ASCA News Digest (August 7, 2018)

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August 7, 2018

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ASCA is excited to announce that the application period for the first-ever Certified Ambulatory Infection Preventionist (CAIP)™ exam is now open. CAIP is the first credential designed specifically for infection preventionists in the ASC industry. The application period will close Friday, August 31, and the exam period is October 1–31. Apply today.
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DePuy Synthes    Why did you start performing total joint replacements at the surgery center?

This year, ASCA has expanded the celebration of National ASC Week into a full month! For all 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 to both your local policymakers and the public about 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 right away.
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ASCA has published two new online resources to help ASCs talk to their patients, the media and policymakers about quality and patient safety in their facilities. The first, available to members only, is a set of materials for use in responding to a second article about adverse events in ASCs that we are expecting Kaiser Health News and Gannett/USA Today to release soon. The second, available to all, is a list of links to peer-reviewed research articles that examine some aspect of ASC quality and safety. If you receive a media inquiry or need assistance using these resources, contact Kay Tucker.
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Make sure your ASC’s compensation packages are competitive as you plan budgets and staffing for 2019. ASCA’s Salary & Benefits Survey provides national, regional and state data for 20 ASC positions and allows you to benchmark your facility against others based on characteristics such as specialty, number of employees and type of ownership. ASCA members pay $299 for the results and nonmembers pay $599. Purchase results.
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Sign up today for ASCA's next National Advocacy Day event, scheduled for September 5, 2018. National Advocacy Day is your opportunity to educate your representatives in Congress about issues that affect your ASC. This event includes a full scheduled day of congressional meetings on Capitol Hill for each participant, as well as a training briefing and dinner the night before. The deadline to sign up is next Friday, August 17. Register now.
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Starting in August, Member Focus will have two questions for you to choose from and answer. This fantastic new format will let you stick to the original plan and answer one question or, if you are full of ideas and raring to share, get two answers in with one click. Be sure to visit the Member Focus page today.
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Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2019 proposed payment rule for ASCs and hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs). As promised in the initial rule release, ASCA has prepared a table that summarizes select proposals from the ASC rule. In the coming weeks, ASCA will make available to its members more information about commenting on specific areas of the payment rule. Learn more.
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Industry News


After Doctors Cut Their Opioids, Patients Turn to a Risky Treatment for Back Pain
New York Times (07/31/18) Kaplan, Sheila

An injectable drug that the manufacturer says is too dangerous to use along the spine is growing in popularity for back pain as doctors turn away from opioids. The anti-inflammatory drug, called Depo-Medrol and made by Pfizer, is approved for injection into muscles and joints.

Shopping for Health Care Simply Doesn't Work. So What Might?
New York Times (07/30/18) Frakt, Austin

Each year, for well over a decade, more people have faced higher health insurance deductibles. The theory goes like this: The more of your own money that you have to spend on health care, the more careful you will be — buying only necessary care, purging waste from the system.

New Trump Administration Rule Will Require Hospitals to Post Prices Online
The Hill (08/03/18) Hellmann, Jessie

Hospitals will be required to post online a list of their standard charges under a rule finalized Thursday by the Trump administration. While hospitals are already required to make this information public on request, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said the new rule would require the info be posted online to "encourage price transparency" and improve "public accessibility."

CMS Finalizes Changes to Empower Patients and Reduce Administrative Burden
CMS Press Release (08/02/18)

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a rule to empower patients and advance the White House MyHealthEData initiative and the CMS Patients Over Paperwork initiative. This final rule and others issued earlier this week will help improve access to hospital price information, give patients greater access to their health information, and allow clinicians to spend more time with their patients.

HHS Weighs Changes to Health Data Privacy Regulations
GovInfoSecurity.com (08/01/18) McGee, Marianne Kolbasuk

The Department of Health and Human Services is considering making changes to federal privacy regulations governing health data - including the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the 42 CFR Part 2 law, which pertains to substance abuse and mental health information. While regulatory experts are already debating whether changes to HIPAA are, indeed, needed, many say changes to the 42 CFR Part 2 are long overdue.

Video Recordings Help Nurses and Doctors Improve Communication
NursingTimes.net (07/31/18) Ford, Steve

Video technology and feedback can help overcome communication breakdowns between nurses and doctors, according to U.S. researchers who note it is one of the main reasons for care mistakes. In a small pilot study, University of Michigan researchers recorded interactions among nurses and doctors, and then had the clinicians watch and critique the footage with them.

To Tame Prescription Prices, HHS Dips a Toe Into Drug Importation Stream
Kaiser Health News (08/01/18) Bluth, Rachel

It came as something of a surprise when Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced that the administration was exploring the importation of prescription drugs to fight high domestic prices. Azar and Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, who also endorsed the new proposal, had previously opposed the idea.

Ground Breaks on New MOB, Ambulatory Surgery Center
Healthcare Design (08/01/18) Matambanadzo, Shandi

Albany ENT & Allergy Services, OrthoNY, and St. Peter's Hospital recently began construction work on a new 54,000-square-foot medical office building and multispecialty ambulatory surgery center in Colonie, N.Y. The project will feature 32,000 square feet of new offices for Albany ENT & Allergy Services and 22,000 square feet for the ambulatory surgery center.


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