ASCA News Digest (May 20, 2014)

News Digest


Home Membership Education & Events Federal Regulations Advocacy Resources Banner
May 20, 2014


ASCA Highlights

Industry News

  •  Differentiate your ASC from the competition: 6 Ways for ASCs to Use Their EMR as a Marketing Tool.
  • ASCs nationwide are making the switch to the AmkaiCharts EMR and AmkaiOffice business management system. Let them tell you why!
  • "AmkaiCharts lets our nurses spend more quality time with patients, and spend the time more efficiently" – Tabitha Vaughn, St. Charles Surgery Center. Find out what AmkaiCharts can do for your ASC.
  • The Amkai GINote: Intuitive, efficient documentation with just one click at the point of care. Learn more!
  • Thank you to the many new AmkaiSolutions followers on Twitter and LinkedIn.

ASCA Highlights

Order ASCA 2014 Session Recordings

Order the entire package of all of the ASCA 2014 session recordings on ASCA's Learning Center. If you could not make it to the meeting or if you were unable to attend every session that you wanted, order session recordings to review all of the education content that the conference had to offer. MORE
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Read More | Return to Headlines


The Alternative Source Medical is a
long standing, established vendor, and distributor of pre-owned, warrantied refurbished and new medical exam equipment. We also are a great resource to turn your decommissioned, unused medical equipment into cash. No fees! No contracts! Learn more at

Ensuring Patient Safety with CapnographyThe RespSense™ and LifeSense® capnography monitors are simple-to-use, cost-effective tools that help you ensure your patients are adequately ventilated during sedated dental procedures. The monitors provide continuous and reliable monitoring to help identify potentially life-threatening ventilation status changes such as respiratory depression during dental procedures on sedated patients.

Planning has begun for ASCA 2015 to be held in Orlando, May 13–16, 2015. Your ideas for session topics and speakers are an invaluable part of determining the exceptional educational content that the meeting provides every year. Submissions for ASCA 2014 will be accepted through July 31, 2014. MORE
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Read More | Return to Headlines

If you attended ASCA 2014 in Nashville, you have until June 30, 2014, to submit your continuing education credits online. To submit online, you will need your ID number located on the back of your attendee badge. (If you no longer have your badge, you can request your ID number by sending an email to MORE
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Read More | Return to Headlines

Recent developments affecting compounding pharmacies are affecting the ways they can do business with your physicians and your ASC. Can your ASC work safely with a compounding pharmacy? Are there changes in the state and federal rules that apply? Register for ASCA's next webinar on Tuesday, June 3, at 1:00 pm ET to find out. MORE
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Read More | Return to Headlines

Congratulations to all of the winners of the exhibit hall giveaways awarded during ASCA 2014. Click here to view a complete list of the winners from the Thursday night and Friday morning drawings. If you find your name on that list, claim your prize by getting in touch with the company that sponsored it. MORE
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Read More | Return to Headlines

Mark your calendar for ASCA 2015, May 13–16, 2015, at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The newly renovated hotel, located near Disney World, features a full-service boutique spa, an 18-hole championship golf course and two 200-foot water slides. MORE
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Read More | Return to Headlines

Industry News

CMS: Reforms of Regulatory Requirements to Save Healthcare Providers $660 Million Annually
Health Management Technology (05/14)

A rule issued by the Centers or Medicare & Medicaid Services would reform Medicare regulations identified as excessively burdensome, obsolete, or unnecessary. The rule is part of a regulatory initiative in which agencies eliminate, modify, or streamline business regulations that are overly burdensome or unnecessary. CMS suggests that the reforms will save approximately $660 million a year and $3.2 billion over a five-year period. The changes will enable health care providers to operate more efficiently, and other provisions will enable hospitals to save on resources. Together with a 2012 CMS rule, the new rule is expected to save health care providers more than $8 billion over the next five years.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Here's How to Start Your ICD-10 Planning
Government Health IT (05/15/14) Natale, Carl

Medical practices that have yet to implement ICD-10 coding should first improve their ICD-9 coding to achieve higher revenues and coding productivity. This could include computer assisted coding, clinical documentation improvement, and ICD-9 training for medical coders that starts with reinforcing anatomy and physiology knowledge. Prior to making any ICD-10 upgrades, practices should contact their vendors to get more information about claims submission, billing systems, posting payments, public health reporting, and other information. Practices need to ask whether their products will be ready for the ICD-10 compliance date, the feasibility of using a mapping or crosswalk strategy between ICD-9 and ICD-10 code sets, and hardware requirements associated with ICD-10 software changes. Practices can begin browsing ICD-10 code books to get a sense of the differences between the old and new system and obtain formal training for at least one staff member who can start sharing information.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

CMS' Reported Nixing of End-to-End ICD-10 Test Irks Critics
Modern Healthcare (05/12/14) Conn, Joseph

The recent decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to cancel the planned first round of limited end-to-end testing of the new ICD-10 coding system is coming under fire from some in the health care industry. Among the organizations that have said the cancellation of the test is a bad idea is the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), which is trying to get CMS to reverse its decision. MGMA's senior policy adviser, Robert Tennant, says that failing to perform end-to-end testing of ICD-10 that involves Medicare and other health plans increases the risk of cash flow disruptions at doctors' practices that could negatively impact patient care. Tennant says CMS should take the lead in carrying out end-to-end testing, even in a limited form, with any willing providers so that any problems with ICD-10 can be identified and corrected before the system's scheduled rollout on Oct. 1, 2015. CMS has hinted that end-to-end tests of ICD-10 will be performed sometime next year.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Anticipating the Effects of Medicaid Expansion on Surgical Care
JAMA Surgery (05/07/2014) Waits, Seth A.; Reames, Bradley N.; Sheetz, Kyle H.; et al.

Researchers report that people with Medicaid coverage tend to have many more emergency operations than patients with other kinds of insurance. Moreover, Medicaid recipients experienced two-thirds more complications after surgery and also used 50 percent more hospital resources. The data comes from patients who had surgery over a one-year period in 52 Michigan hospitals within the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative. The findings are significant because millions of uninsured people are now eligible to enroll in Medicaid programs in the 26 U.S. states that have expanded the program under the Affordable Care Act. Past research indicates that newly covered Medicaid recipients tend to use their new coverage to get treated for conditions that went untreated while they were uninsured, including having surgery.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Malo Aims to Provide Patients Comprehensive Health Care
Star-Ledger (NJ) (05/15/14)

The Malo Ambulatory Surgery Center in Rutherford, N.J., is an 11,000-square-foot facility that features one B-level and three C-level operating rooms. The center provides 23-hour stay capabilities along with adult and pediatric care with direct transfer to nearby rehabilitation and acute care facilities. In an interview, Joseph Testani, chief administrative officer of the center, notes that Malo offers services such as Reiki and acupressure for the post-surgical phase, and it is the only same-day surgery center in the Tri-State area to offer a three-dimensional HD surgical vision system. "The convenience of recovering in your home generally makes recovery time quicker and easier than an in-hospital stay," Testani said, adding that costs are much lower for outpatient surgery and overall it is much less stressful, particularly for children.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Major U.S. Health Plans Agree to Give Consumers Free Access to Timely Information About Health Care Prices to Foster Greater Transparency
Health Care Cost Institute (05/14/2014)

Aetna, Humana, and UnitedHealthcare will work with the not-for-profit Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) to develop an online tool to provide comprehensive data on the price and quality of health care services. HCCI will build and oversee the information portal, which could become available in early 2015. The insurers will provide information on health care costs to HCCI, which will maintain and manage access to the information in a secure environment. Additional insurers could take part in the initiative to aggregate pricing data from commercial health plans, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicaid plans, if states agree.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Consumers Losing Doctors With New Insurance Plans
Associated Press (05/13/14)

An increasing number of consumers are finding that the insurance plans they purchased under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have limited doctor and hospital networks, and that some Web sites erroneously state that their previous doctors are included. Insurers say plans with low premiums will result in more limited choice. Yet even with more expensive ACA plans, some consumers have encountered problems with getting access to health care providers. Insurers also point out there is significant variation in what doctors and hospitals charge.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Wisconsin Hospitals Care for 50,000 Patients Daily
Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune (05/18/14)

Wisconsin hospitals cared for nearly 53,000 patients per day in 2012, according to data compiled by the Wisconsin Hospital Association Information Center (WHAIC) and published in the "Guide to Wisconsin Hospitals." "We continue to see a steady increase in hospital outpatient visits," notes WHAIC vice president Debbie Rickelman. "Medical and technological advancements are making procedures and treatments available in the outpatient setting that just a few years ago would have required an overnight stay." More than 70 percent of the surgeries and procedures performed in Wisconsin hospitals were delivered in the outpatient department.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

More Insured, But the Choices Are Narrowing
New York Times (05/13/14) P. A1 Abelson, Reed

Narrow networks are a common feature in many health plans sold on the state insurance exchanges, meaning that regardless of the health plan chosen, consumers will have access to fewer in-network doctors and hospitals or will have to pay more to visit any provider they want. Even employer-sponsored and private Medicare Advantage plans are moving to narrower networks. Insurers of all sizes are embracing narrower networks as a means of controlling costs and better managing care, but state and federal regulators will monitor the plans being offered in the coming year to ensure consumers have adequate access to providers. Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued new rules in April that require insurers to clearly disclose who is in the network and set minimum standards for access, noting, "I want to make sure carriers are not in a race to the bottom."
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

How Are Seniors Choosing and Changing Health Insurance Plans?
Kaiser Family Foundation (05/13/14) Jacobson, Gretchen; Swoope, Christina; Perry, Michael; et al.

With numerous private Medicare Advantage and part D drug plans to choose from, many senior citizens say that it can be challenging to compare the plans, and many stay in the same plan every year, even if it is not best suited to them. A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that seniors cited premiums and out-of-pocket costs, access to desired providers, familiarity with the name of the company offering the plan, and adequate coverage for their health care needs as the key factors they used when first enrolling in Medicare. However, the report noted that frustration in comparing the various options led some seniors to stay with their existing plans, while those who did switch noted a desire to stay with a particular health care provider.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

OrthoCarolina Physicians Open $4.9M Surgery Center in University Area
Charlotte Business Journal (05/13/14) Thomas, Jennifer

Twenty physicians with the OrthoCarolina practice based in Charlotte, N.C., have launched a new ambulatory surgery center. The $4.9 million Mallard Creek Surgery Center will offer outpatient procedures and orthopedic surgical services. Procedures performed will include foot and ankle, knee, elbow, shoulder and spine surgery, cartilage restoration, sports-related treatment, and pain management. "By offering a surgery center as an extension of one of our OrthoCarolina offices, we're able to offer patients local surgery in a comfortable setting adjacent to where they have been seeing their provider," says Dr. Robert McBride, one of the owners and an OrthoCarolina surgeon.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Outpatient Surgery Cases Growing Substantially
The Center for Health Affairs (04/28/2014)

The Center for Health Affairs' latest Key Indicators Report reveals that outpatient surgery cases in Northeast Ohio have increased significantly. Total discharges, total days, emergency cases, and several other indicators ended the fourth quarter with less volume than the same quarter a year earlier. After declining by nearly 9,000 cases in 2010 and 2011, outpatient surgery cases in Northeast Ohio bounced back by more than 19,000 cases in 2012. In addition, there were almost 3,000 more cases seen between 2012 and 2013, with an overall growth in cases of 24.3 percent from 2001 to 2013. These cases represented a nearly 16 percent increase in the overall number of surgery cases in the region.
Share Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  | Full Article | Return to Headlines

Powered by Information, Inc.