ASCA News Digest (June 27, 2017)

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June 27, 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

Friday, June 30, is the deadline for ASCA 2017 attendees to request continuing education (CE) credits, nursing contact hours, administrator education units (AEUs), continuing medical education (CME) or a certificate of participation. 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 us an email and request your ID number. Request CE credits.
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Data collection for the second quarter (Q2) of ASCA Benchmarking opens Saturday, July 1, and will close Monday, July 31. This valuable clinical and operational benchmarking program allows you to compare your ASC’s performance with national metrics on outcomes, staffing, billing and more. If you have not yet signed up for the 2017 survey, purchase a subscription today.
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The ASCA Asset Network is a secure online portal where ASCs can buy and sell health care supplies and equipment. ASCA has partnered with Healthcare Asset Network to provide this new resource, which features 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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Advanced Pharma, Inc., d.b.a. Avella of Houston, Texas, is conducting a limited, voluntary recall due to Hospira, Inc.’s, June 15, 2017, recall announcement that microbial growth was detected during a routine simulation of the manufacturing process and, therefore, there was a lack of sterility assurance. The products being recalled by Advanced Pharma were repackaged and/or compounded at its Houston facility using certain Hospira products. The recalled products are specific lots of potassium phosphate and succinylcholine chloride. This is a secondary recall based on Hospira's recent recall. Read more.
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The term “scope of practice” has different definitions in policy and professional documents, which is why it is critical to know how your state’s regulations define the term. Find out how you can educate yourself and avoid adverse outcomes and litigation by visiting the ASC Focus website.
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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.

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its proposed rule for updates to the Quality Payment Program (QPP) established under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA). MACRA replaced the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula as the mechanism for determining physicians’ Medicare payments with two new, value-based reimbursement systems: the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) and Alternative Payment Models (APMs). This year’s proposed rule is meant to further clarify requirements and reporting deadlines that were proposed in the initial QPP rule released last April. Read more.
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Industry News

Pharmacy Boss Blamed for Meningitis Outbreak Gets 9 Years
ABC News (06/26/17) Lavoie, Denise

The co-owner of a pharmacy responsible for the deaths of 76 people was sentenced Monday to nine years in prison after he tearfully apologized to victims who described watching their loved ones die or enduring excruciating physical pain from a 2012 nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak caused by contaminated steroids. "I am so sorry for your extraordinary losses," Barry Cadden said, wiping his eyes.

More Than 500K Clinicians Will Be Hit With 2 Percent Medicare Quality Reporting Penalty This Year
Fierce Healthcare (06/21/2017) Finnegan, Joanne

Slightly more than 500,000 clinicians who participated in the government's Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) will be hit with a 2 percent Medicare penalty this year because they didn't meet program requirements. Some 501,933 clinicians are subject to a 2 percent reduction in their 2017 Part B fee-for-service charges based on 2015 PQRS reporting, according to a report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Anthem Agrees to Pay Record $115M to Settle Data Breach Suit
CNet (06/25/17) Meyers, Michelle

Anthem, the largest health insurance company in the U.S., has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit over a 2015 data breach for a record $115 million. The settlement still has to be approved by U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh, who is scheduled to hear the case on August 17 in San Jose, California.

Infection Control Challenges: What They Reveal, How You Can Respond
Joint Commission Ambulatory Buzz blog (06/14/17) Waldowski, Lisa

Leading the most recent list of the Top Ten Challenging Standards for accredited Ambulatory Health Care (AHC) customers over the last year is an infection control (IC) standard cited more than any other standard in 2016. The standard – IC.02.02.01, EP 2 – is: The organization reduces the risk of infections associated with medical equipment, devices, and supplies by performing a high-level disinfection and sterilization.

Task Force Presents New Ranking of Colorectal Cancer Screening Tests
EurekAlert (06/20/17)

In its latest recommendations, the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force (MSTF) on Colorectal Cancer (CRC) Screening confirms that people at average risk should be screened beginning at age 50, and recommends colonoscopy and fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) as the "first tier" screening tests for this group. Screening continues to be a first line of defense against CRC, as it can detect pre-cancerous growths as well as cancer, which is highly treatable if caught early.

GOP's Obamacare Repeal Bills Threaten Huge Disruptions Across the Healthcare System
Los Angeles Times (06/25/17) Levey, Noam N.

Congressional Republicans, who for years blasted the Affordable Care Act for disrupting Americans' health care, are now pushing changes that threaten to not only strip health coverage from millions, but also upend insurance markets, cripple state budgets and drive medical clinics and hospitals to the breaking point. President Trump and GOP leaders have touted their Obamacare repeal bills--one passed by the House last month and a Senate version unveiled last week--as a necessary fix to problems created by the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

Outpatient Thyroidectomy Safe When Done by Lower-Volume Surgeons
General Surgery News (06/22/17) Smith, Monica J.

Many studies have shown outpatient thyroidectomy to be safe when done by surgeons who perform a high volume of these procedures. Now, new research indicates it also may be safe when performed by surgeons who do only 10 to 25 of these operations a year.

Boston Surgery Center First Free-Standing Surgery Center in Massachusetts to Offer Total Joint Replacement
AmSurg (06/20/17)

On Wednesday, June 14, Boston Out-Patient Surgical Suites, in Waltham, performed the first total joint replacement surgery in a Massachusetts free-standing ambulatory surgery center. The outpatient environment allowed the knee replacement patient to return to her home later in the day and receive ongoing support from a dedicated team of home healthcare professionals and physical therapists.

SurgCenter Development Performs 20,000th Joint Replacement
PR Web (06/19/17)

SurgCenter Development, a leading developer of ambulatory surgical centers (ASC) throughout the United States, recently completed its 20,000th joint replacement since the business launched its joint replacement program in 2013. "Performing an outpatient joint replacement was a concept that was considered renegade just a few years ago," said Dr. Stacey Berner, principal and chief executive officer for SurgCenter Development.

Springfield Center Gets National Recognition for Patient Care
Springfield News-Sun (Ohio) (06/16/17) Sanctis, Matt

A Springfield medical center recently received national recognition for its work promoting endoscopy, a procedure used to evaluate a patient's digestive system. The Springfield Regional Outpatient Center, 2610 N. Limestone St., is the only site in Springfield or Dayton to have earned the recognition from the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy as of January this year, according to information on the agency’s website.

New Brand, Same Commitment to Patients
PR Web (06/20/17)

Fresenius Vascular Care, a national network of outpatient vascular care and ambulatory surgery centers that specialize in minimally invasive techniques to treat and manage a wide range of vascular conditions, has today announced its new name, Azura Vascular Care, as part of a strategic rebranding initiative. With more than 65 centers represented by more than 40 local brands, a phased rollout of the new brand across all locations nationwide will begin soon.

Hospitals Are Looking for the Killer Amazon Alexa App
CNBC (06/18/17) Farr, Christina

Amazon Echo devices are fun and useful applications for consumers in the home. But in the hospital, such voice recognition technology has the potential to save lives.

Hospitals Eyeing Former Retail Space for Outpatient Clinics
Healthcare Dive (06/20/17) Bryant, Meg

As hospitals eye an increase in outpatient access, one place they're looking is shopping malls, The Wall Street Journal reports. One recent example is Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which has leased two floors of the former Atrium Mall in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

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