ASCA News Digest (February 6, 2018)

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February 6, 2018

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ASCA Highlights



Register for ASCA 2018—April 11–14 in Boston, Massachusetts—by February 23 and save $100 on your registration fee. Join hundreds of your colleagues from across the country at ASCA’s annual meeting to discuss best practices and share advice, attend educational sessions on hot-topic issues, earn continuing education (CE) credits and hear from industry experts about the latest marketplace trends and regulatory news. ASCA 2018 offers the tools and resources you need to help your ASC thrive, so if you haven’t already made plans to attend, register today.
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One Medical Passport

Register today for one of ASCA’s 2018 National Advocacy Days, June 5 and September 5. These vital events give you the opportunity to speak face-to-face with your members of Congress and ask for their support on the ASC issues that affect your patients and your livelihood. The first 20 individuals to register receive $100 off their hotel cost, so sign up today!
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The Board of Ambulatory Surgery Certification (BASC)™ recently launched a new credential for infection preventionists in the ASC setting. The Certified Ambulatory Infection Preventionist (CAIP)™ credential—the first credential designed specifically for infection preventionists in the ASC industry—is primarily intended for licensed health care professionals interested in demonstrating their understanding of the skills and knowledge required to fill the role of an ASC infection preventionist.

The first CAIP exam period is scheduled for October. ASCA 2018—April 11–14 in Boston, Massachusetts—will provide attendees with the opportunity to earn most of the continuing education credits they need to qualify for the exam.
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Register now for the 2018 ASCA State Leaders Conference, held Wednesday, April 11, from 12:00–4:00 pm at ASCA 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. Participants will engage with their peers in other states to share best practices on association governance, budgeting, public relations and grassroots advocacy. Lunch will be provided and there is no cost to attend. Space is limited, so register today!
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On Thursday, February 15, ASCA Regulatory Counsel Kara Newbury will present a federal government update during the Georgia Society of Ambulatory Surgery Centers (GSASC)/South Carolina Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (SCASCA) Joint Semi-Annual Conference and Trade Show in Atlanta, Georgia. Her presentation is scheduled for 12:45–1:45 pm.
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The Board of Ambulatory Surgery Certification (BASC)™, the nonprofit organization that administers the Certified Administrator Surgery Center (CASC)™ and Certified Ambulatory Infection Preventionist (CAIP)™ credentials, is seeking experienced candidates for one vacancy on its Board of Directors. The vacancy will be filled by an individual who is an infection preventionist at an ASC. If you know of an individual who has the desire, skills and expertise to contribute to the BASC Board and is an infection preventionist at their facility, please nominate them.
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Have a suggestion for a topic or speaker for ASCA’s 2019 Winter Seminars? ASCA is accepting submissions through February 28. Submit your suggestion now.
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To keep up with the growing demand for elective spine surgery, researchers believe outpatient settings will handle up to 50 percent of spinal surgery volume within the next few years. The key to success, say the physicians who perform these high-acuity orthopedic and spine procedures in ASCs, is careful patient selection.
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Last month, US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb released the FDA’s 2018 Compounding Policy Priorities Plan. This comes in the wake of intense scrutiny of the FDA’s implementation of the 2013 Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA), legislation which responded to a serious meningitis outbreak traced to the New England Compounding Center (NECC).
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Industry News


Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report
CDC News Release (02/02/18)

During week 4 (January 21-27, 2018), influenza activity increased in the United States. The most frequently identified influenza virus subtype reported by public health laboratories during week 4 was influenza A(H3). The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza in clinical laboratories remained elevated. The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza was above the system-specific epidemic threshold in the National Center for Health Statistics Mortality Surveillance System.

Ongoing Efforts to Mitigate Impact of Saline Shortages During This Flu Season
FDA News Release (02/01/18) Gottlieb, Scott

As flu activity remains widespread across the U.S., the FDA continues to monitor this situation closely and in coordination with our colleagues at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We’re continuing to take steps to help ensure that people with the flu have access to critical medical products, including antivirals, saline and other supportive care drugs and devices.

FDA Takes New Steps to Help Prevent New Addiction, Curb Abuse and Overdose Related to Opioid Products
FDA News Release (01/30/18) Gottlieb, Scott

The issue of opioid misuse and abuse remains one of my highest priorities and we believe it’s going to take carefully developed, sustained, and coordinated action by everyone involved to reduce the tide of opioid addiction and death afflicting our communities; while maintaining appropriate prescribing for patients in medical need. We recognize both the urgency and complexity of this crisis and are taking several steps today toward these goals.

Annual Healthcare Predictions Survey Reveals Physician Concerns for 2018 Focus on Costs
Business Wire (01/15/2018)

More than half of physicians in a survey conducted earlier this month disagree that the repeal of the individual mandate is good for patients, while nearly all doctors (97 percent) said that their biggest concern for patients with the repeal is the rising cost of healthcare. InCrowd, a pioneer of real-time market intelligence to healthcare and life science firms, annually conducts physicians’ predictions research—with 203 physicians participating in November of 2017.

A Push to Get Older Adults in Better Shape for Surgery
Kaiser Health News (01/25/18) Graham, Judith

Surgery can be hard on older adults, resulting in serious complications and death far more often than in younger patients. But many seniors aren’t adequately prepared for the risks they might face.

Coverage Isn't Care
Highland County Press (01/16/18) Smith, G. Keith

If you are following health-related topics on social media you have likely encountered "coverage is not care," as a theme or #hashtag. This phrase/quip should be viewed as an opportunity and lens through which the dysfunction of the crony-dominated "healthcare system" in this country can be viewed.

CMS Proposes Opioid Prescribing Limits for Medicare Enrollees
MedPage Today (02/01/18) Frieden, Joyce

Pharmacies would have new limits on filling opioid prescriptions for Medicare beneficiaries under regulations proposed Thursday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). "We are proposing important new actions to reduce seniors' risk of being addicted to or overdoing it on opioids while still having access to important treatment options," said Demetrios Kouzoukas, CMS deputy administrator and director of the Center for Medicare, on a phone call with reporters. "We believe these actions will reduce the oversupply of opioids in our communities."

Catoosa County Opposes Erlanger's Ringgold, Ga., Surgery Center Plan, For Now
Times Free Press (02/01/2018) Jett, Tyler

Putting itself in the middle of a fight between two major health care providers, the Catoosa County Commission plans to dispute Erlanger Health System's claim to a surgery center in Ringgold, Ga. After a unanimous vote by the elected officials two weeks ago, Commission Chairman Steve Henry filed a letter of opposition against Erlanger's application to build the center.

Walla Walla Clinic Wants Neutrality From City
Walla Walla Union Bulletin (01/24/18) Hillhouse, Vicki

At least two major details appear to have been overlooked when Walla Walla City Council members discussed endorsement of Providence St. Mary Medical Center's plans for expanded ambulatory surgery: St. Mary isn't the only provider seeking state approval for same-day surgery services, and it didn't ask for an endorsement. Both St. Mary and Walla Walla Clinic had announced their intention to add same-day surgery services in the wake of Walla Walla General Hospital's closure.

Midlands Transitions From Full-Service Hospital
Omaha World-Herald (02/01/18)

As the national health care landscape continues to change, Midlands Hospital in Papillion, Neb., over the past year has completed its own transition: from full-service hospital to one focused more heavily on ambulatory surgery. The changes are part of the move nationally from inpatient services to more outpatient care, a shift that also has played a role in other changes locally within the CHI Health system.


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