ASCA News Digest (May 16, 2017)

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May 16, 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 Benchmarking subscribers can now access their clinical and operational benchmarking reports for the first quarter (Q1) of 2017. To access the reports, simply log into the ASCA Benchmarking portal and click the “Run Reports” tab. If you have not yet subscribed to the 2017 survey, sign up today and receive valuable data to help you improve clinical outcomes, billing performance, staffing and more at your ASC.
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During ASCA 2017, certain speakers provided updated PowerPoint presentations and included additional forms and templates. The updated presentations and additional information are now available in the “ASCA 2017 Annual Meeting” community on ASCA Connect. Access now.
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If you attended ASCA 2017, you have until June 30 to request your 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, you can request your ID number by sending an email to Request CE credit.
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ASCA has entered a collaborative relationship with the American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR), the only national registry of hip and knee arthroplasty. As follow-up to its participation at ASCA 2017, the AJRR would like to once again offer a significant discount to ASCA members. ASCA has arranged a deep discount on the AJRR licensing fee for the first year and waived the set-up fee—a savings of more than 40 percent. To learn more about the AJRR and how you can get involved, contact Jerry Manning at
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Even in an ASC with great information technology infrastructure, human error can open the door for cyber criminals. To learn how to train staff to properly maintain data security and privacy, visit the ASC Focus web site.
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Earlier this month, ASCA representatives met with the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Counselor for Health Policy, John Brooks, who reports directly to Secretary Tom Price, MD. The primary focus of this meeting was Medicare payment policy issues impacting ASCs. Learn more.
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Industry News

Death by a Thousand Clicks: Leading Boston Doctors Decry Electronic Medical Records (05/12/17) Levinson, John; Price, Bruce H.; Saini, Vikas

It happens every day, in exam rooms across the country, something that would have been unthinkable 20 years ago: Doctors and nurses turn away from their patients and focus their attention elsewhere — on their computer screens. By the time the doctor can finally turn back to her patient, she will have spent close to half of the appointment serving not the needs of her patient, but of the electronic medical record.

Intuitive Surgical

da Vinci® Robotic-Assisted Surgery

Robotic surgery was a mere curiosity until 1999, the year Intuitive Surgical introduced the da Vinci® Surgical System. Today, Intuitive Surgical is the leader in robotic-assisted minimally invasive surgery. Surgeons operate through a few small incisions with 3D-HD vision and tiny instruments that rotate far greater than the hand. This technology allows for enhanced vision, precision and control.

TRSA Showcase Resources for Environmental Safety in Outpatient Care

Download this interactive guide to improve practices in infection control to protect patients, staff and the public from environmental pathogens. Hygienically Clean Healthcare certified laundries are providing you with this PDF with hyperlinks for easy access to CDC resources. See us at ASCA 2017.
Survey: Two Out of Three Physicians Have a Negative Impression of the AHCA
Merritt Hawkins (05/11/17)

Two-thirds of physicians have a negative impression of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican-sponsored bill to unwind Obamacare, while only about a quarter support it, a new survey indicates. According to the survey of 1,112 physicians conducted by Merritt Hawkins, the nation's leading physician search firm and a company of AMN Healthcare, 66 percent of physicians have a negative impression of the AHCA, only 26 percent have a positive impression, and 7 percent are neutral.

Survey: Only 11 Percent of Physicians Feel Positively About Value-Based Payment Models
Healthcare Informatics (05/08/17) Landi, Heather

A survey by the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) found that almost half of physicians are split on their feelings around the shift towards value-based payment models. Value-based healthcare is a hot topic for many medical groups and MGMA wanted to get a pulse on the matter from its member base.

For Knee Pain, Experts Say Don't Think About Scoping It
Kaiser Health News (05/10/17) Rodriguez, Carmen Heredia

A panel of international health experts and patients Wednesday challenged the effectiveness of one of the most common orthopedic procedures and recommended strongly against the use of arthroscopic surgery for patients with degenerative knee problems. The guidelines, published in the journal BMJ, relied on 13 studies involving nearly 1,700 patients that found the surgery did not provide lasting pain relief or improve function.

Many Medicare Beneficiaries Spend 20 Percent or More of Their Income on Premiums, Other Health Costs
CNBC (05/12/17) Mangan, Dan

Having government-run health care doesn't mean you won't be on the hook for some steep medical bills. More than a quarter of all Medicare beneficiaries — 15 million elderly and disabled Americans — spend 20 percent or more of their household income in premiums and out-of-pocket health costs, a new study says.

Scrubbing in to a Health Care Career
St. Cloud Times (Minnesota) (05/05/17) Ikeogu, Vicki

Today, the idea of outpatient surgical procedures does not seem that much out of the norm. In fact, it's often preferred, partly because it's less expensive than hospitalization.

Surgery Partners to Acquire National Surgical Healthcare From Irving Place Capital
Globe Newswire (05/10/17)

Surgery Partners, Inc., a leading healthcare services company, and National Surgical Healthcare, an owner and operator of surgical facilities in partnership with local physicians, today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Surgery Partners will acquire NSH from Irving Place Capital for approximately $760 million. Funding for Surgery Partners' acquisition of NSH will be provided in part by Bain Capital Private Equity, a leading global private investment firm, who as part of the transaction is injecting capital in exchange for a preferred security in the Company.

Effort to Repeal Certificate-of-Need System Added to N.C. Senate Budget
Raleigh News & Observer (05/11/17) Craver, Richard

The latest attempt at repealing the state's controversial certificate-of-need system for adding medical facilities and equipment is included in the state Senate budget proposal. Several attempts by House and Senate Republicans to repeal the CON law, including Senate Bill 324 and House Bill 640 in the current session, have failed to advance out of committee in recent sessions.

Care Board: Decision on Surgery Center Impossible
Burlington Free Press (05/12/17) Aloe, Jess

The Green Mountain Care Board said it will not be able to issue a decision on what would be Vermont's first ambulatory surgery center until new members have been appointed. The delay comes nearly two years after the Green Mountain Surgery Center filed an application for a certificate of need, a requirement to operate.

Russian Doctors Visit Oklahoma City Surgery Center (OK) (05/09/17) Meyer, Ali

This week, the U.S Department of Commerce is bringing a group of foreigners to Oklahoma to take a closer look at an ambulatory surgery center that's been the focus of a lot of buzz in recent years. Surgery Center of Oklahoma claims to be driving down prices for medical care in Oklahoma because of an nontraditional business model.

Anthem Deal With Cigna Finally Off, But Break-Up Fee Fight Goes On
Reuters (05/12/17) Humer, Caroline

Anthem Inc on Friday called off a $54 billion deal to buy Cigna Corp, one day after the second-largest U.S. health insurer lost a Delaware business court ruling that could have kept alive the chances of a combination. The fight over a $1.85 billion merger break-up fee will go on as Anthem insists that it will not pay, and Cigna claims it is owed more than that amount, including damages.

Senate Votes to Install Gottlieb as FDA Commissioner
Health Data Management (05/11/17) Slabodkin, Greg

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Scott Gottlieb, MD, to head the Food and Drug Administration in a 57-42 vote. Gottlieb, who served in the Bush administration as the FDA’s deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs from 2005 to 2007, takes the helm of the regulatory agency at a pivotal time, according to Doug Fridsma, MD, president and CEO of the American Medical Informatics Association.

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