ASCA News Digest (April 11, 2017)

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April 11, 2017


ASCA Highlights

Industry News

Affiliate News   Affiliate News
        Take some time and thank our 2017 Affiliate Leaders listed below for their continued support of ASCA. For a complete list of ASCA's 2017 Affiliates, please follow the link

    ASCA Highlights

    ASCA members can still take advantage of discounted rates on ASCA 2017 registration. ASCA’s annual meeting, May 3–6 in Washington, DC, will offer networking opportunities with peers and experts from throughout the country, a wide variety of educational sessions and one of the largest exhibit halls of the ASC industry. Register today.
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    Make your voice heard on Capitol Hill by participating in ASCA’s National Advocacy Day events on May 3 and 4, held in conjunction with ASCA 2017. This is your opportunity to meet face-to-face with your representatives in Congress and advocate for issues that affect your ASC. To help you prepare for your meetings, ASCA will provide a continuing education-eligible briefing on policy concerns. Registration for National Advocacy Day closes Friday. Sign up now.
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    Find out how your ASC’s performance compares to similar facilities with ASCA Benchmarking, an online clinical and operational benchmarking program. ASCA Benchmarking allows you to compare your ASC’s metrics to national performance statistics to improve clinical outcomes, billing performance, staffing and more. Data collection for the first quarter (Q1) of 2017 is now open and will close on April 30. Purchase a subscription.
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    What better way to connect with ASC employers than right from the comfort of your own computer? All you need is an Internet connection to attend the ASCA Virtual Career Fair on Thursday, June 15. Don't miss out on this one-of-a-kind event for ambulatory surgery professionals. Interviews are conducted via instant message or you can connect your Skype account for a face-to-face interview. The ASCA Virtual Career Fair is free for job-seekers. Registration opens tomorrow.
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    Designated ASCA voting members are encouraged to vote for the members of the ASCA Board of Directors. All ballots must be submitted by April 21. Submit your ballot.
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    TRSA Showcase   Resources for Environmental Safety in Outpatient Care

    Download this interactive guide to improve practices in infection control to protect patients, staff and the public from environmental pathogens. Hygienically Clean Healthcare certified laundries are providing you with this PDF with hyperlinks for easy access to CDC resources. See us at ASCA 2017.

    Coding modifiers—usually two digits—can increase or decrease reimbursement and cause claims not to be paid properly or denied if used incorrectly or not used when necessary. To find out which coding modifiers ASC coders should use with extra caution, visit the ASC Focus web site.
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    Last week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a confirmation hearing for President Trump’s nominee, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, to head the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Next, the Committee will vote on whether to move his nomination forward. Learn more.
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    Industry News

    Here's Why More Patients Turn to Outpatient Surgical Clinics for Complex Procedures
    Bellingham Herald (WA) (04/04/17) Stark, John

    Thanks to advances in medical technology, many surgery patients who would once have faced a few nights in a hospital are now getting complex procedures done at outpatient clinics that can get them in and out in less than a day. The trend toward replacing lengthy hospital stays with an outpatient approach began in the 1970s, grew steadily and still appears to be gaining momentum.

    How to Care for a Loved One After Same-Day Surgery (04/06/17) Welsh, John

    Not all caregiving for loved ones is a long-term commitment. With the growth of outpatient or same-day surgery, caregiving may now mean a commitment of several days or just one evening.

    Here's Something That Curbs Opioid Use: Pre-Surgical Counseling (03/31/17) Burling, Stacy

    Eric Williams was already leery of opioids before the man who would repair his broken wrist began talking about pain pills. Asif Ilyas, a Rothman Institute surgeon, told Williams, a 24-year-old from Northeast Philadelphia, that he would write a prescription for only 10 pills.

    There's a Growing Movement of Surgery Centers and Specialists That List Their Prices and Don't Take Insurance
    Business Insider (04/08/17) Ramsey, Lydia

    When Cheryl Millican found out she needed surgery, her Dallas-based doctor told her it would cost roughly $38,000 out of pocket. Millican, who doesn't have insurance, needed a hysterectomy, a procedure that removes all or part of the uterus.

    Medscape's Annual Physician Compensation Report Reveals Significant Increases in Job Satisfaction and a Slight Improvement in the Gender Pay Gap
    PR Newswire (04/05/17)

    Despite a workday filled with "too many rules and regulations" and hours spent on paperwork, nearly 8 in 10 U.S. physicians would choose medicine again as a career, according to the results of the 2017 Medscape Physician Compensation Report. Medscape's annual analysis of how compensation influences career considerations and satisfaction finds that the percentage of physicians who would opt for a career in medicine if they had a chance to do it over again (77 percent) is the largest increase since the survey was first conducted in 2010, and 13 points higher than in 2016.

    ASCA 2017 Meetings  

    Engage & Learn with ASCA’s Leading Affiliate Sponsors & Exhibitors at ASCA 2017

    Affiliate Focus Groups

    Attend one of two ASCA Affiliate-led focus group discussions:

    • Cerner: Going Digital in Your ASC—Leveraging Technology to Support ASC Success
    • Philips Healthcare: Addressing the Challenges Facing Tomorrow’s ASCs

    These 90-minute focus groups are your opportunity to help ASCA Affiliates shape their product and service offerings.

    One-on-One Affiliate Speed Meetings

    Meet one-on-one with up to five of our most popular ASCA Affiliate Sponsors & Exhibitors in a private setting during ASCA’s first Speed Meetings.

    Sign up now to participate in one of these engaging new events.

    20 Percent of Patients With Serious Conditions Are First Misdiagnosed, Study Says
    Washington Post (04/03/17) Bernstein, Lenny

    More than 20 percent of patients who sought a second opinion at one of the nation's premier medical institutions had been misdiagnosed by their primary care providers, according to new research published Tuesday. Twelve percent of the people who asked specialists at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., to review their cases had received correct diagnoses, the study found.

    Anesthesiologists Found Underreporting Medication Errors
    Anesthesiology News (04/04/17) Vlessides, Michael

    Medication errors are apparently significantly underreported by anesthesia providers, at least at certain institutions. These recent findings may reflect a culture of underreporting or fear of punitive action, despite the fact that approximately 10 percent of these reported medication errors caused at least temporary patient harm.

    RAND: Medicare Spending Under MACRA Depends on APM Participation
    Healthcare Dive (04/06/17) Gale, Luke

    Through 2030, Medicare spending under certain circumstances could fall by up to $106 billion on physician services and by up to $250 billion on hospital services as a result of MACRA, according to research published by Health Affairs. Under different circumstances, RAND researchers estimate Medicare spending on physician services could fall by $35 billion on the low end and that spending on hospital services could rise.

    CMS Finalizes 2018 Payment and Policy Updates for Medicare Health and Drug Plans, and Releases a Request for Information
    CMS Press Release (04/03/17)

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today released final updates to the Medicare Advantage and Part D Prescription Drug Programs for 2018. Through these changes, CMS seeks to support benefit flexibility and efficiency that allows Medicare enrollees to choose the care that best fits their health needs.

    ACS NSQIP Surgical Risk Calculator Is Not Affected by Studies Challenging Its Accuracy
    American College of Surgeons (04/04/2017)

    The American College of Surgeons (ACS) National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) Surgical Risk Calculator (SRC) was first released in 2013. The calculator was based on highly detailed and accurate NSQIP data collected from nearly 400 hospitals and 1.4 million patients and created a universal risk estimation tool that covered more than 1,500 unique surgical procedures across multiple subspecialties.

    GOP Amendment Would Give $15 Billion to Insurers to Cover High-Cost Patients
    The Hill (04/06/17) Hellmann, Jessie

    An amendment to the GOP's repeal plan would dole out $15 billion to insurers over nine years to help cover the costs of sick, expensive patients. Lawmakers say the new funds would bring down premiums for healthy people by subsidizing medical costs for people with especially high expenses.

    Aetna to Stop Selling Iowans Individual Health Insurance Plans
    Des Moines Register (04/06/17) Leys, Tony

    A second major health-insurer has decided to quit selling individual policies in Iowa, raising fears that tens of thousands of Iowans will have no options for coverage next year. Aetna informed Iowa regulators Thursday that it had decided to stop selling such policies, which cover people who lack access to employer-provided coverage or government plans

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