ASCA News Digest (December 12, 2017)

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December 12, 2017


ASCA Highlights

Industry News

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ASCA Highlights

Early registration discounts for ASCA’s Winter Seminars end Friday, December 15. Sign up now to save $100 when you register for one of these specialized, ASC-specific programs:
All three seminars run concurrently, so you can sign up for one and attend sessions from the others for free. To lock in the early registration rates, choose your seminar and register today.
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One Medical Passport

Learn how to get paid on time and correctly during ASCA’s final 2017 webinar, CPT Changes 2018: What's New, Revised and Deleted. Compliance Management President Cristina Bentin will lead this informative program, scheduled for Tuesday, December 19, at 1:00 pm ET. The cost is $100 for ASCA members and $150 for nonmembers. Register.

Want to enjoy big savings on a full year of quality ASC education? With ASCA’s Webinar All-Access Pass, you can catch up on all of ASCA’s 2017 webinars or get access to the entire 2018 series—all for one low fee. Purchase an All-Access Pass for the 2017 or 2018 webinar series.
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Make sure you have the resources you need to lead your ASC to success in 2018 by renewing your ASCA membership. Renew now for continued access to education, networking, regulatory updates, top news stories and tools that apply daily in your facility. Renew.

Is your ASC not yet an ASCA member? Join today.
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Make the most of your time at ASCA 2018—April 11–14 in Boston, Massachusetts—by registering for a pre-meeting workshop. These in-depth sessions, held on the first day of ASCA’s annual meeting, will help you make sure you’re prepared for an accreditation survey (Joint Commission or AAAHC), the Certified Administrator Surgery Center (CASC) exam or meeting the Life Safety Code. Learn more and register today.
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Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—commonly referred to as the ACA—instituted new nondiscrimination requirements. Relevant to daily operation of ASCs is the prohibition from discrimination based on English language proficiency, and the requirement that patients have access to qualified interpreters. For an overview of how Section 1557 affects ASCs, visit the ASC Focus website.
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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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Member Focus, published on the ASC Focus website, invites ASCA members to share their views on key ASC issues. If you would like to be featured, simply complete a brief questionnaire and you could be selected for a future profile. Complete Member Focus questionnaire.
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Industry News

Healthcare Report 2018: Best & Worst States for Healthcare
Renew Bariatrics (12/02/17)

Health care has been a significant topic in the recent U.S. presidential election. There is controversy among which form of health care should be implemented.

Senators Back Overnight Stays at Surgery Centers
WUSF News (12/06/17)

Ambulatory surgical centers could treat patients overnight under a bill approved unanimously Tuesday by the Senate Health Policy Committee. Bill sponsor Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, told the committee that ambulatory surgical centers are already "performing surgeries all day, every day" but patients usually have to schedule surgeries very early because they are required under current law to leave the same day.

Cataract Surgery Can be 'Greener'
Healio (12/08/2017)

For each cataract surgery done at the Aravind Eye Care System in southern India, a fraction of the carbon footprint is produced with each phacoemulsification case compared with the same procedure performed in the United Kingdom. According to waste audit observations, Aravind averaged 250 g of waste and nearly 6 kg of carbon dioxide-equivalents per phacoemulsification, equating to approximately 5 percent of the carbon footprint for phacoemulsification in the United Kingdom – with similar outcomes.

Medicare Shift to Quality Over Quantity Presents Challenges
Washington University in St. Louis (12/04/17) Strait, Julia Evangelou

A new study hints that even large physician practices may have trouble moving to a payment system that rewards quality of health care over quantity of services delivered. The analysis included data from the first year of a program run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and known as the Physician Value-Based Payment Modifier program.

Time for the Florida Senate to Deliver Surgical Savings to Floridians
Orlando Medical News (12/07/17) Cobbe, Fraser

There was terrific news resonating from Tallahassee earlier this week as the Senate Health Policy Committee unanimously approved SB 250, Ambulatory Surgical Centers. Our hope is that 2018 is finally the year that the Senate will deliver much needed savings and expanded access to surgical services in our state.

New Mega-Deal Shows How Health Insurers Are Taking Over Your Access to Medical Care
Washington Post (12/06/17) Johnson, Carolyn Y.

The nation's largest insurer, UnitedHealth Group, announced Wednesday that it would buy a network of 300 primary care and specialist clinics from dialysis giant DaVita for $4.9 billion, in the latest deal reshaping the business of health insurance. The deal, which does not include DaVita's main kidney-care business, comes days after CVS Health agreed to buy health insurer Aetna for $69 billion.

FDA: Advancing New Digital Health Policies to Encourage Innovation, Bring Efficiency and Modernization to Regulation
FDA News Release (12/07/17) Gottlieb, Scott

Today we're announcing three new, significant policy documents to advance the FDA's approach to the development and proper oversight of innovative digital health tools. We know that consumers and health care providers are increasingly embracing digital health technologies to inform everyday decisions.

CMS Office of the Actuary Releases 2016 National Health Expenditures
CMS Press Release (12/06/17)

In 2016, overall national health spending increased 4.3 percent following 5.8 percent growth in 2015, according to a study by the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published today as a Web First by Health Affairs. Following Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage expansion and significant retail prescription drug spending growth in 2014 and 2015, health care spending growth decelerated in 2016.

Lack of Knowledge and Changing Healthcare Landscape Impacting Millennial Payments
Globe Newswire (12/07/17)

A new TransUnion Healthcare Millennial Report found that nearly six in 10 Millennials (57 percent) have little to no understanding of their health insurance benefits. This is significantly lower than other generations, including Gen X (50 percent) and Baby Boomers (42 percent).

Report: Varying Treatment Prices Raise Health Care Costs
Associated Press (12/08/17)

Health care costs in Utah rose as hospitals and doctors increased rates and charged wildly different amounts for common procedures, according to a Utah Foundation report. The nonpartisan group's report was compiled in response to a survey last year that found Utah residents were concerned about health care costs more than any other issue, the Salt Lake Tribune reported Wednesday.

Drug Companies Sue to Block California Drug Price Law
Associated Press (12/08/17) Cooper, Jonathan

Pharmaceutical companies on Friday sued to block a new California law that would require them to give advance notice before big price increases. The law was approved this year in response to consumer outrage over a rise in drug spending and high costs for some prescription treatments, including new Hepatitis C medications and EpiPens to control allergic reactions.

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