ASCA News Digest (June 26, 2018)

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June 26, 2018



ASCA Highlights

Industry News  

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ASCA Highlights

Last week, June 18–22, ASCA celebrated its first-ever Member Appreciation Week. During this inaugural celebration, members entered to win prizes, enjoyed special sales and were featured in special Member Focus profiles on the Member Appreciation Week site. Thanks to all who participated!
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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?

The data collection period for the second quarter (Q2) of ASCA’s Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey opens Sunday, July 1, and will close Tuesday, July 31. This valuable resource allows you to compare your ASC’s performance with national metrics on outcomes, staffing, billing and more. If you have not yet signed up for the 2018 survey, purchase a subscription today.
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If you attended ASCA 2018, you have until this Saturday, June 30, to request your continuing education (CE) credits, nursing contact hours, administrator education units (AEUs), continuing medical education (CME) or a certificate of participation. To submit online, you will need your ID number located on the back of your attendee badge.
If you no longer have your badge, you can request your ID number by sending an email to
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Identify various causes of conflict in the ASC setting and examine different styles of conflict management during ASCA’s next webinar, Managing Conflict Effectively, scheduled for Tuesday, July 10, at 1:00 pm ET. This webinar will explore typical responses to conflict and provide real-world advice on ways to apply the conflict resolution process in your ASC. Register today.

This program is also included in ASCA's 2018 Webinar All-Access Pass, which provides access to all 18 webinars in this year's series for one low fee.
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Developing & Managing Ambulatory Surgery Centers offers an in-depth look into what it takes to run a successful ASC. This electronic book examines the four cornerstones of an ASC—patient and clinical care, risk management, business office systems and managed care and payer contracting—and explores the complexity involved in developing and managing all components. ASCA members enjoy a special discounted rate. Purchase today.
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As more procedures continue to move into the outpatient setting, ASCs should expect to care for more paralyzed patients. An understanding of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), strong communication between staff members and proper training are all vital components to making sure your facility is providing the best care for patients with disabilities. Read this ASC Focus article to make sure your ASC is prepared.
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Last week, the US House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means marked up the Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Transparency Act of 2018 (H.R. 6138), which comprises half of the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act of 2017 (H.R. 1838)—ASCA’s mainstay legislation. These measures will provide the ASC industry more representation before regulators and establish transparency in the Medicare procedure review process. Read more.
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Industry News

Sentinel Event Alert Issue 48: Health Care Worker Fatigue and Patient Safety
Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert (06/20/18)

The link between health care worker fatigue and adverse events is well documented, with a substantial number of studies indicating that the practice of extended work hours contributes to high levels of worker fatigue and reduced productivity. These studies and others show that fatigue increases the risk of adverse events, compromises patient safety, and increases risk to personal safety and well-being.

CMS Seeks Input on Potential Stark Law Revisions
Health Leaders Magazine Online (06/18) Commins, John

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is considering revisions to the Stark Law banning physician self-referrals, and they're asking for input from stakeholders. "In its current form, the physician self-referral law may prohibit some relationships that are designed to enhance care coordination, improve quality, and reduce waste," CMS Administrator Seem Verma said Wednesday in a blog post.

Doling Out Pain Pills Post-Surgery: An Ingrown Toenail Not the Same as a Bypass
Kaiser Health News (06/22/18) Appleby, Julie

What's the right painkiller prescription to send home with a patient after gallbladder surgery or a cesarean section? That question is front and center as conventional approaches to pain control in the United States have led to what some see as a culture of overprescribing, helping spur the nation's epidemic of opioid overuse and abuse.

AI Hospital Software Knows Who's Going to Fall
Bloomberg (06/21/18) Ockerman, Emma

El Camino Hospital, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, has a problem. Its nurses, tending to patients amid a chorus of machines, monitors, and devices, are only human.

Head of New U.S. Corporate Health Plan Cites Surgery as Biggest Cost
Reuters (06/21/18) Beasley, Deena

Dr. Atul Gawande, a surgeon who was named this week to head the company being formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to trim employee healthcare costs, on Thursday cited surgery as the single biggest U.S. healthcare cost and said there are ways to both cut costs and improve patient care. Speaking in San Diego at the annual meeting of America's Health Insurance Plans, a health insurance trade association, Gawande also said that end-of-life care needs to take into account the wishes of patients, something which he said is now sorely lacking.

Governor Signs McNamara, Coyne Bill to Require Hospitals to Address Ventilation of Surgical Smoke
State of Rhode Island General Assembly (06/04/18)

Gov. Gina Raimondo has signed legislation introduced by Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) and Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne (D-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol, East Providence) that will require hospitals to adopt policies relating to surgical smoke. The law (2018-H 7082, 2018-S 2238) requires all hospitals and freestanding ambulatory surgical facilities licensed in Rhode Island to adopt policies to use a smoke evacuation system for surgical procedures that generate surgical smoke.

Robotic Surgery Is No Better Than Traditional Surgery, Bladder Cancer Study Finds
Washington Post (06/22/18) Wan, William

Robotic-assisted procedures have now become ubiquitous in some kinds of surgeries. What once was seen as a technological marvel is commonplace in many hospitals.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Adds Munster Specialty Surgery Center to Its Medicare Advantage Provider Network
Business Wire (06/19/18)

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana (Anthem) is committed to increasing consumer access to high-quality, affordable healthcare. As part of this commitment, Anthem and Munster Specialty Surgery Center (Munster) announced today that Anthem will be adding Munster to its preferred list of care providers for its Anthem MediBlue Plus (HMO) and Anthem MediBlue Dual Advantage (HMO SNP) plans.

Healthcare Mergers, Increased Access to Boost Medical Costs 6 Percent
RevCycle Intelligence (06/18/18) LaPointe, Jacqueline

PwC's Health Research Institute (HRI) predicts medical costs for employers to grow 6 percent in 2019 as healthcare mergers and more convenient care access options drive up healthcare costs and utilization. The medical cost trend is consistent with the 5.5 to 7 percent range of the previous five years.

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