ASCA News Digest (January 4, 2017)

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January 4, 2017


ASCA Highlights

Industry News

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    ASCA Highlights

    Webinars All-Access Pass: Great Education At One Low Price

    Get ASCA’s new All-Access Pass and stop wasting time picking and choosing webinars to attend next year. Pay one low rate and gain access to the entire 2017 webinar series, both the live events and recordings. The cost is $395 for ASCA members and $595 for nonmembers. Save more than $2,500 on the full purchase price. Click here to view the full 2017 webinar series and secure your pass.
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    One Medical Passport

    Attend ASCA’s Winter Seminars, January 12–14, in San Antonio, and help make sure 2017 is a year to remember. Learn more and register today. Choose from three great conferences presented by ASC experts: Finance & Accounting Seminar, Regulatory & Legal Risk Seminar and the Coding & Reimbursement Seminar. When you register for one seminar, you can attend any of the sessions held during the other concurrent seminars at no additional cost.
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    Registration is now open for ASCA 2017, May 3–6, in Washington, DC. The meeting's extensive networking opportunities will give you the chance to meet thousands of other ASC professionals and industry experts who can help improve all aspects of your ASC's operations. In addition to networking, take advantage of the more than 60 educational sessions, expert speakers and ample continuing education opportunities. Learn more and register.
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    A subscription to ASCA Benchmarking, a national online clinical and operational benchmarking tool, helps you compare your ASC with others so you can focus on the most effective ways of improving your ASC's outcomes, billing, staffing and more. Purchase a 2017 subscription by clicking here.

    Note: There is still time to subscribe to the 2016 survey. Submit your ASC's Q4 2016 data between January 1–31, 2017, and in mid-February, review the findings for all ASCs from the full year.
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    Learn what your ASC needs to do to comply with the new facility and life safety code requirements adopted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services during ASCA's next webinar Implications of the CMS Adoption of the 2012 National Fire Protection Association Life Safety Code. The new guidelines—part of the 2012 editions of National Fire Protection Association 99 & 101—have changed important requirements for existing and new ASCs. You can find out more about their impact on your ASC during this webinar on Tuesday, January 24, at 1:00 pm ET.
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    The Coverage Your Patients Have—That You Don’t Know About


    Date: Tuesday, January 19th

    Time: 1:00-2:00 pm ET


    Unpaid self-pay balances continue to be a leading source of bad-debt and elevated days in AR for providers, from small providers to the largest health systems. In fact, bad debt in healthcare is projected to rise to $200 Billion by 20191. The good news? There’s active, billable coverage hiding in your “self-pay” accounts.

    Join us to learn how ZirMed Coverage Detection identifies and verifies active insurance coverage that wasn’t known at the time of service—including retroactive coverage your patients may be eligible for—and delivers the information you need to accurately bill payers for the care provided.

    In addition to diving into the state of the industry and the drivers behind hidden and unknown coverage, we’ll detail:

    • Why it costs, on average, twice as much to collect from patients than from payers.
    • How ZirMed Coverage Detection finds 2.8x more billable coverage than competitors’ applications—and delivers, on average, a 10% hit rate.
    • How Coverage Detection helps you enhance patient satisfaction by providing insight into the coverage your patients have or are eligible for.

    In this new era of value, providers that demonstrate higher quality, affordable access and lower cost stand to win. While many providers are struggling to find ways to meet these objectives, ASCs are uniquely positioned to excel in this new environment.

    Visit the ASC Focus web site to learn about the ASC advantage and how it could help your ASC thrive in today’s rapidly evolving health care marketplace.
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    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a final rule banning powdered gloves based on the unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury to individuals exposed to the powdered gloves. The ban is effective as of January 19 for powdered surgeon’s gloves, powdered patient examination gloves, and absorbable powder for lubricating a surgeon’s glove that are already in commercial distribution and for these devices that are already sold to the ultimate user, such as small medical practices and hospitals. For more information, click here.
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    Industry News

    FDA Warns of Fires, Explosions From Battery-Powered Medical Carts
    Healthcare Finance News (12/29/16) Morse, Susan

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning providers and facility administrators about fires caused by lithium batteries in battery-powered mobile medical carts. The FDA has received reports of hospital fires and other health hazards, including explosions, fires, smoking, or overheating of equipment that required hospital evacuations, that were associated with batteries used in mobile medical carts and their chargers, according to the letter published Tuesday on the FDA website.

    Recovery Care Bill Re-Emerges in Florida Senate
    WLRN (FL) (01/02/2017)

    A Senate Republican on Thursday proposed allowing patients to stay overnight in ambulatory-surgical centers and allowing the creation of what are known as "recovery care centers." The bill (SB 222), filed by Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, for the 2017 legislative session, could help refuel a debate about ambulatory-surgical centers and recovery care centers.

    Surgery Centers Fight Insurance Change to Protect Colonoscopy Patients
    Michigan Peninsula News (12/30/16)

    Michigan's ambulatory surgery centers are protesting a policy change from some insurance companies operating in the state that would adversely affect patients undergoing colonoscopies. The insurance change has been met with sharp criticism from ambulatory surgery centers, which aim to provide convenient same-day surgical procedures outside of a hospital at a lower cost.

    Joint Commission Announces Medicare-Deemed ASC Surveyor Changes for 2017
    Joint Commission (11/30/16)

    Effective Jan. 1, 2017, in order to better align with the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) surveyor guidelines, approximately two-thirds of ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) electing to use the Medicare-deemed option may receive adjustments to the survey complements (length and/or number of surveyors). The Joint Commission is adjusting its current survey team structure for ASCs to further enhance the already effective and rigorous survey process.

    Wills Eye Takes Medicare Fight to Federal Court (12/28/16) Brubaker, Harold

    Wills Eye Hospital has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Philadelphia seeking to overturn a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services decision that Wills does not qualify as a hospital under Medicare. The complaint, filed Friday, is the latest step in a dispute that stretches back to 2013, when Wills finished remodeling its Center City facility for inpatients but was denied Medicare certification because, according to federal officials, it would have too few inpatients relative to outpatients.

    Joint Commission Clarifies Text Messaging Rules for Doctors
    mHealth Intelligence (12/20/16) Wicklund, Eric

    The Joint Commission is clarifying its guidance on text messaging for providers, saying clinicians can use a HIPAA-compliant platform to send messages to each other but can’t text patient care orders. The commission reportedly made its latest decision in August, then issued a clarification in its December online newsletter.

    Why You Should Want Your Surgeon to Play Video Games
    Marketplace (12/19/16) Stephens, Danielle

    At the start of the procedure, the first thing Dr. Komal Bajaj has to get past is a thick band of nose hairs. She gently maneuvers the endoscope through the nasal passage, trying to open up the patient's airway.

    Aetna Fight for Humana Awaits Judge's Ruling in U.S. Case
    Bloomberg (12/30/16) McLaughlin, David

    Aetna Inc.'s fight to complete its purchase of Humana Inc. is now with a federal judge who must decide whether the combination of the two health insurers should be blocked because it risks raising consumers' costs. U.S. District Judge John D. Bates in Washington heard final arguments Friday from the companies and the Justice Department about the $37 billion deal, which the government says should be stopped.

    Partners HealthCare's CEO Talks ACA, VA With Trump
    Boston Globe (12/28/16) McCluskey, Priyanka Dayal

    The head of Massachusetts' largest health care system joined other prominent hospital executives in a meeting on Wednesday with President-elect Donald Trump, who has vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a move many in the medical industry oppose. Partners HealthCare chief executive Dr. David Torchiana attended the 90-minute closed-door session at the president-elect's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., along with the CEOs of Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, and Johns Hopkins Medicine.

    Faced With Unaffordable Drug Prices, Tens Of Millions Buy Medicine Outside U.S.
    Kaiser Health News (12/20/16) Bluth, Rachel

    As drug prices have spiraled upward in the past decade, tens of millions of generally law-abiding Americans have committed an illegal act in response: They have bought prescriptions outside the U.S. and imported them. One was Debra Miller, of Collinston, La., who traveled to Mexico four times a year for 10 years to get diabetes and blood pressure medicine.

    Olympus Executives Plead the 5th When Questioned About Deadly Outbreaks Tied to Medical Scopes
    Los Angeles Times (12/19/16) Terhune, Chad

    Three senior executives at medical scope maker Olympus Corp. repeatedly invoked their 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination when questioned recently about internal company emails dealing with its role in superbug outbreaks. The executives declined to answer questions about the correspondence during two days of depositions in Tokyo on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 in a U.S. civil case against Olympus, according to lawyers representing a Seattle hospital and a patient's widow.

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