ASCA News Digest (September 26, 2017)

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September 26, 2017


ASCA Highlights

Industry News

ASCA Highlights

Start your new year in Las Vegas, Nevada, at ASCA’s 2018 Winter Seminars. From January 11–13, attend one of three intensive seminars: Coding Update & Reimbursement Strategies, Minimizing Your Regulatory & Legal Risk and—new this year—Infection Control & Prevention for ASCs. Each seminar is led by ASC industry experts and designed specifically for ASC staff. Register now and receive the early registration discount. Register.
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ASCA has launched a new online section to spotlight its members. Member Focus, published on the ASC Focus website, features short profiles of ASCA members discussing their views on key ASC issues. This new section allows members to share their opinion and get to know their peers in the ASC community. Learn more.
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ASCA’s peer review webinar, originally set for September 12, is now scheduled for Tuesday, October 3, at 1:00 pm ET. During the program, now titled Making Peer Review Meaningful, Sharon Kimbrough of Surgical Care Affiliates will explain what it takes to successfully evaluate physician competency, proficiency and quality of care in your ASC. The webinar is $100 for ASCA members and $150 for nonmembers. Register.
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Issio Solutions

On Monday, October 2, ASCA CEO Bill Prentice and ASCA Regulatory Counsel Kara Newbury will speak at the 2017 Pennsylvania Ambulatory Surgery Association (PASA) Annual Meeting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Prentice and Newbury will lead the session “National Perspectives on ASC and Regulatory Issues,” scheduled for 11:00 am ET. Learn more.
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Due to the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will grant 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 all 159 counties in Georgia and 10 additional Puerto Rico municipios. ASCs located in the affected counties, municipios and county-equivalents 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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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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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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The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF) and The Joint Commission recently explained to ASC Focus the upcoming modifications in their standards. To learn what to expect from your survey experience, the steps you need to take to stay on top of your game and how to comply with the changed standards, visit the ASC Focus website.
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This month, ASCA is convening its third monthly EHR Stakeholder Group call. The group, composed of ASC staff/administrators, corporate administrators, vendor affiliates and ASCA staff, hopes to generate discussion and provide education about the proliferation of electronic health record (EHR) technology in the ASC space. Read more.
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Industry News

FDA Clears First Duodenoscope With Disposable Distal Cap
FDA News Release (09/20/17)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today cleared the first duodenoscope with a disposable distal cap, a new feature that will improve access for cleaning and reprocessing. The Pentax ED34-i10T model duodenoscope is intended to provide visualization and access to the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract to treat bile duct disorders and other upper GI problems.

Warding Off Decline, Hospitals Invest in Outpatient Clinics
Dow Jones Newswires (09/25/17) Evans, Melanie

Some of the hospital industry's most active investing these days is happening outside the hospital. Giant U.S. hospital operators, including Tenet Healthcare Corp., Dignity Health and HCA Healthcare Inc., are investing heavily in surgery centers, emergency rooms and urgent care clinics located outside hospitals, chasing after patients who increasingly want cheaper and more convenient care.

Gastroenterology Societies Respond to CMS 2018 Payment Rules
Gastroenterology (09/17)

The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the American Gastroenterological Association, and the American College of Gastroenterology have issued comments and recommendations to CMS on the 2018 proposed rules for the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and the Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System, which are expected to be finalized in early November. In a joint letter to CMS, the societies commented on provisions of the PFS proposed rule that affect gastroenterology, including their support of new recommended values of anesthesia services for GI procedures, according to a press release from ASGE.

SonaCare Medical Reports that CMS Announces Increase to ASC Payment for HIFU Prostate Ablation
PR Newswire (09/20/17)

SonaCare Medical, leading developer and manufacturer of high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) technologies, is pleased to announce an increase in Medicare payment for prostate HIFU ablation in the Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) setting. In the October 2017 update of the ASC Payment System, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) indicated that the ASC payment status for C9747, the code used to bill for HIFU ablation of prostate tissue, now recognizes HIFU as a "device-intensive procedure".

GlobalHealth Partners With Surgery Center
Oklahoman (09/20/17)

GlobalHealth, an Oklahoma-based health maintenance organization (HMO), recently announced a contract to partner with Surgery Center of Oklahoma. Surgery Center of Oklahoma, at 9500 N Broadway Extension in Oklahoma City, is a 32,535-square-foot multispecialty facility owned and operated by about 40 surgeons and anesthesiologists.

ISMP Launches First High-Alert Medication Safety Self Assessment
ISMP News Release (09/21/17)

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) is launching a groundbreaking new medication safety self assessment that will help hospitals and certain outpatient settings evaluate their best practices related to specific high-alert medications, identify opportunities for improvement, and track their experiences over time. ISMP defines high-alert medications as those bearing a heightened risk of causing significant patient harm when used in error.

CON Laws Cost Lives
Daily Record (NC) (09/20/17)

If a town with only one pizza shop suddenly gets another, will the price of pizza go up or down. Common sense tells us the price will go down.

Who's Behind the Knife? When Planning Plastic or Cosmetic Procedures, 'You've Got to Do Your Homework'
Omaha World-Herald (09/19/17) Anderson, Julie

Finding the right doctor often requires patients to do some homework. You ask savvy friends and relatives for references.

Dashboard Tracks CMS Moves Toward Regulatory Relief
AMA Wire (09/21/2017) Robeznieks, Andis

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) included several ideas for easing physician administrative burdens in its proposals for the second year of the Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP) and the 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, but there is still more that can be done to provide meaningful regulatory relief. The AMA is tracking these measures in a 2017 regulatory relief dashboard.

Top Doctor, Hospital, and Insurance Groups Release Joint Statement Urging the Senate to Reject Graham-Cassidy Bill
Business Insider (09/23/17) Mark, Michelle

A group of six major doctor, hospital, and insurance groups released a joint statement on Saturday condemning the latest GOP effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, urging the Senate to reject the Graham-Cassidy bill. "While we sometimes disagree on important issues in health care, we are in total agreement that Americans deserve a stable healthcare market that provides access to high-quality care and affordable coverage for all," the statement said.

Jury Orders Leon Medical Centers Pay $13 Million to Man Blinded After Cataract Surgery
Miami Herald (09/21/17) Chang, Daniel

When his eyesight became clouded by cataracts in 2013, 80-year-old Miguel Diaz of Miami Beach turned for help to the company he has trusted for years to provide his healthcare: Leon Medical Centers, one of South Florida's most popular Medicare clinics. The company, with seven clinics in Miami-Dade County staffed by doctors, dentists, optometrists, pharmacists and other providers, quickly set in motion the extensive healthcare machinery that is central to its appeal — dozens of medical services available under one roof.

Cincinnati Eye Institute Opens Surgery Center in Middletown (Ohio) (09/21/17) Schwartzberg, Eric

Area health systems continue to bring services into Butler and Warren counties that previously required trips to Cincinnati or Dayton. The most recent example is Cincinnati Eye Institute, which this week performed its first surgery at its new CEI Middletown Surgery Center.

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