ASCA News Digest (March 13, 2018)

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March 13, 2018



ASCA Highlights

Industry News

ASCA Highlights

ASCA 2018 is quickly approaching. Register now for ASCA's annual meeting—April 11–14 in Boston—and be sure to book your hotel room as soon as possible. With nearly a thousand ASC professionals already registered for this can't-miss event, rooms are filling fast. 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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Smith & Nephew

ASCA's Online Training Series is now accessible on mobile devices as well as on desktop computers. All 24 courses in the series have been converted to a cleaner, modern interface that recognizes screen size, making it even easier for you to learn anytime, anywhere.

The Online Training Series, offered through ASCA's affinity partnership with HealthStream, features a collection of on-demand courses that apply specifically to ASCs. Significant discounts are available for ASCs that sign up multiple users and purchase multi-year subscriptions. Sign up today!
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Sign up today for ASCA's next National Advocacy Day event, scheduled for June 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. Another National Advocacy Day event will take place on September 5, 2018.
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Full Cirlce   When it comes to revenue cycle management (RCM), we’re talking about profitability, operating margins and bottom lines—the collective lifeline in your ambulatory surgery center or private practice. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that a trusted acquaintance and proven professional was safeguarding it all for you?

In the latest Member Focus profile, a director of education from Colorado discusses three key advocacy issues her ASC is focused on.

Want to be featured in Member Focus? Share your answer to the current question—Have you attended an ASCA annual meeting? If so, what is the best part about attending?
—and you could be selected for a future profile.
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Designated ASCA voting members are encouraged to vote for the members of the ASCA Board of Directors. The official results will be announced on April 14 on the ASCA website. The candidates selected to serve on the ASCA Board will also serve on the ASCA Foundation Board. Learn more about the candidates and cast your ballot by March 31, 2018.
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One Medical Passport

ASCA created its Advocacy Fund as a way to solicit support from the ASC community and help communicate its legislative and regulatory agenda to federal and state policymakers. Learn more about the crucial role the Advocacy Fund plays on behalf of ASCA members.
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In a speech at the Federation for American Hospitals' annual policy conference, US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar laid out a path for a more cost-effective and transparent health system. Mr. Azar's goals include making medical pricing more transparent, creating new delivery models under Medicare and Medicaid and removing regulations that may prevent such efforts. Read more.
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Industry News

Infection Control Program Elements to Remember
Joint Commission Ambulatory Buzz blog (03/07/18) Benze, Crissy

As busy Clinical Directors and Infection Control Coordinators, constant attention is required to ensure our ambulatory surgery center (ASC) policies and procedures for infection control (IC) are kept up-to-date. Though IC is incorporated into ASCs required Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement programs for Medicare, and we work to ensure that all ambulatory care staff remain compliant, there are still some commonly overlooked elements of IC programs.

The More Opioids Doctors Prescribe, the More Money They Make
CNN (03/12/18) Kessler, Aaron; Cohen, Elizabeth; Grise, Katherine

As tens of thousands of Americans die from prescription opioid overdoses each year, an exclusive analysis by CNN and researchers at Harvard University found that opioid manufacturers are paying physicians huge sums of money--and the more opioids a doctor prescribes, the more money he or she makes. In 2014 and 2015, opioid manufacturers paid hundreds of doctors across the country six-figure sums for speaking, consulting and other services.

500 Canadian Doctors Protest Pay Raises Because They Already Make Too Much Money
Newsweek (03/07/18) Sit, Ryan

Hundreds of Canadian doctors, medical specialists and residents, as well as medical students, have signed a petition protesting their own pay raises, instead asking that the money be reallocated to help nurses and patients in need. "We, Quebec doctors who believe in a strong public system, oppose the recent salary increases negotiated by our medical federations," reads the letter, originally posted in French, the official language in the Canadian province.

Hackers Hit Patient Records at St. Peter's Center
Albany Times-Union (03/02/18) Nearing, Brian

A surgical center affiliated with St. Peter's Hospital has been hit by the second-largest computer breach of patient records in New York state since 2016. On Friday, St. Peter's Surgery & Endoscopy Center revealed that hackers potentially compromised medical records of about 135,000 patients earlier this year.

FDA Warns Duodenoscope Manufacturers About Failure to Comply With Required Postmarket Surveillance Studies to Assess Contamination Risk
FDA News Release (03/09/18)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued warning letters to all three duodenoscope manufacturers for failing to comply with requirements of federal law under which they were ordered to conduct postmarket surveillance studies to assess the effectiveness of reprocessing the devices. As part of an ongoing effort to prevent patient infections associated with the transmission of bacteria from contaminated duodenoscopes, the FDA in 2015 ordered U.S. duodenoscope manufacturers Olympus, Fujifilm and Pentax to conduct a postmarket surveillance study to determine whether healthcare facilities were able to properly clean and disinfect the devices.

Web-Based Education May Enhance Patient Satisfaction Scores for Outpatient Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopedics Today (03/18) Jaramillo, Monica

Enhancement in patient satisfaction scores were seen in patients who received supplemental web-based patient education before they underwent outpatient orthopedic surgery, according to a presenter at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting. "Other specialties in the field of medicine have previously shown that educational videos and online education leads to improved knowledge, self-efficacy and recognizing certain symptoms, as well as patient satisfaction, which is consistent with the findings we showed in this present study," Carola F. Van Eck, MD, said during her presentation.

Pennsylvania Expands Allowable Procedures for Ambulatory Surgery Center
JD Supra (03/05/18)

Pennsylvania Act 70 of 2017 changes the definition of an ambulatory surgical facility by redefining the duration of the "services" to be 24 hours, rather than a 4 hour procedure and 4 hours of supervised recovery imposed by 28 Pa. Code Section 551.21, a copy of which is also attached. It takes effect in 60 days.

Report: United Interested in Envision Surgery Centers
Nashville Post (03/08/18) De Lombaerde, Geert

Shares of Envision Healthcare have climbed about 5 percent since a report Tuesday afternoon that giant insurer UnitedHealth is interested in buying the company's ambulatory surgery center division. Bloomberg cited sources who said United is looking at what is essentially the former AmSurg organization.

Martin Shkreli Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for Fraud
New York Times (03/09/18) Clifford, Stephanie

Martin Shkreli, a former pharmaceutical executive notorious for sharply increasing drug prices, mounting sneering defenses of his actions and even issuing a bounty for one of Hillary Clinton’s hairs, was sentenced on Friday to seven years in prison after being convicted of fraud last year. Prosecutors had sought a sentence of at least 15 years; the defense had pushed for 12 to 18 months.

Trump Administration Announces MyHealthEData Initiative to Put Patients at the Center of the US Healthcare System
CMS Press Release (03/06/18)

Today, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma announced a new Trump Administration initiative – MyHealthEData – to empower patients by giving them control of their healthcare data, and allowing it to follow them through their healthcare journey. Last year President Trump issued an Executive Order to Promote Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States.

At New Health Office, 'Civil Rights' Means Doctors' Right to Say No to Patients
Kaiser Health News (03/05/18) Huetteman, Emmarie

The Trump administration is embarking on a sweeping effort to redefine civil rights in health care, with critics accusing the Department of Health and Human Services of sidestepping the rights of patients to soothe a far smaller constituency: conservative nurses, hospitals and other caregivers. The department's Office for Civil Rights has been greatly strengthening and expanding protections for health care providers who have religious- or conscience-based objections to procedures such as abortion.

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