ASCA News Digest (November 22, 2016)

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November 22, 2016


ASCA Highlights

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Affiliate News

ASCA Highlights

Members, Get Your 2017 Webinars All-Access Pass

ASCA members, take advantage of a new offering just for you: the 2017 All-Access Pass for the entire 2017 webinar series. Sign up and gain access to the 17 webinars scheduled for 2017, both the live events and recordings. The cost is just $395, which is a savings of more than $2,500. View the full 2017 webinar series and secure your pass today by clicking here.
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ASCA's winter Finance & Accounting Seminar, January 12–14 in San Antonio, is a can't-miss meeting for ASC administrators, business office managers and physician-owners. Learn how to confidently assess your bottom line and ensure the financial health of your ASC from John Goehle, CASC, chief operating officer of ASC consulting firm Ambulatory Healthcare Strategies in Rochester, New York. He has more than 25 years of experience in ASC administration and is an ASC financial management consultant. Session topics will include balance sheet, income statement, managing income and expenses, breakeven analysis, reporting and benchmarking.

The Finance & Accounting Seminar is one of three concurrent ASCA winter seminars being held in San Antonio. As a bonus, conference participants can attend any of the sessions held during the other seminars—Regulatory & Legal Risk Seminar and the Coding & Reimbursement Seminar—at no additional cost. Registration prices go up $100 after December 12, so register now to secure the discounted rate.
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ASCA's National Advocacy Day brings together ASC professionals from throughout the country to further Congress’s support for the industry. This year, it will be held in conjunction with ASCA 2017, May 3–6, in Washington, DC. Don't miss the opportunity to voice your concerns and educate your member of Congress on the issues important to your facility and community. Register for ASCA 2017 today!
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Get the final word on the changes to Medicare's ASC payment system that will take effect on January 1, 2017, during ASCA's next webinar on December 6. Kara Newbury, ASCA’s regulatory counsel, will discuss how ASC payment rates will change in 2017, what new procedures were added to the final list of those eligible to be performed on Medicare patients in the ASC setting and 2017 quality reporting requirements. Register today!
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Subscribe to ASCA Benchmarking to get the data you need to improve clinical outcomes, staff indicators, billing performance and more. Submit your ASC's Q4 2016 data between January 1–31, 2017, and review the findings for all ASCs from the full year in mid-February. ASCA members receive a $300 discount on survey subscriptions. Click here to learn more about the benefits of participating and sign up online.
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One Medical Passport

ASCs must make training in medication preparation a priority to prevent mistakes that could harm patient safety and jeopardize compliance with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and accreditation organizations.

Go to the ASC Focus web site and learn how to keep current with rules governing medication preparation practices, avoid mistakes and improve practices.
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As centers meet with their governing boards to prepare for the coming year, please keep in mind that covered entities must comply with Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers by November 16, 2017. The rule was released in September, but CMS anticipates that the Interpretive Guidelines, which will assist in the implementation of the new regulation, will be available early next year. For an overview of the rule, visit our emergency preparedness final rule page.

Contact Nawa Arsala at with questions.
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Are your Medicare policies current?

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Industry News

ACA Repeal Plan Stokes Fears of Market Collapse
Politico (11/21/16) Cancryn, Adam; Demko, Paul

Republicans warned for years that Obamacare would blow up the nation's individual insurance market. Instead, their own rush to repeal the health care law may be what triggers that death spiral.

Larsen Billing Service
Anthem and Cigna Set for Court Fight to Save $48 Billion Merger
Bloomberg (11/21/16) Harris, Andrew M.

Anthem Inc.'s proposed merger with Cigna Corp. would reduce health-care competition and raise costs for consumers, U.S. antitrust lawyers will argue Monday when the government goes to court to block the transaction. Their $48 billion merger--the biggest in the history of the American health-insurance industry--would likely give the enlarged company the power to raise prices for insurance, cut payments to doctors and reduce the quality of service, the Justice Department has said in court papers.

WHO Issues Guidelines for Preventing Surgical Site Infections
Occupational Health & Safety (11/07/16)

The World Health Organization on Nov. 3 released new guidelines for preventing surgical site infections, saying that people who are preparing for surgery always should have a bath or shower but not be shaved, and antibiotics should be used only to prevent infections before and during surgery, not afterward. The guidelines are intended to save lives, cut costs, and halt the spread of "superbugs."

House GOP Eying Major Medicare Overhaul in 2017
The Hill (11/17/16) Ferris, Sarah

The head of the House Budget Committee said Thursday that lawmakers are eying an overhaul of Medicare next year. Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) said he expects lawmakers to push forward with an overhaul "within the first six to eight months" of President-elect Donald Trump's administration.

Cutting Surgical Costs by Paying Cash (11/16/16) Madsen, Candice

When it comes to having surgery, many patients fear the bill as much as the recovery. "Historically we don't know the price," said Jerry Hadlock, director of anesthesia at the St. George Surgical Center.

Selling Health Insurance Across State Lines Is a Favorite GOP 'Reform.' Here's Why It Makes No Sense
Los Angeles Times (11/14/16) Hiltzik, Michael

Of all the health care reform nostrums in all the world, the most popular among Republicans in the U.S. is allowing the sale of insurance policies across state lines. The idea has been part of every GOP proposal to "repeal and replace" Obamacare.

Ambulatory Surgery Centers Great Option
Hartford Courant (Connecticut) (11/16/16) Bartell, Cathy

The professional caregiving team at Connecticut Surgery Center was honored to host Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for a facility visit recently. The governor also met with patients, and he was able to see firsthand how clinical and technological advances are enabling patients to receive high-quality, cost-effective surgical services close to their homes.

Experts Issue Urgent Call to Action for Surgeons on Antibiotic Overuse
EurekAlert (11/15/16)

Overuse and misuse of antimicrobial agents is an urgent problem, and surgeons around the world, who often prescribe antibiotics for surgical prophylaxis, need to take a leadership role in the effort to promote antimicrobial stewardship (ASP). A team of experts from the Surgical Infection Society and the World Society of emergency Surgery has issued "A Call to Action for Surgeons," published in Surgical Infections, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc, publishers.

Some Medicare, Medicaid Drug Prices Soar as Reform Uncertain
USA Today (11/14/16) O'Donnell, Jayne

Medicaid spending on the drugs that have undergone the greatest price increases soared in 2015, according to federal statistics released Monday that show how much higher drug prices have affected government health care programs. Of the 20 drugs whose prices have increased between 140% and 500% between 2014 and 2015, spending went from $146 million to $486 million,

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