ASCA News Digest (July 3, 2018)

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July 3, 2018

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ASCA Highlights



Data collection for the second quarter (Q2) of ASCA’s Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey is now open. Subscribers should make sure to submit their data by July 31 in order to get a complete picture of trends for the year.

Not yet subscribed to the 2018 survey? Purchase a subscription now.
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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?

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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ASCA members are invited to apply for Medical Mission Scholarships provided through the ASCA Foundation’s partnership with One World Surgery. Opportunities are available for nurses, surgical techs and scrub techs, and each scholarship covers the program fee as well as roundtrip coach airfare for the participant. All who are interested in One World Surgery’s weeklong medical missions at the Holy Family Surgery Center in Honduras should learn more and apply.
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This year, ASCA has expanded the celebration of National ASC Week into a full month! For the entire month of August, ASCs around the country will participate in National ASC Month by opening their doors to the public and hosting facility tours. This is a great way to promote awareness of the high-quality, cost-efficient surgical care that ASCs provide. If your ASC is planning to participate in any National ASC Month events, please let Danielle Kaster know.
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Why do you love being a member of ASCA? Share the benefits of ASCA membership with your peers so that more facilities can enjoy the same perks! For each new ASC you refer to ASCA that joins before September 28, you will receive a $25 gift card. Any individual working in an ASC that is a member of ASCA is eligible to participate. Learn more about ASCA’s Member Referral Program.
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Publishing surgery prices online can help both patients and employers be more fiscally responsible with their health care dollars. Read this ASC Focus article on how more ASCs are embracing the trend of posting their facility’s surgery prices online and what they have to say about doing so.
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ASCA has updated the rate calculator and other members-only payment resources to reflect these changes. Please make sure you use the third-quarter rate documents for all services provided on or after July 1, 2018. Read more.
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Industry News


Criminal Prosecution for Violating HIPAA: An Emerging Threat to Health Care Professionals
STAT News (07/02/18) Murphy, Anne M.; Angelini, Laura B.; Shwartz, Jared; et al.

The term "HIPAA violation" can conjure up images of large-scale data breaches. But health care providers need to be aware that, in the midst of the federal government's increased focus on fraud in the health care sector, the privacy rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is an emerging source of criminal liability.

Publish Your Prices, Boost Your Bottom Line
HealthLeaders Media (MA) (07/02/18) Pecci, Alexandra Wilson

Publicly listing prices for common surgeries helped to boost revenue and patient satisfaction. That's the finding from a small study of ambulatory surgical centers across the country by Johns Hopkins researchers and published in the April issue of The American Surgeon.

11 Percent of Nurses, NPs, PAs Claim Recent Sexual Harassment
Medscape (06/28/18) Frellick, Marcia

Eleven percent of nurses, nurse practitioners (NPs), and physician assistants (PAs) said they experienced some form of sexual harassment in the past 3 years, according to Medscape's Sexual Harassment of Nurses, NPs, and PAs: Report 2018. Nurses and NPs said physicians were the harasser 33 percent of the time; fellow nurses were the offendors 19 percent of the time, and PAs (1 percent) and others (48 percent) made up nearly half of the perpetrators of nurses and NPs.

Washington Launches Online Tool That Lets Patients Compare Prices for Medical Procedures
Washington State Office of the Governor (06/29/2018)

If you or a loved one needed knee replacement surgery, would you want to know which surgeon in your community has the highest rating for quality of care? Would you like to know how much a knee replacement costs, on average, at all of the medical offices close to your home?

Horizon Pays N.J. Surgery Centers $160M to Settle Claims It Short-Changed Payments
NJ.com (06/30/18) Livio, Susan K.

A 13-year-old class-action lawsuit accusing New Jersey's largest insurance carrier of short-changing surgery centers across the state ended Friday, resulting in a settlement of at least $160 million, federal court records and the lead attorney in the case said. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey denies the "material factual allegations and legal claims" contained in the lawsuit, but both sides agreed to settle and avoid further protracted and expensive litigation, according to the settlement.

CMS Advances Demonstration to Waive MIPS Requirements for Clinicians in Certain At-Risk Medicare Advantage Plans
CMS Press Release (06/29/18)

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is advancing the Medicare Advantage Qualifying Payment Arrangement Incentive (MAQI) Demonstration, which, when approved and adopted, would waive Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) requirements for clinicians who participate sufficiently in certain Medicare Advantage plans that involve taking on risk. CMS seeks public comment on the information collection burdens associated with the demonstration, which is under consideration for formal approval.

SurgCenter Development Performs 30,000th Outpatient Joint Replacement
PR Web (06/22/18)

SurgCenter Development (SCD), a leading developer of ambulatory surgical centers (ASC) nationwide, announced today the completion of its 30,000th joint replacement since the joint replacement program's inception in 2013. This milestone also represents SCD's 10,000th joint replacement in a 12-month period.

Closer Monitoring of Surgeons Needed to Stave Off Burn-Out and Heavy Drinking
EurekAlert (06/25/18)

Surgeons need closer monitoring to stave off their risk of burn-out, heavy drinking, and other unhealthy behaviours, and it's time for the profession to fix this problem itself before the government steps in, urges a leading surgeon in an editorial published in the Journal of ISAKOS (JISAKOS). Surgeons definitely seem to have a problem, and need to be treated as a special case, writes the journal's editor, Professor Niek van Dijk of the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, citing various published studies.

Christ Hospital's Ft. Mitchell Surgery Center Rejected by Judge
River City News (06/24/18)

Christ Hospital's plans for a more than $20 million surgery center in Ft. Mitchell on the site of the former Drawbridge Inn took a serious hit when a Franklin County Circuit judge denied a certificate of need application. The June 20 ruling by Judge Thomas Wingate reverses the Kentucky Office of Health Policy's decision to approve Christ Hospital's plans. It was challenged by St. Elizabeth Healthcare, the dominant health care provider in Northern Kentucky.

ICD-11: Hurry Up and Wait
ICD10Monitor.com (06/26/18) Johnson, Laurie

A lot of excitement was generated last week when the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the International Classification of Diseases, Eleventh Edition (ICD-11) was being released. But there is a long way to go before the finalization of ICD-11.

Prepublication Standards – Revisions for Pain Assessment and Management
Joint Commission (06/25/18)

Effective January 1, 2019, new and revised pain assessment and management standards will be applicable to Joint Commission-accredited ambulatory care, critical access hospitals, and office-based surgery organizations. The Joint Commission published new and revised pain assessment and management requirements in January 2018 for the Hospital accreditation program.

National Health Care Fraud Takedown Results in Charges Against 601 Individuals Responsible for Over $2 Billion in Fraud Losses
DEA News Release (06/28/18)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex M. Azar III, announced today the largest ever health care fraud enforcement action involving 601 charged defendants across 58 federal districts, including 165 doctors, nurses, and other licensed medical professionals, for their alleged participation in health care fraud schemes involving more than $2 billion in false billings. Of those charged, 162 defendants, including 76 doctors, were charged for their roles in prescribing and distributing opioids and other dangerous narcotics.


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