ASCA News Digest (September 25, 2018)

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September 25, 2018


ASCA Highlights

As part of the solution to health care challenges, the US House of Representatives and the US Senate featured ASCs in two hearings this month. Both hearings examined barriers to innovative health care and ways transparency can empower patients. Read this Digital Debut article discussing the two hearings and the two ASC representatives who testified.
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Outpatient Joint Replacement and Achieving The Triple Aim

Andrew Stoeckl, MD President of Excelsior Orthopaedics | Nicholas J. Violante, DO | David Uba, MBA, CEO

Excelsior Orthopaedics – Buffalo, NY

Patient outcomes demonstrate that outpatient joint replacement (OJR) provides an alternative site of care for patients suffering from chronic osteoarthritis. With the Triple Aim Objectives of healthcare reform firmly planted at the forefront of the national debate, OJR has been less costly than joint replacement performed in an inpatient hospital setting for our practice. By streamlining care in the outpatient setting, and contracting with local insurance providers with a bundled offering, Excelsior Orthopaedics decreased the top line reimbursement for total joints from approximately $38,000 to $26,000.

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ASCA has published the Summer/Fall 2018 edition of ASC Physician Focus, a free quarterly publication for physicians who own and perform procedures in ASCs. Highlights of this issue include: “Recent Trends Affecting the Value of ASCs,” “Protecting Your Interests in a Hospital Joint Venture” and “Repurposing of Properties for Medical Facilities on the Rise.” Sign up for a free subscription today.
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Register for ASCA's 2019 Winter Seminar by Monday, October 15, to take advantage of the early bird discount. This year’s program, taking place January 17–19 in Austin, TX, features three specialized tracks:
  • ASC Management Essentials (new in 2019)
  • Coding Update & Reimbursement Strategies
  • Infection Prevention Techniques for ASCs
You can move freely between the tracks and attend any of the sessions offered during this focused, ASC-specific seminar. Check out the schedule and register today!
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ASCA 2019 Winter Seminar

Share the perks of ASCA membership with your peers so that more facilities can enjoy the same benefits! For each new ASC you refer to ASCA that joins before this Friday, 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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ASCA staff will speak at two conferences in the next week:
Keep up to date with the latest ASCA and ASC-industry events by visiting ASCA’s events calendar.
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Through ASCA’s affinity partnership with Akorbi, ASCA members can enjoy special discounted rates on Akorbi’s high-quality translation and interpretation services, which are available in more than 170 languages. Learn more about how Akorbi’s language solutions can benefit your ASC.
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As ASCA announced on September 18, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its proposed rule “Regulatory Provisions to Promote Program Efficiency, Transparency, and Burden Reduction.” CMS estimates that these proposed changes would collectively save health care providers an estimated $1.12 billion annually. Learn more.
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Industry News

How ASC Facilities Turn Their Smaller Operations Into Safer Operations
HealthLeaders Media (09/18/18) Cheney, Christopher

Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) are on the frontline of efforts to shift healthcare outside the hospital walls in several specialties, including endoscopy, ophthalmology, and pain management. And within those efforts, physician leaders are reinforcing the safety advantages of ASCs for invasive procedures, according to an ASC leader, surgeons, and scientific data.
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DePuy Synthes    Why did you start performing total joint replacements at the surgery center?
Use of Florida Drug Database Increases Amid Opioid Fight, New Law
Orlando Sentinel (09/20/18)

One of Florida’s main weapons to thwart “doctor shopping” has been expanding substantially after the passage of a tough new law aimed at addressing the continuing opioid crisis. State officials said Thursday that more than 92,000 health-care providers had registered to use an electronic database that tracks patients who are prescribed controlled substances.
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Groups Push for Effort to Have Medicare Cover CT Colongraphy
Health Data Management (09/20/18) Bazzoli, Fred

Consumer and professional groups are asking Congress to pass a bill that would allow Medicare to cover virtual colonoscopies. The bipartisan bill, introduced in the Senate as S. 3465, would expand Medicare coverage to include screening computed tomography colonography.
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New Online Tools Provide Best Practices in Surgical Care for Older Adults
ABMS News Release (09/18/18)

The American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), with funding from The John A. Hartford Foundation, today unveiled one of the field's first suites of online tools to aid surgeons and related medical sub-specialists who care for older people. With the number of older adults undergoing surgery increasing faster than the rate of the population aging itself, the new series of nine AGS' Geriatrics Virtual Patient Cases (VPCs) for Surgical and Related Medical Sub-Specialties are geared toward helping the entire healthcare system better understand and respond to the unique care needs of older adults.
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Study Highlights Need to Remain Vigilant in Maintaining Key Infection Control Processes (09/21/2018) Ives, James

Healthcare-associated infections can be reduced by up to 55 percent by systematically implementing evidence-based infection prevention and control strategies, according to a review of 144 studies published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA). The study suggests that there is considerable room for improvement in infection prevention and control practices, regardless of the economic status of the country.
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Spending on Insurance Plans has Increased Nearly 50 Percent in the Last 10 Years, as Healthcare Costs in the U.S. Continue to Skyrocket
Business Insider (09/21/18)

The U.S. is spending more on healthcare than ever before. A new study published in Health Affairs on Wednesday found that total spending on health services, excluding premiums, for those with employer-sponsored insurance plans increased by 44 percent from 2007 to 2016. Researchers found that spending increased across all major categories of health services, although the amount each category increased by varied. The costs of services rising also plays a role in the increase in total spending.
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California ASC Frequently Asked Questions
California Ambulatory Surgery Association (09/25/18)

Get answers to common questions about California ASCs, ASC oversight and regulatory requirements in the state.

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