ASCA News Digest (August 30, 2017)

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August 30, 2017

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ASCA Highlights



If you plan to take the Certified Administrator Surgery Center (CASC) exam in October, you must submit your application by Thursday, August 31. No late applications will be accepted. New this application period is the ability for a candidate to apply electronically; applications for the October exam may also be submitted on paper. The CASC credential is a distinction earned by those in the ASC industry who demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the knowledge and skills that the role of an ASC administrator requires. Learn more.
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Make sure your ASC successfully evaluates physician competency, proficiency and quality of care by attending ASCA’s next webinar, Update on Implementing an Effective and Meaningful Peer Review Program. ASCA Board member, retired Medicare surveyor and current ASC consultant Bruce Ettinger, MD, of Ettinger Health Services Compliance Consulting, will discuss the components of an evidence-based peer review program, explain how to avoid surveyor citations and examine the legal implications of corporate liability and negligent credentialing. The webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, September 12, at 1:00 pm ET; the cost is $100 for ASCA members and $150 for nonmembers. Register.
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ASCA’s 2018 Winter Seminars—January 11–13 in Las Vegas, Nevada—provide essential education for coders, infection preventionists, administrators and other ASC leaders. Choose from three specialized programs: Coding Update & Reimbursement Strategies, Minimizing Your Regulatory & Legal Risk and, new this year, Infection Control & Prevention Techniques for ASCs. The programs run concurrently in the same location, so you can attend sessions from the other seminars at no additional cost. Register.
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On Thursday, September 7, ASCA CEO Bill Prentice will speak at the California Ambulatory Surgery Association (CASA) Annual Conference that takes place September 6–8 in Indian Wells, California. Prentice and CASA Legislative Advocate Bryce Docherty will participate in a joint session that examines national and state legislative and regulatory activities that might have implications for ASCs. Learn more.
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Last week, ASCA submitted comments in response to CY 2018 updates to the Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP) established under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). This program established a new schema under which physicians would receive payment adjustments based on the quality of their care. Read more.
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OrthAlign

Word of mouth is a proven way to refer membership to your peers. ASCA will award 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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Introducing human resource (HR) changes can greatly reduce an ASC’s expenses. However, decisions that impact your employees should be rooted in an understanding of employment law compliance. To learn how to hire smart, cross-train and keep staff morale high, visit the ASC Focus website.
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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!

As part of an overarching initiative for increased transparency, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the Quality and Certification Oversight Reports (QCOR) website earlier this week. This database provides survey and certification data, including results of onsite inspections of providers and suppliers including ASCs. Read more.
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Industry News


Ransomware Attack Hits a Florida Surgery Center
Information Management (08/28/17) Goedert, Joseph

A ransomware attack at St. Mark's Surgical Center in Fort Myers, Fla., has resulted in 33,887 individuals across seven states being offered a year of identity protection and credit monitoring services. After a forensic investigation by a third party firm in May, the surgical center learned that ransomware had been placed on certain files in the server between April 13 and April 17.

More Young People Are Dying of Colon Cancer
New York Times (08/22/17) Rabin, Roni Caryn

When researchers reported earlier this year that colorectal cancer rates were rising in adults as young as their 20s and 30s, some scientists were skeptical. The spike in figures, they suggested, might not reflect a real increase in disease incidence but earlier detection, which can be a good thing.

New Tool Helps Physicians Learn If Their Opioid Prescribing Is Appropriate
STAT News (08/24/17) Hamory, Bruce

Addiction is a powerful, complicated disease. Genetic, environmental, and psychosocial characteristics all factor into a person's risk for dependency.

Join the Goal of 80 Percent by 2018
PR Newswire (08/24/17)

Eighty by 2018 Taylor Station Surgical Center joins forces with over 500 local and national organizations to increase colorectal cancer screenings rates across the country. Colorectal cancer screening has been proven to save lives.

States Take on Drug Price Transparency, Gouging
Regulatory Focus (08/23/2017) Brennan, Zachary

As the U.S. Congress continues to highlight specific drug price increases rather than adopt wide-reaching legislation to curb such practices, states are taking the matter into their own hands. In California, an Assembly committee on Wednesday moved forward a bill (SB 17) that would shine a spotlight on what the state spends on the most expensive prescription drugs, as well as which drugs have seen the highest year-over-year spending increases.

Surgeon's Role in the Revenue Cycle: A Blueprint for Young Surgeons
Orthopedics Today (08/17) Boyer, Amy

Whether a physician's compensation is tied directly to productivity or collections, or is indirectly influenced by the overall financial sustainability of the practice or the hospital, the physician’s paycheck depends on the employer getting paid for the patients who are treated. Surgeons new in practice often do not understand the interrelated aspects of how the practice bills and collects for these services.

Veteran Makes an Impact With Reconstructive Surgery
Daily Commercial News (08/28/2017) Florea, Linda

It seems a stretch to go from the Army Medical Corp to owner of a plastic surgery clinic, but that was the path Larry Blevins chose. After a 20 year career he left the Army as a medical officer and started the Mesos Plastic Surgery Center in Lady Lake and Clermont.

Minneapolis Eye Surgery Company Will Pay $12 Million in Alleged Kickbacks Case
Minneapolis Star Tribune (08/21/17) Montemayor, Stephen

A Minneapolis mobile ophthalmic company and its former CEO have agreed to pay $12 million to resolve allegations that it lured physicians with illegal kickbacks in exchange for their business for nearly a decade, the U.S. attorney’s office announced Monday. The settlement comes after a whistleblower sued Sightpath Medical, Inc., and a Bloomington surgical equipment provider over allegations that Sightpath took prospective clients on luxury skiing vacations and high-end fishing, golfing and hunting trips to persuade them to use its services.

So-Called 'Canadian' Pharmacies Are a Danger to Consumers, NABP Reports
National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (08/21/2017)

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy released the Internet Drug Outlet Identification Program Progress Report for State and Federal Regulators: August 2017. The report discusses how rogue online pharmacies exploit the American perception that Canadian pharmacies provide safe medication at a lower cost.


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