ASCA News Digest (December 19, 2017)

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December 19, 2017


ASCA Highlights

Industry News

clariti   Patient Estimation and Collection Made Easy.

Making the Complex Easy. How to Create an Accurate Patient Estimate.

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• Combines payor contract, eligibility, and payment history to create a highly accurate estimate.
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ASCA Highlights

Next month, join ASCA and your colleagues at one of three Winter Seminars, January 11–13, in Las Vegas, Nevada. There is still time to register for 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. Register.
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One Medical Passport

Keep your ASC on track for success in the new year by subscribing to ASCA Benchmarking. ASCA’s clinical and operational benchmarking program provides vital data that allows you 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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Whether you’re looking for a new supplier, purchasing equipment or hiring a consultant, you can find the answers you’re searching for at ASCA 2018. In the exhibit hall at ASCA’s annual meeting, April 11–14 in Boston, Massachusetts, you’ll have access to hundreds of ASC-industry vendors who can answer your questions and provide thousands of solutions. Learn more and register.
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In 2017, ASCA welcomed nearly 200 new facility members to the association. View list of ASCA’s new members in 2017.
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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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With Medicare’s 2018 payment rule in final form and the calendar refreshing toward a new year, now is a good time for ASCA members to consider how to make the most of all the regulatory resources ASCA makes available for their use each year. Learn how you can put ASCA’s regulatory resources to work in your ASC.
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In a year-end legislative package to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program and several expiring Medicare provisions, the House Committee on Ways and Means proposes to extend the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Misvalued Code Initiative. The initiative, originally set to expire in 2018, has resulted in significant reductions to many specialty codes. This proposal would remove an additional $1 billion or more from the physician payment pool. Read more.
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Industry News

Study: Growing Number of Employed Physicians Driving Higher Medicare Costs
Physicians News Network (12/12/17) Leggett, Scott

Medicare costs for certain common procedures have risen sharply as hospitals employ more physicians, according to new research observers say highlights the benefits of doctors working independently in outpatient centers unaffiliated with large healthcare systems. The study, commissioned by the nonprofit Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) and conducted by Washington, D.C.-based consultancy Avalere Health, showed that a 49 percent increase in hospital employment of physicians between 2012 and 2015 coincided with an increase of $2.7 billion spent on services for four specific cardiology, orthopedic and gastroenterology services.

The Highest Paying Jobs of 2017 (12/17/2017)

High-level health care professions offer some of the most substantial wages of any industry. Of the 10 highest paying jobs of 2017 per the Jobs Rated report, seven are medical professions – including five of the six highest paying jobs overall.

GOP Tax Bill Could Trigger $25 Billion in Cuts to Medicare
San Francisco Chronicle (12/15/17) Ho, Catherine

The GOP tax bill, finalized Friday, could lead to large cuts in Medicare spending starting in 2018 — prompting concern among consumer groups and policy experts that the health insurance program for seniors may be weakened as a result of Republicans’ push to lower corporate tax rates. The legislation, which Congress is scheduled to vote on Tuesday, does not explicitly include language to reduce Medicare spending. However, because of a law that requires cuts to certain federal programs if Congress passes legislation that creates a deficit, the bill could trigger cuts of $25 billion, or 4 percent, to Medicare starting next year.

How ASCs Can Ace Patient Satisfaction
Health Leaders Media (12/14/2017) Shute, Debra

Ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) can be an appealing option for patients—and a sound revenue stream for systems and physicians. Patient satisfaction scores can play a key role in an ASC's success, but obtaining high patient ratings can be difficult.

Scam Calls Pose as Local Business
Times Observer (12/12/17) Gross, Stacey

"We will never call you asking for credit card information." That's what Scott Spangler, Executive Director of the Pine Grove Ambulatory Surgical Center, said he wants people in the community to know after he was alerted Monday afternoon that a new scam in which callers claim to be from the surgery center are asking for credit card information.

Cataract Surgery Significantly Reduces Falls in Elderly
Healio (12/15/2017)

First-eye cataract surgery was found to be associated with a 33 percent reduction of falls in older adults, suggesting that efficient services for early cataract management might minimize the burden of falls in this population. In the same study, an increased risk of falls was reported with major changes and imbalance in spectacle lens power after first eye surgery.

Colorectal Cancer Screening: Utility of Septin-9 Assays
Cancer Therapy Advisor (12/15/17) Kistler, C. Andrew

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second and third most frequently diagnosed cancer in females and males, respectively, worldwide. In the United States alone, just under 150,000 new cases of CRC are diagnosed per year. There are multiple guidelines for colon cancer screening.

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