ASCA News Digest (October 3, 2017)

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October 3, 2017


ASCA Highlights

Industry News

ASCA Highlights

Prepare for the coding and billing changes to come in 2018 at ASCA’s winter seminar Coding Update & Reimbursement Strategies, January 11–13, in Las Vegas, Nevada. For three days, industry experts will lead in-depth, specialized sessions designed specifically for coders and billers who work in ASCs. Sign up today and receive the early registration discount. Register.

This seminar will run concurrently with two others, Minimizing Your Regulatory & Legal Risk and Infection Control & Prevention Techniques for ASCs. Sign up for one seminar and attend sessions from the other two for free. Learn more.
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Data collection for the third quarter (Q3) of ASCA Benchmarking is now open. Subscribers to ASCA’s clinical and operational benchmarking program should make sure to submit their data by October 31. If you have not yet signed up for the 2017 survey, purchase your subscription this month and receive Q1 and Q2 national reports for free. Subscribe.
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Ensure that the medical devices and surgical instruments that your ASC reprocesses are clean, sterile and safe for patient care at ASCA’s next webinar, Protect Your Patients with a Comprehensive Surgical Instrument Safety Program. Healthcare CS Solutions Principal Ray Taurasi will share the criteria and resources you need to develop an effective sterile processing quality assurance program that will keep your patients safe and meet regulatory and accreditation requirements. This webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, October 10, at 1:00 pm ET. Register.
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Issio Solutions

ASCA’s membership renewal cycle for 2018 is now open. Renew your membership online using a credit card or check via the secure portal on ASCA’s website. Renewal forms will be mailed to facility members later this month, but you can save time and postage by renewing online today. Renew.
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ASCA staff members are scheduled to speak at two conferences next week:
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Do you have a new hire? Did your company win an award? Or did your management change? You can highlight all your company announcements in ASC Focus’s online-only Names in the News section. This resource is available for free to both ASCA members and nonmembers; nonmembers will need to create a "Non-Member Guest Account" in order to gain access. If you would like to share an announcement, please email
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If an ASC needs to participate in the continuity of care across a surgical episode, it needs to have an IT system that speaks to a physician partner’s electronic health records (EHR). However, a certified EHR technology (CEHRT) for ASCs has not yet been established. To learn how ASCs are adapting to reach clinical integration in the absence of a CEHRT, visit the ASC Focus website.
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its October addenda, which provides fourth quarter updates to the ASC payment system. ASCA has updated its payment resources to reflect these changes. Read more.
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Industry News

FDA Warns 'Critical' Drug Shortages Possible After Hurricane Maria Battered Puerto Rico
USA Today (09/26/17) Bomey, Nathan

Patients could experience "critical shortages" of key pharmaceuticals, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning after Hurricane Maria brought Puerto Rico's drug manufacturing industry to a standstill. The FDA said late Monday it is taking active measures to help redirect production and preserve existing treatments to avoid a ballooning health crisis from Maria's destruction.

FDA Works to Prevent Global Drug Shortages From Damage to Puerto Rico Factories
Forbes (09/26/17) Kroll, David

Last week was to have been Puerto Rico Bioscience Innovation Week, an annual celebration of the U.S. territory's prominence in pharmaceutical biotechnology and medical device manufacturing. Twelve of the top 20 global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies have manufacturing facilities on the island, according to the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company.

First Patient in the Nation Receives a Telescope Implant for Age-Related Macular Degeneration After Previous Cataract Surgery
Business Wire (09/27/2017)

VisionCare, Inc., a developer of advanced visual prosthetic devices for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), today announced that the first patient in its clinical investigation to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of exchanging a previously implanted intraocular lens (IOL) with the Implantable Miniature Telescope (by Dr. Isaac Lipshitz) was successfully completed. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the company's investigational device exemption for this new U.S. clinical study in January 2017.

Single-Payer System Is Better--But Not for Physician Income or Quality of Care, Survey Says
MDLinx (09/25/17) Murphy, John

A small margin of physicians favor a single-payer health care system over a multiple-payer system (48% vs 45%)--even though most also predict that a single-payer system would reduce their income as well as lower quality of patient care, according to a new survey of nearly 900 physicians and advanced practice clinicians in the United States. The survey asked participants to compare the multiple-payer system with a single-payer system, such as the "Medicare for All" model proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT).

FDA Takes Important Steps to Stem the Tide of Opioid Misuse and Abuse
FDA Voice blog (09/28/17) Gottlieb, Scott

America is awash in immediate-release (IR) opioids. About 90 percent of all opioid pain medications prescribed--or 160 million prescriptions a year--are for IR formulations like hydrocodone and acetaminophen or oxycodone and acetaminophen combinations.

Discussion Tackles Lack of Opioid Education in Outpatient Treatment
Capital Gazette (Maryland) (09/26/17) Davis, Phil

Inside the Yellowfin Steak and Fish House in Edgewater, a group of nurses and medical personnel discusses the difficulties of dealing with patient pain following surgery. It began as a discussion about educating staff members at outpatient medical facilities--where patients are treated but not admitted for overnight stays --about the difficulties of prescription opioids.

Health Secretary Tom Price Resigns After Drawing Ire for Chartered Flights
New York Times (09/29/17) Baker, Peter; Thrush, Glenn; Haberman, Maggie

Tom Price, the health and human services secretary, resigned under pressure on Friday after racking up at least $400,000 in travel bills for chartered flights and undermining President Trump’s promise to drain the swamp of a corrupt and entitled capital. Already in trouble with Mr. Trump for months of unsuccessful efforts to repeal and replace President Barack Obama's health care program, Mr. Price failed to defuse the president's anger by offering regret and a partial reimbursement.

The Current State of Professional Burnout in Gastroenterology
Inside AGA (09/13/17) DeCross, Arthur J.

Chances are good that either you, or someone you work with, are suffering from some degree of burnout. Chances are even better that you don't know it.

The Ethics of Sharing Plastic Surgery Videos on Social Media
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (10/01/17) Vol. 140, No. 4, P. 825 Dorfman, Robert G.; Vaca, Elbert E.; Fine, Neil A.; et al.

Social media represent a novel platform by which plastic surgeons can both educate and market to patients. As of 2016, Snapchat was the most popular social media site among teenagers and young adults in the United States, and Instagram now has more than 400 million monthly active users.

7 ASCs Recognized With the CASA Award for ASC Excellence
California Ambulatory Surgery Association (09/14/17)

On Thursday, September 7, 2017, CASA revealed the recipients for the 2017 CASA Award for ASC Excellence and the CASA ASC of the Year. The awards were established to acknowledge that California ASCs are drivers of excellent healthcare, providing opportunities and solutions for healthcare reform.

Innovations in Knee Replacement Surgery Are Creating Happier Customers
Peoria Journal Star (IL) (09/13/17) Renken, Leslie

The first time Mark Stephens had knee replacement surgery he was up and walking in time for lunch. The second time went just as well.

Uninsured Individuals to Receive Free Cataract Surgery by Local Surgeons
Parsippany Focus (09/16/17) Cahill, Frank

On October 27, doctors at the River Drive Surgery and Laser Center of Elmwood Park; an AMSURG Partner, will perform FREE cataract surgery for the ninth straight year during Vision Harvest 2017, for those that are uninsured and can't afford to pay for the procedure. East Hanover ophthalmologist, Cary M. Silverman, M.D. is the Founder of Vision Harvest and organizes this now annual event.

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