ASCA News Digest (July 5, 2017)

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July 5, 2017


ASCA Highlights

Industry News

Cipher Health   Free Guide: Creating a Successful Patient Outreach Program

Download the guide to learn the five steps necessary to create a cost-effective and impactful patient outreach program. With the right program, ambulatory surgery centers can successfully engage patients in their care to meet regulatory requirements, proactively resolve issues, and enhance overall experiences.

ASCA Highlights

Data collection for the second quarter (Q2) of ASCA Benchmarking is now open. Subscribers to ASCA’s clinical and operational benchmarking program should make sure to submit their data by July 31. If you have not yet signed up for this valuable program, purchase your 2017 subscription today and receive the Q1 national report for free. Subscribe.
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Register for the ASCA Asset Network by Friday, July 7, and receive a complimentary Projected Savings Report based on your 2017 capital equipment list. ASCA has partnered with Healthcare Asset Network to offer this unique program, which provides a secure online marketplace where ASCs can buy and sell health care supplies and equipment. Join the ASCA Asset Network.
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ASCA’s Online Training Series is an easy, cost-effective way to earn continuing education (CE) credits at any time and from anywhere. The series features a collection of courses that apply specifically to ASCs and are designed to train your entire staff on the most current regulations and standards of care. Sign up today.
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Make plans to support the ASC industry by hosting a facility tour during National ASC Week, August 7–11. This is your opportunity to education policymakers and the public about the high-quality, cost-efficient surgical care that ASCs provide. If you would like assistance with informational materials or coordinating a tour, contact Danielle Kaster. Learn more.
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Word of mouth is a proven way to refer membership to your peers. ASCA will award a $25 gift card to every member who recruits a new ASC to join the association; any individual who works in an ASC that is a member of ASCA is eligible to participate. Learn more.
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While most in the ASC community are now aware that the Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (OAS CAHPS) Survey will be mandated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), many questions remain. To find answers and clarifications, visit the ASC Focus website.
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its July addenda, which provides third-quarter updates to the ASC payment system. ASCA has updated its payment resources to reflect these changes. Quarterly changes are primarily made to reimbursement rates for many of the ancillary codes. Read more.
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Industry News

Global Malware Attack Hits U.S. Healthcare Entities
Health Leaders Media (06/29/2017) Pecci, Alexandra Wilson

The pharmaceutical company Merck, health records service Nuance Communications, and the Pennsylvania-based Heritage Valley Health System were among the many entities affected by a global ransomware attack this week. As a result, HHS has warned the healthcare and public health sector about the ongoing risk and ripple-effect problems that may stem from the attacks.

Physicians Found to Be Unprepared for Quality Reporting: Survey
KPMG News Release (06/28/17)

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) promises to reshape how Medicare pays physicians under the Quality Payment Program (QPP). Yet, a survey of 1,000 practicing physicians who have been involved in practice decision-making related to QPP shows that fewer than one in four physicians feel well prepared to meet its requirements in 2017, according to a survey by American Medical Association (AMA) and KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm.

Doctors Charge Substantially More to Commercial Insurers
Twin Cities Business (06/17) Burda, David

While one report from the Congressional Budget Office received a great deal of national attention this week, another CBO report got far less though it may have a more practical, immediate impact on health plans and employers. The first CBO report, of course, is the one that estimated that the number of people without health insurance would rise by 22 million by 2026 under the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 proposed by Senate Republicans to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Screening Recommended in Young Given Left-Sided CRC Predominance
Healio (06/30/2017) Leitenberger, Adam

New research warrants flexible sigmoidoscopy screening starting at age 40 in average risk individuals given the rising incidence of early-onset colorectal cancer and the left-sided predominance of CRC in these patients, according to a presentation at the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons Annual Scientific Meeting. "This is potentially practice changing," James M. Church, MD, of the department of colorectal surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, told Healio Gastroenterology.

Lawmaker Raises Concerns About Proposed Surgical Center
VT Digger (06/28/17) Mansfield, Erin

Rep. Jessica Brumsted, D-Shelburne, said Tuesday that a proposed independent surgical center in Colchester could lead to higher health care costs and possible layoffs at hospitals. Brumsted, who is married to the CEO of Vermont's largest hospital, made the comments during a meeting at OneCare Vermont, where another lawmaker asked if the surgical center would be allowed to join the organization's network of providers.

Axxess Partners With Florida Society of Ambulatory Surgical Centers
D CEO Healthcare (06/30/17) Nguyen, Olivia

Dallas-based Axxess, a home health technology company focusing on cloud-based software and services, is partnering with Tallahassee, Fla.-based Florida Society of Ambulatory Surgical Centers. The joint venture will use Axxess’ out-patient and ambulatory surgery to strengthen patient engagement at FSASC.

Competition Heats Up for Patients in Grand Rapids
Minneapolis Star Tribune (06/29/17) Snowbeck, Christopher

Duluth-based Essentia Health is investing $14 million to expand its clinic in Grand Rapids and become partial owner of a surgery center that has operated in the northern Minnesota city for roughly a decade. The moves come less than a year after Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services took over the hospital in Grand Rapids through a merger agreement designed to preserve and expand health care services in the community.

Georgia Supreme Court Takes Up CON Law
Atlanta Business Chronicle (06/26/17) Williams, Dave

Georgia's Certificate of Need law restricts competition in the health-care industry in violation of anti-monopoly provisions in the Georgia Constitution, a lawyer representing owners of a women's surgical center told the state Supreme Court Monday. "There is no health-care exception in the anti-monopoly clause," said James Manley, a senior attorney at the Arizona-based Goldwater Institute, a conservative legal advocacy group.

Indy Doctors See Uptick in Colonoscopy Requests
RTV6 (06/20/17) Casey, Lauren

A health campaign led by retired race car driver John Andretti has encouraged thousands of people to check for colon cancer. Andretti underwent his second surgery Tuesday after being diagnosed with colon cancer earlier this year.

Keys to Better Environment of Care Compliance With EC.02.06.01 – Part 1
Joint Commission Ambulatory Buzz blog (06/28/17) Kulczycki, Michael

From highly-specialized ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) to busy community health centers, ambulatory health care organizations provide their services across a variety of patient care platforms. With patients frequently coming and going and more limited staffing and resources, it's also no secret it can be especially challenging to ensure the quality and safety of care in an ambulatory care center.

White House Official: If Senate Health Care Bill Fails, Pass Simple ACA Repeal
USA Today (07/02/17) Shesgreen, Deirdre

A top White House official and several Republican senators said on Sunday that Congress should consider a stand-alone bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act if the Senate cannot agree on an alternative to replace the 2010 health care law. "If the replacement part is too difficult for Republicans to come together, then let's go back and take care of the first step and repeal," Marc Short, the White House's legislative affairs director, said on Fox News Sunday.

Trump Nominates Indiana Doctor for Surgeon General
USA Today (06/30/17) Rudavsky, Sheri

Indiana's top doctor could soon become the nation's surgeon general. President Trump on Thursday nominated Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Jerome Adams to serve as the next surgeon general.

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