ASCA News Digest (February 27, 2018)

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February 27, 2018

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The ASCA 2018 early registration deadline has been extended through March 2. Sign up now for ASCA’s annual meeting—April 11–14 in Boston—and save $100 on your registration fee. ASCA members can enjoy an additional discount by registering two or more attendees at the same time.

At ASCA 2018, you will network with hundreds of other ASC professionals, earn continuing education credits, discover new products and services and keep up with the latest marketplace trends. Register today.
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One Medical Passport

Stay connected to the ASCA community and its benefits by renewing your ASCA membership today. ASCA’s membership renewal deadline for 2018 is February 28. Renew now for continued access to industry necessities like ASC Focus magazine, ASCA's Medicare Rate Calculator and the weekly Government Affairs Update.

Is your ASC not yet an ASCA member? Join today.
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When an adverse event occurs, ASCs should be knowledgeable on how to properly analyze its cause and develop an action plan that will prevent a similar incident from happening again. Register for ASCA’s Managing an Adverse Event webinar—scheduled for Tuesday, March 6, at 1:00 pm ET—to discover key strategies for improving patient safety and overall quality of care and performance in your ASC. The cost to attend is $100 for ASCA members and $150 for nonmembers.

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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Tomorrow is the application deadline for the April 14 pencil/paper Certified Administrator Surgery Center (CASC)™ exam, which will be administered on site at ASCA 2018 in Boston. All applications must be submitted electronically; paper applications are no longer accepted. Submit your application today.
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If you attended ASCA's Winter Seminars in January, be sure to request your continuing education credits before the deadline tomorrow. In order to obtain nursing contact hours, Administrator Education Units (AEUs) or a certificate of participation, you must complete a session evaluation.
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ASCA has published the fourth edition of ASC Physician Focus, a free quarterly publication for physicians who own and perform procedures in ASCs. Highlights of this issue include: “Developing a Successful Regional Block Program,” “Tax Reform Analysis: Qualified Business Income Deduction” and “Winning with Data.” Sign up for a free subscription today.
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In the latest Member Focus profile, an associate vice president from South Carolina shares the steps that her ASC takes to ensure patient satisfaction.

Want to be featured in Member Focus? Share your answer to this month's questionWhat key advocacy issue is your ASC most concerned about?—and you could be selected for a future profile.
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Orthopedic registries provide actionable data that can identify a path for improving the quality of patient care. Find out why your ASC should join the “transparency revolution.”
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Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted revised reimbursement rates for some codes to its website. Based on ASCA’s review, it primarily impacts device-intensive codes and the changes were minimal (less than $1.00) for all codes except the codes 22867 and 22869. Read more.
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Industry News


Are Hospitals Becoming Obsolete?
New York Times (02/25/18) Emanuel, Ezekiel J.

Hospitals are disappearing. While they may never completely go away, they will continue to shrink in number and importance.

Average Signing Bonus Accepted by Physicians Increased 20 Percent Over Previous Year
The Medicus Firm News (02/20/18)

The Medicus Firm, a national health care recruiting firm specializing in permanent placement of physicians and advanced practice clinicians, released its annual Physician Placement report this week, summarizing physician placements made in 2017, as compared to prior years. revealing a number of ongoing physician workforce trends. The report provides an overview of hundreds of placements made at more than 250 healthcare systems and hopsitals nationwide, in 52 specialties including nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

EHRs Fall Short in Reducing Administrative Costs
Health Data Management (02/21/18) Slabodkin, Greg

Electronic health records were expected to reduce administrative costs for providers, but a study of a large academic healthcare system with a certified EHR system reveals that the estimated costs of billing and insurance-related activities were substantial and varied depending on the type of clinical encounter. Researchers from Duke University and Harvard Business School estimated the billing and insurance-related costs for five types of patient encounters--primary care visits, discharged emergency department visits, general medicine inpatient stays, ambulatory surgical procedures, as well as inpatient surgical procedures.

AHRQ Focuses on ASC Patient Safety Resources
Joint Commission Ambulatory Buzz blog (02/23/18) Castro, Gerry

Despite the trend of more surgical care being provided in ambulatory care settings, the majority of patient safety efforts to date have focused on the inpatient setting. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is addressing that gap with several valuable resources for ambulatory surgery centers.

CMS Moves Forward With New Voluntary Bundled Payment
Health Data Management (02/26/18) Slabodkin, Greg

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is moving ahead with a new voluntary bundled payment model despite a call from the American Hospital Association to delay the program's application deadline from March 12 to April 16. Among myriad requirements, the new version of the bundled payment program sets out minimum levels of use for certified electronic health records systems. EHRs will be crucial to success in the program because they’ll be essential in coordinating complex care cases, experts believe.

Recovery-Conscious Program Improves Surgical Recovery, Costs
MD Magazine (02/09/2018) Kunzmann, Kevin

Clinical outcomes and hospital costs can be significantly improved with a standardized colorectal operation protocol, according to a novel study. The study, an investigatory look into the association between enhanced recovery pathway for colorectal patients, and hospital costs, found that the enhanced protocol improves patients’ recovery time, narcotic medication use, and spending on care.

Physicians Involved in Surgical Center Lawsuit File Motion to Reconsider Injunction
KTIV.com (IA) (02/20/18) Branch, Blake

A group of Siouxland physicians are asking a judge to reconsider and clarify portions of a temporary injunction issued against them regarding a new surgical center in South Sioux City. Earlier this month, District Judge Dwayne Hoffmeyer granted the injunction for Pierce Street Same Day Surgery, who are suing six physicians and Tri-State Specialists, amid claims they violated a mutual operating agreement.

Blacks in U.S. Lose Quality of Life Due to Fewer Knee Replacements
Reuters (02/22/18) Rapaport, Lisa

Black people with knee osteoarthritis may have a worse quality of life than white patients in part because they're less likely to be offered knee replacement surgery or to get the procedure when it's recommended, a U.S. study suggests. Knee replacement surgery has the potential to turn back the clock for people suffering from severe joint pain that limits their mobility and makes it hard for them to complete daily tasks.

Could Patient Education Improve Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates?
Health Imaging (02/22/2018) O'Connor, Matt

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S., but a lack of education and invasive procedures keep screening numbers down. Scientists from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta found improved patient education on the low radiation risk of computed tomographic colonography or creation of a non-invasive imaging test without a cleanse may boost rates of colorectal cancer screening.


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