ASCA News Digest (January 24, 2017)

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January 24, 2017

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ASCA Highlights

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    ASCA Highlights


    Get High-Quality Online Training at Low Cost

    ASCA's Online Training Series provides access to on-demand content developed specifically for ASC professionals. It is a collection of 24 ASC courses provided in conjunction with ASCA’s partner HealthStream. Eighteen of the courses provide low-cost continuing education (CE) credit, including administrator education units (AEUs). Topics range from medication management and infection control to preventing operating room fires and identifying and assisting domestic abuse victims. The new registration process allows ASCs with 50 or fewer learners to purchase the series online. Maximize savings by signing up multiple users and for multiple years. Sign up today.
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    Learn how to successfully implement the new Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Survey (OAS CAHPS) survey that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed including in its data collection requirements by attending ASCA's next webinar. ASCA will offer this program, intended for independent ASCs, on Tuesday, February 7, at 1:00 pm ET. Hear from experienced ASC management professionals who have voluntarily implemented the survey in multiple ASCs. They will share their experiences with choosing a CMS-approved survey vendor, orienting staff, navigating the challenges and managing the ASC's role in the survey process.

    Note: The new All-Access Pass gives you access to the entire 2017 webinar series, both the live events and recordings.
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    ASCs have only one week left to subscribe to the 2016 ASCA benchmarking survey. ASCA Benchmarking is the online clinical and operational benchmarking program that produces valuable data about your ASC, including statistics on billing, staffing and outcomes.

    Purchase a subscription and submit your ASC's Q4 2016 data by the end of January. You will be able to review the findings for all ASCs from the full year in mid-February.
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    One Medical Passport

    ASCA has entered into a collaborative relationship with the American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR), a national registry of hip and knee arthroplasty. The AJRR will provide a complimentary webinar on Wednesday, February 1, at 1:00 pm ET specifically for ASCs to show how participation in the AJRR can benefit your center.

    With more than 775,000 procedures from 6,000-plus surgeons now contained in the registry, ASCA believes an ASC’s participation in the registry is vital to ASCA’s continued efforts to move total joint replacements to Medicare's ASC-payable list, and expand the number of private payers willing to reimburse its facilities for these procedures. If your surgery center performs hip and knee procedures, consider submitting data to the AJRR. ASCA has arranged a deep discount on the AJRR licensing fee for the first year and waived the set-up fee — this adds up to more than a 40 percent savings.

    The webinar will provide an overview of clinical data registries, including their history, what they are used for, and how the data can help ASCs in general. During this session, AJRR program coordinators will walk through the AJRR enrollment process and discuss best practices for secure data submission and viewing data on the online dashboards.

    You will also learn ways that you can use registry dashboards to compare your institution to national hospital benchmarks and how AJRR's Level III patient-reported outcome data collection can help with quality initiatives. Register today.
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    This year, in conjunction with ASCA's 2017 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, May 3–6, ASCA will host National Advocacy Day.

    Visit the ASC Focus web site and learn how participating in National Advocacy Day events can help your surgery center and the entire ASC industry.
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    The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has assessed ASC payment adequacy and, once again, unanimously agreed to a zero percent update for ASC 2018 Medicare payments. Unsurprisingly, the commission also agreed that ASCs should be directed to report cost data. Both recommendations have remained the same for the past four years.

    MedPAC is an independent congressional agency charged with advising Congress and the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) on Medicare payment policies, patient access and quality of care. The commission’s recommendations are not binding on Congress, and final decisions by Congress and HHS often differ from the commission’s final recommendations. In fact, the recommendation for a zero percent increase has never been accepted.

    ASCA is scheduling a meeting with MedPAC to advocate for ASCs and to highlight our stellar quality and the cost-savings we provide to the health care system. ASCA is also in the process of nominating a candidate with an ASC voice.

    If you have any questions, please contact Nawa Arsala.
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    Industry News


    Trump Issues Executive Order Scaling Back Parts of ACA
    New York Times (01/20/17) Davis, Julie Hirschfeld; Pear, Robert

    In his first executive order, President Trump on Friday directed government agencies to scale back as many aspects of the Affordable Care Act as possible, moving within hours of being sworn in to fulfill his pledge to eviscerate Barack Obama's signature health care law. The one-page order, which Mr. Trump signed in a hastily arranged Oval Office ceremony shortly before departing for the inaugural balls, gave no specifics about which aspects of the law it was targeting.

    Outpatient Surgery Options Expanding Under New Regs
    Brockton Enterprise (MA) (01/19/17) Tuoti, Gerry

    More patients in Massachusetts could soon have surgery outside of traditional hospitals. Under a set of new state medical regulations approved Jan. 11, existing freestanding ambulatory surgery centers will be allowed to apply for permission to expand or offer new lines of patient service without being affiliated with an acute care hospital.

    CMS to Excuse PQRS Penalties Due to ICD-10 Hiccup
    Healthcare Informatics (01/10/17) Leventhal, Rajiv

    According to a message from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), some physicians will get a pass from the federal agency in 2017 and 2018 when it comes to the application of penalties related to a failure to meet Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) requirements in 2016. "According to a message from CMS, the agency is taking the unusual action due to incomplete updates related to the nation's implementation of the ICD-10 code sets on Oct. 1, 2015," the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) wrote this week.

    SurgCenter Development Performs Record Number of Joint Replacements in 2016, Company Poised for Growth in 2017
    PRWeb (01/20/17)

    As the population ages, so does the need for joint replacements. SurgCenter Development (SCD), a leading developer of ambulatory surgical centers throughout the United States, is filling that need having provided more than 16,000 joint replacements since 2013.

    ED-3490TK Video Duodenoscope by Pentax: FDA Safety Communication - Update
    FDA MedWatch (01/17/17)

    FDA is providing an important update to the February 19, 2016 Safety Communication to inform users about a design issue with the PENTAX ED-3490TK duodenoscope that could increase the risk of patient infection. This safety communication contains updated recommendations to help prevent the spread of infection associated with the use of these devices.

    Access to Anesthesia Care Not Increased When States 'Opt-Out' of Medicare Rule, Study Finds
    News-Medical.net (01/20/2017)

    Patient access to anesthesia care for seven common surgical procedures is not increased when states "opt-out" of the Medicare rule that requires anesthesia to be administered with physician supervision, reports a study published in the Online First edition of Anesthesiology, the peer-reviewed medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). The study showed that "opt-out" states did not experience a reduction in the distance patients were required to travel for their procedure--a common measure used to gauge access to care.

    84 Percent of Medical Practices Report They Are Not Certain What MACRA Will Require of Their Practice
    PR Newswire (01/17/17)

    Kareo, the leading provider of clinical and business management software for independent medical practices, announced today that a recent survey showed that 84 percent of independent physicians and staff aren't sure what MACRA's Quality Payment Program (QPP) will require of their practice. Despite this uncertainty, most of these same physicians expect to participate in it to the best of their ability.

    Hearing Draws Supporters, Opponents of OR in Leland
    Star News (NC) (01/20/17) Morris, Ashley

    More than 100 community members showed up at a Friday state Department of Health and Human Services hearing on a pair of applications filed to build an operating room in Leland. EmergeOrtho, under the name Brunswick Surgery Center, has proposed to build an operating room and two procedure rooms in Leland. Novant Health, under the name Novant Health Brunswick Outpatient Surgery, proposes to develop a new ambulatory surgery center in Leland by relocating one of its existing operating rooms from its hospital in Supply and building an additional operating room.

    Dangerous Superbug Appears to Be Spreading Stealthily in U.S. Hospitals
    STAT News (01/16/17) Branswell, Helen

    A dangerous type of superbug has more tricks up its sleeves than we may be giving it credit for, a new study suggests. The researchers found that this class of bacteria, CREs--that's short for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae--has more ways to evade antibiotics than have been currently identified, and that these bugs share their tricks readily across the families of bacteria that make up this grouping.

    The Best High-Paying Job in Every State in 2017
    Business Insider (01/13/17) Gillett, Rachel; Gould, Skye

    Want a high-paying job with great prospects? Your best bet may be to pursue a job in health care.


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