ASCA News Digest (November 14, 2018)

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November 14, 2018


ASCA Highlights

ASCA’s Medicare payment resources have been updated to reflect the changes finalized in the 2019 final payment rule for hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) and ASCs. In addition, as promised in the initial rule release, a more in-depth analysis of the 2019 Final ASC Payment Rule is now available. These resources are available only to ASCA members. Read more.
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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!

More than 80 new members of Congress will be sworn into office on January 3, 2019. As these new policymakers begin their work on Capitol Hill, it is imperative that the ASC community informs them about the important role ASCs play in America’s health care.

Be the ASC expert for your elected officials. See a full list of the new members, or contact Danielle Kaster to learn more.
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Interested in the new Certified Ambulatory Infection Preventionist (CAIP) credential? The Infection Prevention Techniques for ASCs track at ASCA’s 2019 Winter Seminar, January 17–19 in Austin, TX, is a great way to earn many of the Infection Prevention Contact Hours (IPCHs) required for the CAIP exam.

The Winter Seminar also offers two other tracks: Coding Update & Reimbursement Strategies and ASC Management Essentials. You can move freely between the three tracks and attend any of the sessions offered.

Check out the schedule and register today to save $100 on your registration fee!
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Sign up now for ASCA’s 2019 Webinar All-Access Pass and get a full year of top-quality ASC education at one low price. This popular pass provides access to all 16 webinars in ASCA’s 2019 series—both the live events and the recordings—at a fraction of the full purchase price. Purchase the 2019 All-Access Pass today!
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Renew your ASCA membership for 2019 and make sure you don’t miss any member benefits. ASCA membership provides your entire staff with access to vital educational resources, great networking opportunities, essential industry news and tools to use daily in your practice. Members can renew via the online portal on ASCA’s website or by returning the renewal notice received in the mail.

Not yet an ASCA member? Join today.
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During a special signing event last month, President Donald Trump signed into law the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6). Read this ASC Focus Digital Debut to find out how the act could affect ASCs.
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Industry News

CMS: 93 Percent of Clinicians Get Positive Payment Adjustments for MIPS Year 1
Healthcare Informatics (11/08/18) Leventhal, Rajiv

Ninety-three percent of MIPS (Merit-based Incentive Payment System)-eligible clinicians received a positive payment adjustment for their performance in 2017, and 95 percent overall avoided a negative payment adjustment, according to a CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) announcement today. The first year of MIPS under MACRA's Quality Payment Program (QPP) was dubbed by CMS as a "pick your pace year," which essentially enabled clinicians to avoid payment penalties as long as they submitted at least the minimum amount of quality data.
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ASCA 2019 Winter Seminar
Surgery Patients Use Only One-Quarter of Prescribed Opioids, and Prescription Size Matters
EurekAlert (11/07/18)

Many surgeons write prescriptions for opioid pain medications four times larger than what their patients will actually use after common operations, a new study shows. And the size of that prescription may be the most important factor in how many opioid pills the patient will take--outweighing their pain scores, the intensity of their operation and personal factors, the research suggests.
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U.S. Female Surgeons Expect to Earn $1 Million Less Than Men: Study
Reuters (11/01/18) Wulfhorst, Ellen

Female surgeons expect to earn about $1 million less in their careers than their male colleagues, U.S. research showed on Thursday, illustrating a dramatic case of a gender wage gap as scrutiny of sexism in the workplace grows. Women in general surgery expected to be paid an average of $30,000 less each year than men over a 30-year career and felt less comfortable negotiating pay, according to LA BioMed, a California-based research institute.
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DePuy Synthes   Why did you start performing total joint replacements at the surgery center?
'Being Silenced Is Not Acceptable': Doctors Express Outrage After NRA Tells Them 'to Stay in Their Lane'
Washington Post (11/11/18) Sellers, Frances Stead

At first, Judy Melinek didn't know how to respond when she learned about a National Rifle Association tweet last week telling doctors who dared enter the gun debate "to stay in their lane." But two days later, when the West Coast forensic pathologist was on her way to the morgue to examine the body of one of the country's many forgotten gunshot victims, the words came to her.
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To Expand Health Care, Alaska Needs to End CON Laws
Heartland Institute (11/05/18) Glans, Matthew

Alaska is one of 35 states that institute certificate of need (CON) laws, which limit health care providers' ability to expand services. In 2017, Alaska State Sen. David Wilson (R-Wasilla) introduced a bill that would have repealed the state's CON laws.
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Q3 Healthcare Data Breach Report: 4.39 Million Records Exposed in 117 Breaches
HIPAA Journal (11/07/18)

The latest installment of the Breach Barometer Report from Protenus shows there was a quarterly fall in the number of healthcare data breaches compared to Q2, 2018; however, the number of healthcare records exposed, stolen, or impermissibly disclosed increased in Q3. In each quarter of 2018, the number of healthcare records exposed in data breaches has risen.
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FDA's New Steps to Strengthen and Modernize Agency's Oversight and Reporting of Inspections for Sterile Injectable Drugs
FDA News Release (11/09/18) Gottlieb, Scott

Manufacturing inspections are one of the FDA’s most important tools for ensuring the quality of pharmaceutical products used by American patients. Inspections help us to identify manufacturing issues that could pose potential risks to patients, or problems that could contribute to drug shortages, enabling us to engage manufacturers to address and resolve issues.
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National Medical Billing Services

National Medical Billing Services