ASCA News Digest (September 19, 2017)

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September 19, 2017


ASCA Highlights

Industry News

ASCA Highlights

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will grant exceptions for Medicare quality reporting requirements to ASCs located in areas affected by Hurricane Irma. ASCs located in any of Florida's 67 counties, one of 12 Puerto Rico municipios or one of four U.S. Virgin Islands county-equivalents will receive exceptions without having to submit an extraordinary circumstances exception (ECE) request. ASCs in counties, municipios, county-equivalents and states outside of the designated areas also may request an exception to the reporting requirements. Read more.
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Join ASCA in Las Vegas, Nevada, for three days of focused, essential training during the 2018 Winter Seminars, January 11–13. Attend one of three specialized seminars, led by ASC industry experts and designed specifically for ASC staff: Coding Update & Reimbursement Strategies, Minimizing Your Regulatory & Legal Risk and—new this year—Infection Control & Prevention for ASCs. Register now and take advantage of the early registration discount. Learn more.
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Find out how you can protect your ASC from cyber attacks at ASCA’s next webinar, Cyber Security Issues for ASCs, scheduled for Tuesday, September 26, at 1:00 pm ET. PriorityOne Group President and CEO Nelson Gomes will discuss the threats cyber criminals post to your ASC, share concrete steps you can take to improve your cyber security and explain what to do if a breach or attack occurs. The webinar is $100 for ASCA members and $150 for nonmembers. Register.
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On Thursday, September 21, ASCA staff members are scheduled to speak at two conferences:
  • ASCA Regulatory Counsel Kara Newbury will lead a breakout session on federal regulations updates and ASCA CEO Bill Prentice will deliver a keynote presentation at the Ohio Association of ASCs (OAASC) 2017 Annual Conference, September 19–21, in Columbus, Ohio. ASCA also will have a booth at the conference.
  • ASCA Director of Education & Clinical Affairs Gina Throneberry will give a presentation on quality reporting measures at the 2017 Midwest ASC Conference, September 20–22, in Branson, Missouri.
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Word of mouth is a proven way to refer membership to your peers. ASCA will award a $25 gift card to every member who recruits a new ASC to join the association before September 29. Any individual working in an ASC that is a member of ASCA is eligible to participate. Learn more.
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Issio Solutions

ASC Focus, the official magazine of ASCA, has published its 2018 Editorial Calendar and welcomes your story ideas for next year. If you would like to pitch an idea or are interested in writing a story, please contact ASC Focus Editor Sahely Mukerji. View 2018 Editorial Calendar.
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Earlier this month, ASCA submitted formal comments in response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS). The fee schedule determines physicians’ professional payment for services, as opposed to the technical payment for facilities, which is governed by the OPPS/ASC payment rule. Read more.
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Industry News

U.S. Small Businesses Lose an Average of Nearly $300K Annually to Employee Theft
Fierce CEO (09/13/17) Kaften, Cheryl

A full 95 percent of employees steal from their employers, according to a recent anonymous survey of 500 retail and service industry employees by New York City-based forensic accountant Kessler International. And it is not just office supplies they are taking.

Would You Save Money by Going to a Doctor Who Publishes Prices Online?
Deseret News (09/14/17) Graham, Jennifer

Dr. Rick Henriksen doesn't wear a white coat, and that's not the only thing that's unconventional about his practice of medicine. Henriksen, a family physician in Salt Lake City, is embracing a new model of health care delivery, one in which doctors publish their prices online and scale back their reliance on health insurance companies for payment, or shun insurance altogether.

Amid Opioid Crisis, Insurers Restrict Pricey, Less Addictive Painkillers
New York Times (09/17/17) Thomas, Katie; Ornstein, Charles

At a time when the United States is in the grip of an opioid epidemic, many insurers are limiting access to pain medications that carry a lower risk of addiction or dependence, even as they provide comparatively easy access to generic opioid medications. The reason, experts say: Opioid drugs are generally cheap while safer alternatives are often more expensive.

U.S. Multi-Society Task Force Releases New CRC Screening Recommendations
Clinical Oncology News (09/15/17) Blaszczak-Boxe, Agata

Colonoscopy conducted every 10 years and annual fecal immunochemical tests are now considered the best options for colorectal cancer screening, according to new recommendations by the United States Multi-Society Task Force on colorectal cancer. The MSTF ranked colorectal cancer screening tests into three levels based on test effectiveness at detecting cancer, cost and other factors.

Healthcare Simulation Research Helps Lower Risks, Keep Patients Safer
AHRQ Views (09/11/17) Brady, Jeff; Park, Christine

What do aerospace, maritime operations, nuclear power, the military, and healthcare have in common? If you guessed that they're all high-risk settings, you're partially correct.

Report: CT Certificate-of-Need Laws Hurt Healthcare Cost, Quality
Hartford (Connecticut) (09/13/17) Stearns, John

Total healthcare spending in Connecticut could drop an estimated $283 per person without its Certificate-of-Need (CON) laws based on costs in other states with and without CON laws, according to research by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Arlington, Va. The finding is one of several from the center, which has independently studied all states with and without CON laws in recent years.

AAOS Comments on CMS Outpatient Rule, TKA Proposal
AAOS Press Release (09/06/17)

On August 30, 2017, the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on its "Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems" proposed rule. The comments highlight a number of concerns, including those related to computed/digital radiography changes, social risk factors and risk stratification, physician-owned hospitals, and needed health care system flexibilities.

The Joint Commission Issues New Sentinel Event Alert on Inadequate Hand-off Communication
Joint Commission Press Release (09/12/17)

Communication failures in U.S. hospitals and medical practices were at least partly responsible for 30 percent of all malpractice claims resulting in 1,744 deaths and $1.7 billion in malpractice costs over five years, according to a 2015 study. The Joint Commission has issued a new Sentinel Event Alert to provide hospitals and other health care settings with seven recommendations to improve communication failures that occur when patients are transitioned from one caregiver to another or from one team of caregivers to another.

Sanders Unveils Single-Payer Bill to Cheers From Supporters
The Hill (09/13/17) Hellmann, Jessie; Roubein, Rachel

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) unveiled his single-payer health-care plan in a jam-packed Senate hearing room on Wednesday and to millions more watching online and on cable television, highlighting his newfound status as a Capitol Hill power player. "Here is the simple truth," Sanders, flanked by nine of his Democratic colleagues, said after walking into the room to cheers and applause.

All First Choice Medical Group Facilities Has Restored Services, Set to Meet Community’s Needs
Space Coast Daily (09/15/17)

First Choice Medical Group, The B.A.C.K. Center, and Crane Creek Surgery Center has restored services at all seven locations and is prepared to meet any of the community's needs. First Choice Healthcare announced Friday that the company experienced no structural damage to its seven facilities located throughout the Space Coast as a result of Hurricane Irma's Florida landfall.

I'm the Perfect Person to Price Shop for an Operation. But the Process Went Terribly
STAT News (09/14/17) Mehrotra, Ateev

After three months of using hot compresses to shrink the stye on my daughter’s eyelid, it wasn't getting any smaller. My daughter is prone to this sort of growth, called a chalazion.

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