ASCA News Digest (November 6, 2018)

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November 6, 2018


ASCA Highlights

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2019 final payment rule for ASCs and hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs). Of note, CMS has finalized its proposal to align update factors, moving ASCs to the hospital market basket which has long been used to update HOPD payments. Under the final rule, CMS will use the hospital market basket to update ASC payments for the five-year period of calendar year (CY) 2019 through CY 2023. ASCs will get an effective update of 2.1%, while HOPDs will get an effective update of 1.35%. Read more.
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ASCA Survey  

Participate in This Orthopedic Survey for the Chance to Receive a Free Registration to ASCA 2019

If you are an ASC professional in a role at a multi-specialty center with an orthopedic specialty, you are invited to provide your feedback. The short survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Upon completion of the survey, you will have the opportunity to sign up for the chance to receive a complimentary registration for the ASCA 2019 Conference & Expo.

Save $100 by signing up today for ASCA's 2019 Winter Seminar. 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. Be sure to check out the schedule and register today!
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Learn how quality reporting requirements are changing for 2019 and what your ASC must do to meet them by registering for ASCA's next webinar, "CMS Quality Reporting for ASCs."

This free webinar will be offered next Tuesday, November 13, at 1:00 pm ET and will be lead by Donna Slosburg, executive director of the ASC Quality Collaboration and Gina Throneberry, director of education and clinical affairs for ASCA.
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ASCA CEO Bill Prentice will lead the “National Legislative and Regulatory Activities Affecting our ASCs” session at 7:30 am ET during the Maryland Ambulatory Surgery Center Association Annual Fall Conference tomorrow, November 7, in Columbia, MD.

ASCA Regulatory Counsel Kara Newbury will lead a session during the Arkansas Ambulatory Surgery Association 16th Annual Conference on Monday, November 12, in Little Rock, AR.

Keep up to date with the latest ASCA and ASC-industry events by visiting ASCA’s events calendar.
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Even the most well-designed machines eventually fail. This includes computers, servers and any other information technology (IT) in your ASC. While technology can fail on its own, there are numerous other threats to the stability and performance of your facility’s IT, like natural and man-made disasters, malware and viruses. Read this ASC Focus article for insight into how to respond if this day ever comes.
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Last Wednesday, October 31, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized the 2019 Medicare Home Health Prospective Payment System rule, which included accrediting organization (AO) language applicable to all supplier and provider types. It is important to note that this final rule in no way impacts the efforts to strengthen oversight of AOs as we previously reported.
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Industry News

AAAHC Launches Advanced Orthopaedic Certification
Healthcare Facilities Today (11/01/18)

The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), the industry leader in ambulatory health care accreditation, has developed an Advanced Orthopaedic Certification program for ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) seeking recognition for their high quality of care and compliance with rigorous, specialty-focused standards. This three-year certification program was designed by an expert panel of practicing professionals in orthopaedic and spine procedures.
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ASCA 2019 Winter Seminar
American Hospital Association Plans to Sue CMS Over Final Site-Neutral Payment Rule
Fierce Healthcare (11/02/2018) Meltzer, Rose

Another legal battle between the nation's largest hospital association and the Trump administration is imminent after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a rule to institute site-neutral payments for clinic visits. CMS finalized its 2019 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) rule on Friday morning, which will gradually institute site-neutral payments in the Medicare program over the next two years.
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Ambulatory Surgery Centers Are High-Quality, Low-Cost Key for Outpatient Procedures
Healthcare Analytics News (11/02/18) Vail, Tara

With so much emphasis on driving down healthcare costs in America, it is not surprising that hospitals and large healthcare systems are shifting their focus beyond the traditional walls of hospitals to ambulatory settings. Healthcare systems must find new ways to drive down costs to operate on razor-thin margins and rising costs, all while increasing patient satisfaction.
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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.

Continue reading here!

Aetna Offers Expanded Coverage for Exparel in Select Ambulatory Surgical Centers
Globe Newswire (10/30/18)

Aetna has announced that they will reimburse select ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) for the use of Exparel (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension) as part of a pilot program in Florida and New Jersey. The purpose of the program is to incentivize the use of non-opioid therapies for postsurgical pain management in ASCs.
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Surgery Center Medical Waste
All Points Medical Waste (10/29/18) Connelly, Dawn

Just like any other medical facility, surgery centers generate a lot of medical waste and are required to follow federal and state regulations for disposal. Ensuring that everyone on your staff is well trained is key to protecting their safety and remaining compliant.
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National Medical Billing Services

National Medical Billing Services