ASCA News Digest (June 6, 2017)

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June 6, 2017


ASCA Highlights

Industry News

Crisis Focus  

Is your Surgery Center ready for November 15?

This is the deadline for compliance with the new CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule.

Crisis Focus can help you:

  • Access a complimentary Compliance Checklist specific to Ambulatory Surgery Centers.
  • Learn the key elements for compliance and how to implement them.
  • Receive discounts on training and resources as an ASCA member with code ASCA17.

Learn more from experts in the health care emergency preparedness field.

ASCA Highlights

ASCA has partnered with Healthcare Asset Network to launch the ASCA Asset Network, a secure online portal where ASCs can buy and sell health care supplies and equipment. This unique platform provides a streamlined, vetted marketplace for new and refurbished equipment and ASC supplies. ASCs that join the ASCA Asset Network by July 7 will also receive a complimentary projected savings report. Learn more.
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During ASCA’s next webinar, “Seven Things You Need to Know About Managed Care Contracts,” Scott Allen and Lisa Rock of National Medical Billing Services will discuss best practices for navigating contracts, ways you can protect your revenue stream and strategies to help your ASC avoid common problems when applying contracts to your coding and billing process. The webinar is scheduled for June 13 at 1:00 pm ET; the cost is $100 for ASCA members and $150 for nonmembers. This webinar is included in the 2017 Webinar All-Access Pass, which includes the live events and recordings for all 18 webinars.
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Sign up to attend the ASCA Virtual Career Fair, scheduled for Thursday, June 15. All you need is an Internet connection to take part in this one-of-a-kind event for ambulatory surgery professionals, where interviews are conducted via instant message or Skype. The ASCA Virtual Career Fair is free for job-seekers. Register today.
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Session recordings from ASCA 2017 are now available for purchase in ASCA’s Learning Center. Catch up on what you missed or review the presentations you found most useful from ASCA’s annual meeting, held last month in Washington, DC. Purchase recordings.
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Time is running out to receive continuing education (CE) credits from ASCA 2017. If you plan to request CE credits, nursing contact hours, administrator education units (AEUs), continuing medical education (CME) or a certificate of participation, you must do so by June 30. To submit online, you will need your ID number located on the back of your attendee badge. If you no longer have your badge, send an email to and request your ID number. Request CE credits.
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ASCA encourages members of the ASC community to participate in National ASC Week, August 7–11. This is a great opportunity to promote awareness of the ASC industry by inviting elected officials, the media and members of your community to open houses and facility tours. If you would like assistance with informational materials or coordinating a tour, contact Danielle Kaster. Learn more.
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On May 26, US Representatives Devin Nunes (R-CA) and John Larson (D-CT), along with a bipartisan group of 22 representatives, sent a letter to US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price asking him to use his statutory authority to move ASCs from the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) to the hospital market basket. Read more.
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3M HealthCare   Free Continuing Education Credit - Register Now

Join us June 15 from 9-10 AM CST for a live education webinar with Al Van Duren and Melissa Bailey. We will be discussing Non-Invasive Core Temperature Monitoring Registration. Reserve your space today!

Industry News

Study Reveals Practice Owners No Longer the Physician Majority
AMA News Release (05/31/17)

Less than half of patient care physicians had an ownership stake in their medical practice, according to a newly updated study on physician practice arrangements by the American Medical Association (AMA). This marks the first time that physician practice owners fell below a majority portion of the nation's patient care physicians since the AMA began documenting practice arrangement trends.

Tracking Cataract Surgery Outcomes Leads to Improved Performance
Ocular Surgery News (06/01/17) Cimberle, Michela

Tracking the outcomes of cataract surgery helps individual surgeons and clinics improve their performance, leading to overall better results and greater patient satisfaction, according to a speaker. "Patient expectations are sky-high nowadays," Richard S. Davidson, MD, said at the OSN Italy meeting.

What's Your Board's Competency in Quality and Safety?
Joint Commission -- Leadership Blog (05/30/17) Berman, Steven

Board members play a vital role in ensuring high-quality care and patient safety in health care organizations. However, a new study suggests problematic gaps between what board members think they know and what they do in regards to quality and safety, as well as board members’ capability in quality and safety, as assessed by safety and quality leaders (SQLs) at their own health care organizations.

Handshake-Free Zone: Keep Those Hands — And Germs — to Yourself in the Hospital
Kaiser Health News (05/30/17) Gorman, Anna

Dr. Mark Sklansky, a self-described germaphobe, can't stop thinking about how quickly those little microbes can spread. "If I am at a computer terminal or using a phone or opening a door, I know my hands are now contaminated, and I need to be careful and I need to wash my hands," said Sklansky, professor of pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

CMS Approves GIQuIC as a Qualified Clinical Data Registry for the 2017 Reporting Year
PR Newswire (06/01/17)

The GI Quality Improvement Consortium, Ltd. (GIQuIC) Registry has been approved as a Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) for reporting to the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for the 2017 reporting year. "GIQuIC is pleased to announce the Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR) approval for the 2017 reporting year," said Glenn M. Eisen, MD, MPH, FASGE, President of the GIQuIC Board of Directors.

Health Insurers Go All in on Value-Based Drug Pricing
Fierce Healthcare (06/02/2017) Small, Leslie

Judging by recent developments, health insurers are stepping up their efforts to embrace value-based purchasing for prescription drugs. One of those insurers is UPMC Health Plan, which announced this week that it had created the Center for Value-Based Purchasing for Pharmaceuticals to "fundamentally change the way medications are paid for in the U.S."

Rome Doctor Performs 1st Area Outpatient Knee Replacement
Rome News-Tribune (GA) (06/05/17) Popham, John

A full joint replacement surgery can typically keep patients in the hospital for at least two days, however a Rome doctor has been able to send some of his patients home the day of surgery. Dr. Justin Dunn, of Rome Orthopedic Center & Sports Medicine, performed the first full outpatient knee replacement in Floyd County last month on Dave Williams of Cave Spring.

Rising Health Costs May Cause People to Contribute Less to 401(k) Plans
CNBC (06/05/17) Anderson, Tom

Skyrocketing health costs don't just make it harder for you now — they can diminish your retirement, too. More than 60 percent of employees said they are contributing less to their 401(k) plans because of rising health-care costs, according to a new survey from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

National Time Out Day: Be a Time Out Super Hero
Joint Commission (06/02/17)

National Time Out Day is an annual awareness campaign through the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) and supported by The Joint Commission to increase awareness of safe practices that lead to optimal outcomes for patients undergoing surgery and other invasive procedures. The time out is a powerful tool that supports a culture of safety and the surgical teams' ability to speak up for safe practices in the operating room.

Optum's Surgical Care Affiliates Partners With Western Connecticut Orthopedic Surgery Center
Business Wire (05/31/17)

Surgical Care Affiliates, Inc., a leader in the outpatient surgery industry and part of Optum, a technology-enabled health services and innovation company, has made an equity investment in Western Connecticut Orthopedic Surgery Center effective May 1, 2017. WCOSC, a multi-specialty facility in Danbury, Conn., has 14 physician partners specializing in orthopedic and spine procedures.

Novant Health Appeals Operating Room Denial
Star News (NC) (05/31/17) Holland, Makenzie

Novant Health has not given up on the chance to build an operating room in Leland. The state recently selected EmergeOrtho, under the name Brunswick Surgery Center, to build a $4.2 million ambulatory surgery center featuring one operating room and two procedure rooms at its existing facility in the Brunswick Forest area.

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