ASCA News Digest (July 25, 2017)

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July 25, 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 data collection period for the second quarter (Q2) of ASCA Benchmarking closes on Monday, July 31. If you have not yet subscribed to this valuable clinical and operational benchmarking program, purchase your subscription by the end of the month and you will also receive the Q1 national report for free. Participation in ASCA Benchmarking is open to the entire ASC community, and ASCA members receive a $300 discount on survey subscriptions. Subscribe.
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Register today for ASCA's 2018 Winter Seminars, January 11–13 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Choose from three specialized programs, designed specifically for ASC professionals: Coding Update & Reimbursement Strategies, Minimizing Your Regulatory & Legal Risk and—new this year—Infection Control & Prevention Techniques for ASCs. Learn more and register.
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The Board of Ambulatory Surgery Certification (BASC) seeks assistance with creating the exam for the new certification program for infection preventionists in the ASC industry. If you are an infection preventionist in your ASC or an ASC infection prevention consultant and feel your expertise would be beneficial in helping create the exam, we invite you to submit your name for consideration. Learn more.
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Learn about the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) survey process for ASCs directly from a CMS official during ASCA’s next webinar, scheduled for Tuesday, August 8, at 1:00 pm ET. During the program, ASC Program Lead & Hospital Analyst Erin McCoy, RN, will discuss ways your ASC can prepare for a survey, go over the current infection control worksheet, explain the role of state agencies and the accreditation organizations and more. The cost is $100 for ASCA members and $150 for nonmembers. This webinar is also included in the 2017 Webinar All-Access Pass, which includes the live events and recordings for all 17 webinars.
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If you have suggestions for topics and speakers you would like to see at ASCA 2018, let us know. Your ideas will help us plan the program for ASCA’s next annual meeting, April 11–14, 2018, in Boston, Massachusetts. The deadline for submissions is Monday, July 31. Submit your ideas.
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ASCA has been advocating for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to remove total knee arthroplasty (TKA), CPT code 27447, from the inpatient-only (IPO) list and include it on the ASC-payable list. In the 2018 proposed rule, CMS proposed the removal of TKA from the IPO list, acknowledging they have “taken into account the recommendation from the summer 2016 Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment (HOP Panel) meeting to remove the TKA procedure from the IPO list.” Read more.
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Industry News

Is Your Surgery Center Ready for California's Surprise Medical Billing Law?
JD Supra (07/20/17)

A new California law (AB 72) limits the amount that out-of-network surgeons and other health care professionals may bill patients for covered non-emergency services provided at a contracted facility, such as an ambulatory surgery center. California's "surprise medical bill" law went into effect on July 1, 2017.

Failures in Stethoscope Hygiene Can Lead to Patient Infections
Science Daily (07/18/2017)

You can lead a doctor to disinfection, but how do you get them to clean...or wipe ... or swab a stethoscope? That's the question raised by a new quality improvement project published in the July issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official journal of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).

New ECG Report Discusses Changes in Surgical Landscape and the Ambulatory Surgery Imperative for Health Systems
PR Newswire (07/18/17)

ECG Management Consultants, a national healthcare management consulting firm, recently published a new white paper, ASCs at a Tipping Point: The New Reality of Surgical Services for Health Systems, urging health systems to establish an ambulatory surgery strategy before it's too late. "For many health systems, hospital-based surgery has historically been the crown jewel of services, generating significant revenue."

Health-Care Price Transparency Faces Opposition in Ohio From Hospitals and Doctors (07/23/17) Bluth, Rachel

Two years after it passed unanimously in Ohio's state Legislature, a law meant to inform patients what health care procedures will cost is in a state of suspended animation. One of the most stringent in a group of similar state laws being proposed across the country, Ohio's Healthcare Price Transparency Law stipulated that providers had to give patients a "good faith" estimate of what non-emergency services would cost individuals after insurance before they commenced treatment.

How Much Do Health Procedures Cost in Oregon? Depends Where You Live
Oregon Public Broadcasting (07/21/2017) Foden-Vencil, Kristian

The Oregon Health Authority just released its second review of hospital pricing and there are some big differences. During 2015, the cost of a typical child delivery at St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Baker City was $4,000.

Ophthalmologist Gets O.K. to Open Outpatient Surgery Center
Cedar Rapids Gazette (IA) (07/20/17) Jordan, Erin

After applying five times in more than a decade for state permission to open an outpatient eye surgery center in Cedar Rapids, ophthalmologist Lee Birchansky was given the go-ahead this week. The State Health Facilities Council voted 3-to-2 in Ankeny Wednesday to approve Birchansky’s certificate of need for a surgery center next to his Fox Eye Laser & Cosmetic Institute on H Avenue NE.

Boynton Beach Outpatient Surgery Center Under New Ownership
PR Web (07/19/17)

Physician Partners of America (PPOA), a Tampa, Florida-based medical organization, has purchased Bethesda Outpatient Surgery Center, 10301 Hagen Ranch Road, Suite #520, Boynton Beach, Florida. The purchase was completed, and the surgery center under new management, since May 31.

State's First Free-Standing Same-Day Surgical Center to Close
South Florida Sun-Sentinel (07/15/17) Hurtibise, Ron

It's hard to imagine now, but 40 years ago, the concept of having surgery without spending a night in a hospital was unsettling to many in the medical community. Hospitals were judged by how many beds they could fill.

Patient Positioning During Minimally Invasive Surgery: What Is Current Best Practice?
Robotic Surgery: Research and Reviews (07/14/17) Zillioux, Jacqueline M.; Krupski, Tracey L.

Positioning injuries are a known surgical complication and can result in significant patient morbidity. Studies have shown a small but significant number of neurovascular injuries associated with minimally invasive surgery, due to both patient and case-specific factors.

Female Surgeons Making Inroads in Male-Dominated Operating Rooms
Hartford Courant (CT) (07/18/17) Srinivasan, Sujata

When the lights power on in the operating room at Bridgeport Hospital, more than a half of the acute care team of surgeons peering from behind the masks are women. That's unusual, given that fewer than one-third of all surgeons in Connecticut are female, according to the latest figures from the American Medical Association (AMA).

CBO: Out-of-Pocket Health Costs Would Skyrocket Under Revised BCRA
Healthcare Dive (07/21/17) Muchmore, Shannon

The revised version of the Better Care and Reconciliation Act (BCRA) didn't have many substantial changes, and the new analysis from the Congressional Budget Office shows the same general takeaways as the first version: 22 million uninsured by 2026, Medicaid cut by $772 billion and an increase of average deductibles. With mounting pressure from President Donald Trump, Senate leadership are still trying to hold a vote of some kind on health care this summer.

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