per full-time physician each year, directly or indirectly, to comply with federal regulations, according to the MGMA survey report

A Hard Bargain: Getting Patients to Shop for Health Care Is a Tough Sell
Harvard Medical School (08/07/17) Miller, Jake

Americans extol price shopping for health care as a prudent idea, yet few actually do it even when given the means to, according to the findings of two separate studies led by investigators at Harvard Medical School. Results of the two analyses, published in the August issue of Health Affairs, cast doubt on the increasingly popular notion that empowering consumers to price shop could help stem the tide of rising health care spending, the research team said.

Trump: 'The Opioid Crisis Is an Emergency'
CNN (08/11/17) Drash, Wayne; Merica, Dan

President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a national emergency Thursday, a designation that would offer states and federal agencies more resources and power to combat the epidemic. In a statement released late Thursday, the White House said, "building upon the recommendations in the interim report from the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, President Donald J. Trump has instructed his Administration to use all appropriate emergency and other authorities to respond to the crisis caused by the opioid epidemic."

One in 12 Doctors Accepts Payment From Pharmaceutical Companies Related to Opioids
Medicalxpress (08/09/2017)

One in twelve physicians--and nearly one in five family medicine physicians--accepted payments from pharmaceutical companies related to opioids, according to a new study out of Boston Medical Center's Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine. This is the first large-scale, national study of industry payments involving opioids and suggests that pharmaceutical companies may have a stronger hold than previously known on how doctors prescribe the powerful drugs.

Senator Rivera and Assemblyman Dinowitz Visit Advanced Endoscopy Center
PR Newswire (08/10/17)

On the morning of August 10, 2017, starting at 9:00 AM, the Advanced Endoscopy Center (AEC) with host Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz in conjunction with National ASC Week. Taking place from August 7-11th, National ASC Week serves to promote awareness of the safe, affordable, exceptional care that ASCs provide.

ACS Releases New Manual to Guide Surgeons in Leading Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Efforts
Newswise (08/07/17)

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has announced the release of a new manual, Optimal Resources for Surgical Quality and Safety, to guide surgeons in leading surgical quality improvement and patient safety efforts in their institutions, departments, and practices. The manual is the work of 135 contributing authors and two esteemed surgeon editors who are advocates of the health care quality movement.

Liquid-Filled Intragastric Balloon Systems: Letter to Healthcare Providers - Potential Risks
FDA MedWatch (08/10/17)

FDA is issuing an update to alert health care providers of five reports of unanticipated deaths that occurred from 2016 to present in patients with liquid-filled intragastric balloon systems used to treat obesity. Four reports involve the Orbera Intragastric Balloon System, manufactured by Apollo Endo Surgery, and one report involves the ReShape Integrated Dual Balloon System, manufactured by ReShape Medical Inc.

2017's Best & Worst States for Health Care
WalletHub (08/07/17) Bernardo, Richie

More Americans have access to health care today, but cost and service quality can vary widely from state to state. The overall health of the population, more advanced medical equipment and a general lack of awareness regarding the best types of treatment, for instance, can all drive up costs.

Bernie Sanders Seeks 'Citizen Co-Sponsors' for Single-Payer Health Care Bill
USA Today (08/09/17) Gaudiano, Nicole

Sen. Bernie Sanders is seeking "citizen co-sponsors" for a “Medicare-for-all” health care bill he plans to introduce in a few weeks. While pledging to fight GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare, the Vermont independent told supporters in a Wednesday email that the ultimate goal is a single-payer system, a federally administered program that would eliminate the role of private insurers in basic health care coverage.


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