ASCA News Digest (December 5, 2017)

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December 5, 2017


ASCA Highlights

Industry News

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ASCA Highlights

Time is running out to save $100 on your registration for ASCA’s Winter Seminars, January 11–13, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sign up by December 15 to receive the early bird discount on these focused, ASC-specific programs:
All three seminars run concurrently, so you can register for one and attend sessions from the others for free. ASCA members enjoy additional savings on every registration. Learn more and register now.
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One Medical Passport

Prepare for the American Medical Association (AMA) CPT code changes that will take effect next year with ASCA’s final 2017 webinar, CPT Changes 2018: What's New, Revised and Deleted. On Tuesday, December 19, join Coding Compliance Management President Cristina Bentin for a comprehensive review of the new, revised and deleted codes effective for 2018. The webinar is scheduled for 1:00 pm ET; the cost is $100 for ASCA members and $150 for nonmembers. Register.

Want to catch up on ASCA’s 2017 webinars or get access to the entire 2018 series for one low fee? Purchase an All-Access Pass for the 2017 or 2018 webinar series.
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ASCA has published the third edition of ASC Physician Focus, a free quarterly publication for physicians who own and perform procedures in ASCs. Highlights of this issue include: “Patient Selection in the ASC: An Ever-Changing Process,” “Emergence of the Mega Group Practice and Role of ASCs” and “Filling the Schedule: Getting Non-Owners into Your ASC.” Learn more and sign up for a free subscription.
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Subscribe to ASCA Benchmarking and make 2018 your ASC’s best year yet. ASCA’s clinical and operational benchmarking program provides the data you need to improve clinical outcomes, staff indicators and billing performance at your ASC. Subscribe to the 2018 program now.

It’s not too late to participate in ASCA Benchmarking 2017. Purchase a 2017 subscription today, submit your ASC’s Q4 2017 data in January and review the findings for all ASCs from the full year in mid-February.
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Make plans now to attend ASCA 2018—April 11–14, in Boston, Massachusetts—to take advantage of a full slate of ASC-specific education. ASCA’s annual meeting will offer more than 60 sessions covering topics of interest to administrators, nurses, physicians, human resources, business office staff, materials managers and the rest of your ASC's staff. Check out the full schedule and register today.
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ASCA is seeking candidates to serve on the ASCA Board of Directors. Board members also serve on the ASCA Foundation Board. If you know of an individual who has the skills, experience and the commitment to devote efforts to advocacy by serving on the ASCA/ASCA Foundation boards, please see if they are interested and, if so, nominate them. Self-nominations are accepted. Learn more or submit a nomination.
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In 2014, the Andrews Institute Ambulatory Surgery Center in Gulf Breeze, Florida, conducted its first annual safety culture survey. It asked the employees to rank the ASC's performance in areas including safety priority within the facility, safety as part of the ASC's ongoing agenda, accountability, issues corrected, teamwork and training. Read more.
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There are now 52 cosponsors in the House of Representatives and five cosponsors in the Senate for the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act of 2017 (H.R. 1838/S. 1001). Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) signed on to H.R. 1838 on November 13. Read more.
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Industry News

Statement by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., Updating on Puerto Rico Related Medical Product Shortages
FDA News Release (11/30/17)

While Puerto Rico is making progress in its effort to recover from the devastation left by the hurricanes, it remains a long process and there's a lot of work left to do. At the FDA, we're vigilant about helping address the challenges that remain.

Congress Isn't Really Done With Health Care — Just Look At What's in the Tax Bills
Kaiser Health News (12/01/17) Rovner, Julie

Having failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Congress is now working on a tax overhaul. But it turns out the tax bills in the House and Senate also aim to reshape health care.

Women Surgeons Are Punished More Than Men for the Exact Same Mistakes, Study Finds
Vox (11/23/17) Belluz, Julia

Earlier this year, the BBC sparked an international discussion about pay equity following the release of an embarrassing report on the salaries of its staff. Men at the organization were being paid 9.3 percent more than women on average.

CVS to Buy Aetna for $69 Billion in a Deal That May Reshape the Health Industry
New York Times (12/03/17) de la Merced, Michael; Abelson, Reed

CVS Health said on Sunday that it had agreed to buy Aetna for about $69 billion in a deal that would combine the drugstore giant with one of the biggest health insurers in the United States and has the potential to reshape the nation’s health care industry. The transaction, one of the largest of the year, reflects the increasingly blurred lines between the traditionally separate spheres of a rapidly changing industry. It represents an effort to make both companies more appealing to consumers as health care that was once delivered in a doctor’s office more often reaches consumers over the phone, at a retail clinic or via an app.

Cataract Surgery Shifting to ASCs
Healio (12/01/2017)

Most patients who underwent cataract surgery from 2001 to 2014 did so at an ambulatory surgery center (ASC) compared with a hospital outpatient department, according to a study. Of 369,320 patients included in the retrospective longitudinal cohort analysis, 237,046 (64.2 percent) underwent cataract surgery at an ASC compared with 136,261 (36.9 percent) who underwent the procedure at a hospital outpatient department; 3,987 patients (1.1 percent) underwent surgery at both locations.

Outpatient Back Surgery Lessens Pain, Recovery Time (IL) (11/27/17) Noe, Megan

For years, back surgery has been associated with pain and long recoveries. But thanks to new techniques, more patients are able to return home the same day they go under the knife.

2018 Ambulatory Health Care National Patient Safety Goals
Joint Commission (11/15/17)

The purpose of the National Patient Safety Goals is to improve patient safety. The goals focus on problems in health care safety and how to solve them.

Report Highlights Safety Deficiencies Commonly Found at Hospitals
Health Exec (12/01/2017) Gregory, John

Emergency management, physical environment and life safety codes were the most frequently cited areas for deficiencies at healthcare facilities surveyed by the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) in 2016, according to the organization’s latest quality report. Collected from onsite HFAP surveys of acute care hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs), as well as laboratories and ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), the report can help facilities by pointing out where others struggle with regulatory compliance. It could also help facilities prepare for their next—or their first—accreditation survey, or to revise their current standards long before inspectors return.

Why Delaware Surgeons Play Music in Operating Room
Delaware News Journal (11/27/17) Newman, Meredith

It can be country, classical or whatever the kids listen to these days; Dr. Doug Katz just needs a tune playing in the background while he works. The pediatric general surgeon at Nemours/A.I DuPont Hospital for Children almost always plays music during his surgeries, which can last for several hours.

Outpatient Surgery Center Eyes Expansion on Griffiss Park
Rome Sentinel (11/29/17) Guzewich, Dan

The outpatient surgery center in Griffiss business park plans to add two operating rooms. Griffiss Surgery Center, 105 Dart Circle, proposes to outfit and equip 6,500 square feet of vacant space as two multispecialty ambulatory surgery operating rooms and associated support facilities.

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