ASCA News Digest (July 18, 2017)

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July 18, 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

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2018 proposed payment rule for ASCs and hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) last week. If the proposed rule were to be finalized as drafted, ASCs would see, on average over all covered procedures, an effective update of 1.9 percent—a combination of a 2.3 percent inflation update based on CMS’ estimation of the change in Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) and a productivity reduction mandated by the Affordable Care Act of 0.4 percentage points. Read more.
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To help ASCs provide high-quality translation and interpretation services and comply with Medicare requirements, ASCA has formed an affinity partnership with Akorbi. Through this relationship, ASCA members can enjoy special discounted rates on Akorbi’s language solutions, which are available in more than 170 languages. Learn more.
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Find out how your ASC compares to similar facilities with ASCA Benchmarking, ASCA’s online clinical and operational benchmarking program. Data collection for the second quarter (Q2) is now open and will close on July 31. Participation in ASCA Benchmarking is open to the entire ASC community, and ASCA members receive a $300 discount on survey subscriptions. If you have not yet signed up for the 2017 program, purchase your subscription today. Subscribe.
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ASCA is accepting submissions for session topics and speakers for ASCA 2018, scheduled to take place April 11–14 in Boston, Massachusetts. If you have suggestions for educational content, please let us know by July 31. Submit your suggestion.
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After its gastroenterology service line experienced a difficult year, the Surgery Center of Farmington in Farmington, Missouri, wanted to find a way to attract more patients. To read about the early success of the ASC’s new “Scopes for Hope” program, visit the ASC Focus website.
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As a reminder, the deadline to submit 2016 data for the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program is Tuesday, August 15, 2017. ASCs should start the process required to report data for these measures now. Read more.
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Industry News

Vermont Regulators Approve Independent Surgical Center
VT Digger (07/11/17) Mansfield, Erin

State regulators have approved a permit for an independent surgical center in a controversial case that has dragged on for two years. The Green Mountain Care Board issued the permit, called a certificate of need, in a 4-1 decision issued late Monday night.

FDA to Require Expanded Training on Opioids
CNN (07/11/17) Kounang, Nadia

To help curb the nation's opioid overdose epidemic, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced, the agency will expand its requirements for prescription opioid manufacturers to provide prescriber training to clinicians, including nurses and pharmacists as well as physicians. Until this point, the FDA required manufacturers of only extended-release, or long-acting, painkillers to provide this type of education.

Wisconsin Clinic Targets Thunder Bay, Ont. in Advertising for Patients
CBC News (Canada) (07/13/17)

A private clinic in Wisconsin is now targeting Thunder Bay in its advertising as it looks to entice patients from the northwestern Ontario city go south for procedures like elective hip and knee replacements. Doctors Michel Gelinas and Mark Balas are part of the ownership of the Northwoods Surgery Center in Woodruff, Wis., a private medical centre specializing in outpatient surgery in areas like gastroenterology, ophthalmology and orthopedics.

Health Care Overhaul Collapses as Two Republican Senators Defect
New York Times (07/17/17) Kaplan, Thomas

Two more Republican senators declared on Monday night that they would oppose the Senate Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, killing, for now, a seven-year-old promise to overturn President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement. The announcement by the senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas, left their leaders at least two votes short of the number needed to begin debate on their bill to dismantle the health law.

National Health Care Fraud Takedown: Charges Against Over 412 Individuals Responsible for $1.3 Billion in Fraud
DEA News Release (07/13/17)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, M.D., announced today the largest ever health care fraud enforcement action by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, involving 412 charged defendants across 41 federal districts, including 115 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, for their alleged participation in health care fraud schemes involving approximately $1.3 billion in false billings. Of those charged, over 120 defendants, including doctors, were charged for their roles in prescribing and distributing opioids and other dangerous narcotics.

National Strategy to Reduce Opioid Epidemic, an Urgent Public Health Priority, Presented in New Report
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (07/13/17)

Years of sustained and coordinated efforts will be required to contain and reverse the harmful societal effects of the prescription and illicit opioid epidemics, which are intertwined and getting worse, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report, requested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), says it is possible to stem the still-escalating prevalence of opioid use disorder and other opioid-related harms without foreclosing access to opioids for patients suffering from pain whose providers have prescribed these drugs responsibly.

Inspector General Says Roseburg VA Used Outdated Colonoscopy Methods
Roseburg News-Review (OR) (07/11/17) Cegavske, Carisa

The inspector general of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced Tuesday that the Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center has been performing colonoscopies using outdated methods. The inspector general reported conclusions based on an investigation requested by U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield.

Hopkins Surgeons Develop Minimally Invasive Surgery for Chronic Pancreatitis
Baltimore Sun (07/16/17) Wells, Carrie

Johns Hopkins Medicine surgeons have developed a minimally invasive surgery to address chronic pancreatitis, a painful condition that can be remedied by removing the pancreas. While some cases of chronic pancreatitis are caused by alcoholism, most of them are from a genetic mutation.

Virtual Reality System Helps Surgeons, Reassures Patients
Stanford Medicine News Center (07/11/17)

Having undergone two aneurysm surgeries, Sandi Rodoni thought she understood everything about the procedure. But when it came time for her third surgery, the Watsonville, California, resident was treated to a virtual reality trip inside her own brain.

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