ASCA News Digest (April 10, 2018)

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April 10, 2018



ASCA Highlights

Industry News  

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ASCA Highlights

ASCA 2018 kicks off tomorrow at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA. If you have not yet registered for ASCA’s annual meeting, you can do so on site. Simply fill out the On-Site Registration Form and bring it with you to the registration desk, or complete the registration process once you arrive at the meeting.
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3M Health   3M has filed for FDA 510(k) clearance for the next generation of the 3M™ Attest™ Super Rapid Readout Biological Indicator (BI) system for Steam Sterilization. Upon clearance, this new system will provide BI results for steam sterilization in just 24 minutes! After clearance, you will benefit from the consistency of biological indicator results in just 24 minutes for both steam* and vaporized hydrogen peroxide sterilization. Visit 3M at booth 214 or click here to learn more.

*24-minute results pending 510(k) clearance

ASCA 2018 session handouts can be found under the “Library” tab in the ASCA 2018 Annual Meeting Community on ASCA Connect. Please take the time to view and print the handouts before the meeting begins. You also can download the ASCA Meetings mobile app—which provides access to session handouts, schedules, maps, contact sharing and more—in the App Store or Google Play. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow in Boston, MA!
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ASCA has formed an affinity partnership with MedTrainer to provide ASCs with education offerings and compliance and credentialing management through the ASCA Learning & Compliance Center. ASCs will have access to the ASCA Learning & Compliance Center beginning this summer. ASCA 2018 attendees can hear more about the benefits of this valuable online solution from MedTrainer representatives during ASCA’s annual meeting, which begins tomorrow in Boston, MA.
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Smith & Nephew

By April 14, all eligible Medicare-certified ASCs that want to avoid future payment penalties must complete a new form electronically via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) website in order to be able to report on ASC-8. Read more.
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In the latest Member Focus profile, a Michigan ASC CEO explains why ASCA’s annual meeting is such a valuable experience for her and her facility.

Want to be featured in Member Focus? Share your answer to this month's questionHow do you make sure that insurance reimburses you on time?—and you could be selected for a future profile.
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Full Cirlce   When it comes to revenue cycle management (RCM), we’re talking about profitability, operating margins and bottom lines—the collective lifeline in your ambulatory surgery center or private practice. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that a trusted acquaintance and proven professional was safeguarding it all for you?

Data collection for the first quarter (Q1) of ASCA’s 2018 Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey is now open. This online resource allows you to compare your ASC's metrics with national performance statistics on clinical outcomes, staff indicators, billing performance and more. If you haven't yet subscribed, purchase a 2018 subscription now.

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As insurance plans have transitioned from low co-pays and low deductibles with good out-of-network benefits to higher co-pays and higher deductibles with little to no out-of-network benefits, patients are receiving what they perceive as inordinate bills. Find out how you can protect your patients from paying out-of-network prices in this ASC Focus feature story.
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3M Health

Industry News

30,000 Strong and Counting, UnitedHealth Gathers a Doctor Army
Bloomberg (04/09/18) Tracer, Zachary

Disruptors are circling the health-care industry. UnitedHealth Group Inc., the biggest U.S. health insurer, has built an army of tens of thousands of physicians to fend off invaders. Health care in the U.S. has been plunged into a high-speed reconfiguration that could redraw longstanding relationships between patients, doctors, drugmakers and insurers.

One Medical Passport
Top Ten Challenging Ambulatory Care Standards for 2017
Joint Commission Ambulatory Buzz blog (04/04/18) Webb, Joyce

AmBuzz readers know spring has sprung when The Joint Commission unveils its annual list of the Top Ten Challenging Standards for accredited Ambulatory Health Care (AHC) organizations and Office-Based Surgery (OBS) practices throughout 2017. The Joint Commission regularly analyzes standards compliance data to help identify the most common challenges impacting our AHC and OBS customers.

HOPD to ASC Conversion: Now or Later?
Regent Surgical Health (04/04/18)

Regent Surgical Health, one of the largest private joint venture operators of surgery centers in the United States, released a white paper today which defines a trend that empowers health systems to adapt and thrive in a landscape punctuated by advances in technology, shifting public policy, and an industry-wide move toward value-based care. The paper, "HOPD to ASC Conversion: Now or Later with Transition to Value-Based Care," examines how market conditions have influenced the reversal of a trend that, only a few years ago, saw hospitals buying ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) outright and converting them to hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs).

Germs with Unusual Antibiotic Resistance Widespread in U.S.
CDC News Release (04/03/18)

Health departments working with CDC's Antibiotic Resistance (AR) Lab Network found more than 220 instances of germs with "unusual" antibiotic resistance genes in the United States last year, according to a CDC Vital Signs report released today. Germs with unusual resistance include those that cannot be killed by all or most antibiotics, are uncommon in a geographic area or the U.S., or have specific genes that allow them to spread their resistance to other germs.

New Website Aims to Help N.H. Consumers Compare Health Care Choices
Associated Press (06/09/18)

A website developed by the New Hampshire Insurance Department has new features aimed at helping consumers make educated choices about health care. The department's health price transparency website,, allows residents to compare the price of various health care services across doctors, hospitals and outpatient facilities.

Why Trump's Tariffs Could Raise the Cost of a Hip Replacement
New York Times (04/06/18) Kaplan, Sheila; Thomas, Katie

Dozens of drugs and medical devices are among the Chinese products and ingredients that the Trump administration targeted for a potential 25 percent tariff in a proposal this week. The list includes some products that are in dangerously short supply, like epinephrine, used to treat allergic reactions, and others, like insulin, whose rising prices have driven public outrage in the United States.

The Disappearing Doctor: How Mega-Mergers Are Changing the Business of Medical Care
New York Times (04/07/18) Abelson, Reed; Creswell, Julie

Is the doctor in? In this new medical age of urgent care centers and retail clinics, that's not a simple question.

Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice Return $2.6 Billion in Taxpayer Savings from Efforts to Fight Healthcare Fraud
HHS News Release (04/06/18)

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Attorney General Jeff Sessions today released a fiscal year (FY) 2017 Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program report showing that for every dollar the federal government spent on healthcare related fraud and abuse investigations in the last three years, the government recovered $4. Additionally, the report shows that the departments’ FY 2017 Takedown event was the single largest healthcare fraud enforcement operation in history.

Illinois Doctors Oppose Expanding Procedures to Optometrists
Associated Press (04/08/18)

Many Illinois doctors are arguing that the state's optometrists shouldn't be allowed to perform procedures that are surgical in nature. The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is proposing allowing optometrists to perform "low-risk" advanced optometric procedures, The State Journal-Register has reported.

Patient Advocacy Groups Take on Millions From Drugmakers. Is There a Payback?
Kaiser Health News (04/06/18) Kopp, Emily; Lupkin, Sydney; Lucas, Elizabeth

Pharmaceutical companies gave at least $116 million to patient advocacy groups in a single year, reveals a new database logging 12,000 donations from large publicly traded drugmakers to such organizations. Even as these patient groups grow in number and political influence, their funding and their relationships to drugmakers are little understood.

As Use of Robotic Surgery Increases, Training and Regulation Become More Rigorous
HemOnc Today (03/25/2018) Stevens, Melinda

Robotic-assisted surgery has served as an alternative minimally invasive surgical option for patients with cancer for more than a decade. The smaller incisions required for robotic and laparoscopic surgeries than traditional open surgery result in reduced infection risk, shorter hospitalization, and less pain and discomfort.

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