ASCA News Digest (October 17, 2017)

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October 17, 2017


ASCA Highlights

Industry News

ASCA Highlights

ASD Management and ASCA recently released the new edition of the ASC operational guidebook Developing & Managing Ambulatory Surgery Centers. This text examines the four cornerstones of an ASC: patient and clinical care, risk management, business office systems, and managed care and payer contracting. The new edition includes a foreword by ASCA Chief Executive Officer Bill Prentice. Purchase.
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3M Health Care  
Free CE! Maintaining Normothermia in ASC Patient
Data collection period begins January 1, 2018. Having protocols in place to maintain normothermia throughout the perioperative process including monitoring and documenting temperatures is essential. 
Register now for the upcoming webinar on October 31, 2017, with David Shapiro, MD, Maintaining Normothermia in the ASC Patient.

Take advantage of registration discounts on ASCA’s Winter Seminars, January 11–13 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sign up now for one of three specialized seminars—Coding Update & Reimbursement Strategies, Infection Control & Prevention Techniques for ASCs and Minimizing Your Regulatory & Legal Risk—to save $100 with the early bird discount. Receive the multi-attendee discount by registering two or more attendees at once. ASCA members enjoy additional savings on every registration. Learn more and register.
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Learn how to make your ASC’s transition from paper to electronic health records (EHR) as seamless as possible during ASCA’s next webinar, Preparing for Electronic Health Records: What You Need to Consider When Preparing to Make the Change from Paper to an Electronic Workflow, scheduled for Tuesday, October 24, at 1:00 pm ET. Cindy Klein, vice president and chief medical information officer of United Surgical Partners International (USPI), will share checklists and guidelines, explain the importance of hardware selection, and discuss strategies for assessing vendors. The cost is $100 for ASCA members and $150 for nonmembers. Register.
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On Friday, October 20, three ASCA staff members will speak during the 2017 New York Metro ASC Symposium in New York, New York. Chief Executive Officer Bill Prentice will offer a national perspective during the “State of the Union” panel at 8:45 am ET, and Director of Education & Clinical Affairs Gina Throneberry and Regulatory Counsel Kara Newbury will lead a session on new 2018 regulatory requirements at 11:20 am ET. Learn more.
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Results of a clinical trial conducted at an Ohio ASC show that patients prefer propofol over a combination of fentanyl/midazolam as their anesthetic for outpatient colonoscopies. From a patient and provider perspective, the researchers conclude, propofol appears to be superior to fentanyl/midazolam for outpatient colonoscopy. To read more about this trial, which measured primary outcomes of patient satisfaction and procedure complications, visit the ASC Focus website.
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Cipher Health   Watch the Video: Maximize Staff Time with Efficient Patient Outreach
Watch the video and see how you can maximize staff time with efficient pre and post-op patient outreach. CipherHealth's Voice patient outreach solution reaches out to 100% of patients with targeted questions and automatically alerts designated staff members for patients needing additional help. 
Watch the video now and see how your center can save. 

International Infection Prevention Week (#IIPW), organized by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), celebrates the importance of infection prevention and patient safety. This year’s theme focuses on the problem of antibiotic resistance and the important roles that patients, families and health care professionals play in preventing the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections. Learn more.
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Due to the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is granting exceptions for Medicare quality reporting requirements to ASCs located in areas affected by the storm. CMS has updated its list of affected localities to include one additional Texas county. ASCs located in the affected counties and parishes will receive exceptions to the reporting requirements without having to submit an extraordinary circumstances exception (ECE) request; ASCs located outside these areas may request an exception. Read more.
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Regent Surgical Health of Westchester, Illinois, has named a new chief operating officer (COO), who will oversee Regent operations in the US and abroad for the company’s 25 partner centers. Read more.
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Last week, President Trump announced that Eric Hargan has been appointed to serve as acting secretary of the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) until a new secretary is confirmed. Hargan, a lawyer, served in several roles at HHS during the Bush administration and was confirmed by the Senate as deputy secretary just days after Tom Price’s resignation. Read more.
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Industry News

Reported Penicillin Allergy Appears to Increase the Risk of Surgical Site Infections
Medical Xpress (10/09/17)

A study by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators found that surgical patients believed to be allergic to penicillin were significantly more likely to develop surgical site infections than were patients with no documented allergy, a difference totally attributable to the alternative antibiotics used to prevent such infections. The study is receiving online publication in Clinical Infectious Diseases to coincide with presentation of the data at the IDWeek 2017 conference.

Survey: 73 Percent of Physicians Prefer Fee-for-Service Models
Healthcare Informatics (10/12/17) Landi, Heather

A survey of 980 physicians by New York City-based Bain and Company, a management consulting firm, found resistance among physicians to the transition to value-based care and payment models, and 60 percent said it will be more difficult to deliver high-quality care in the next two years. Bain's "2017 U.S. Front Line of Healthcare Survey" examines practitioners’ attitudes and concerns during a period of pivotal change for the industry.

Puerto Rico Hurricane May Cause Shortage of Hospital IV Bags
USA Today (10/13/17) Johnson, Linda A.

A key U.S. maker of hospital products says it expects a temporary shortage of small saline bags because of the hurricane that hit Puerto Rico. The hurricane wiped out the island's electrical grid, shutting down Baxter's three Puerto Rico factories for several days.

FDA Clears New Robotically-Assisted Surgical Device for Adult Patients
FDA News Release (10/13/17)

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the Senhance System, a new robotically-assisted surgical device (RASD) that can help facilitate minimally invasive surgery. "Minimally invasive surgery helps reduce pain, scarring and recovery time after surgery," said Binita Ashar, M.D., director of the Division of Surgical Devices in the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

Colonoscopy Rates Improve From Patient Navigators, Provider Reminders
Clinical Advisor (10/11/2017)

For asymptomatic adults with positive fecal blood test results, patient navigators and provider reminders or performance data may help improve colonoscopy rates; however, current evidence about useful system-level interventions is insufficient, according to a review published online Oct. 9 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Kevin Selby, MD, from the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of studies to examine interventions designed to improve rates of follow-up colonoscopy for adults after a positive result on a fecal test.

Study Finds Small Differences in Patient Outcomes Between Male and Female Surgeons
EurekAlert (10/10/17)

Patients treated by female surgeons have slightly lower death rates in the first few weeks after their operation than patients treated by male surgeons, finds a study from Canada published by the BMJ today. However, the study cannot establish cause and effect, and the researchers stress that their results "do not support the preferential selection of a surgeon of either sex in clinical practice."

Reports: MACRA 2018 Final Rule Coming as MedPAC Proposes MIPS Repeal
Healthcare Informatics (10/10/17) Leventhal, Rajiv

As the industry awaits MACRA's Quality Payment Program (QPP) final rule for 2018, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) said during a meeting last week that MIPS, one of the program’s payment tracks, should be repealed. MedPAC, a Congressional agency that provides policy and technical advice to Congress on healthcare issues, recommended back in June that MIPS (the Merit-based Incentive Payment System) should be redesigned.

Skyrocketing Out-of-Pocket Spending Outpaces Wage Growth
Healthcare Dive (10/06/17) Masterson, Les

In the latest study to show how out-of-pockets costs could create barriers to care, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) found that out-of-pocket spending is outpacing wage growth. The average deductible for people with employer-based health insurance increased from $303 in 2006 to $1,505 in 2017.

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