ASCA News Digest (February 21, 2018)

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February 21, 2018



ASCA Highlights

Industry News

ASCA Highlights

There's still time to save $100 on your registration fee for ASCA 2018, April 11–14 in Boston—but you need to act now. The early bird registration deadline for ASCA's annual meeting is this Friday, February 23. Don't miss this opportunity to network with your colleagues, hear from industry experts, discover new products and services, earn continuing education credits and more during the ASC industry's largest event of the year. Register for ASCA 2018 today!
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One Medical Passport

Subscribers to ASCA's 2017 Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey can now access their fourth quarter (Q4) reports and get a complete picture of trends for the year. To access the reports, log in to the survey portal and select the "Run Reports" tab.

Not yet subscribed to the 2018 Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey? Sign up today to keep your ASC on track for success in 2018 and beyond.
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There's just one week left to renew your ASCA membership for 2018 before it expires at midnight on March 1. Act now to avoid losing important benefits such as ASC Focus magazine, ASCA's Medicare Rate Calculator and the weekly Government Affairs Update. You can renew easily through ASCA's online portal or by calling 703.665.4161 to request a renewal form.

Not yet an ASCA member? Join today.
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Have a suggestion for a topic or speaker for ASCA's 2019 Winter Seminars, scheduled for January 17–19, 2019? Let us know. The deadline to submit your suggestions is February 28.
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In the latest Member Focus profile, a Nebraska administrator explains how a satisfied staff leads to satisfied patients.

Want to be featured in Member Focus? Share your answer to this month's questionWhat key advocacy issue is your ASC most concerned about?—and you could be selected for a future profile.
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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. Nominations must be received by February 28.
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For ASCs interested in bringing about improvements in their operations, benchmarking allows them to make decisions with confidence by using empirical data instead of guesswork. Find out how ASCs can grow their benchmarking program by using external and internal parameters.
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Last week, ASCA staff participated in two meetings with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) staff responsible for the payment policies in ASCs. Discussion topics included CMS' device-intensive procedure policy and reimbursement for cardiology codes.
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Industry News

Grassley, Hatch Press IRS for Answers on Nonprofit Hospitals
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley News Release (02/15/18)

U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today requested specific information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding their oversight activities of nonprofit hospitals. The senators, in a letter, asked Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter for details regarding the agency’s monitoring and enforcement practices of the entities.

Follow the Money: Inpatient Surgery Moving Out of Hospitals Into Ambulatory Centers
Healthcare Finance News (02/12/18) Lagasse, Jeff

Inpatient procedures, such as hip replacements and other surgeries, are in the midst of a migration. They're moving out of big hospitals, in fact, and into the ambulatory facilities--freestanding clinics included.

Anthem Calls on Eye Surgeons to Monitor Anesthesia During Cataract Surgery
Kaiser Health News (02/20/18) Andrews, Michelle

If you need cataract surgery, your eye surgeon may have to do double duty as your anesthetist under a new policy by health insurer Anthem. In a clinical guideline released this month, the company said it's not medically necessary to have an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist on hand to administer and monitor sedation in most cases.

Cost of U.S. Opioid Epidemic Since 2001 Is $1 Trillion and Climbing
NPR Online (02/13/18) Allen, Greg

The opioid epidemic has cost the U.S. more than a trillion dollars since 2001, according to a new study, and may exceed another $500 billion over the next three years. The report by Altarum, a nonprofit group that studies the health economy, examined CDC mortality data through June of last year.

CMS Office of the Actuary Releases 2017-2026 Projections of National Health Expenditures
CMS Press Release (02/14/18)

Today the independent CMS Office of the Actuary released the projected national health expenditures for 2017-2026. National health expenditure growth is expected to average 5.5 percent annually over 2017-2026, according to a report published today as an "Ahead Of Print" by Health Affairs and authored by the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Amazon Bets on Band-Aids as Health Industry Braces for Shakeup
Bloomberg (02/15/18) Langreth, Robert; Tracer, Zachary; Soper, Spencer Inc. may have big ambitions to shake up health care, but it is starting small. The Internet giant is angling to become the go-to source for basic medical supplies such as latex gloves, bandages and sutures.

Healthcare Cost Disparities Across States Driven by Differences in Care Patterns and Price
Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (02/13/18)

The considerable differences between the total cost of healthcare in five states is largely driven by local patterns of healthcare usage and pricing. These regional differences are explained in a report released today by the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI), a national non-profit representing regional health improvement collaboratives (RHICs) and state partners working to achieve better, more affordable healthcare.

Secure Communications Enhance Clinical Care for Orthopedic Surgical Hospital
Healthcare IT News (02/02/18) Morse, Susan

The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City switched from pagers to cell phones and saved thousands of dollars. The improvement and consolidation in hospital communications also enhanced care, making it more patient-centric.

Legislation Puts 'Unfair Burden' on Independent Surgical Centers
VT Digger (02/18/18) Faher, Mike

Administrators at Vermont's two ambulatory surgical centers--one of which has not yet opened its doors--say proposed state regulations could jeopardize their existence. Representatives of Vermont Eye Surgery and Laser Center in South Burlington and the proposed Green Mountain Surgery Center in Colchester converged on the Statehouse Friday morning to raise concerns about S.278, which would increase state supervision of standalone surgical facilities.

Regional, Sumter Eye Doctor's Surgery Offers Life Without 'Readers'
Sumter Item (02/18/18) Mills, Bruce

Want to get rid of those reading glasses? There's a new surgery that's offered by a regional eye doctor, or ophthalmologist, that restores near vision and reduces the frustrations of using those "readers."

What's in Our Database? Prices, Prices and More Prices
Philadelphia Inquirer (02/20/18) Pinder, Jeanne

We collect and display cash or self-pay prices--what you would pay without insurance--for about 30-35 common, "shoppable" procedures. Why?

More Healthcare Execs Accounting for Social Determinants of Patients' Lives, Survey Finds (02/15/18) Inserro, Allison

The growing acceptance that population health is impacted more by what happens outside of the confines of a doctor's office or hospital setting, rather than inside of it, is reflected in a new survey of health care executives. The survey, published in a recent white paper by HealthCare Executive Group and Change Healthcare, showed that a majority of executives are increasingly adopting social determinants of health into their programs.

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