ASCA News Digest (March 20, 2018)

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March 20, 2018

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ASCA 2018 Focus Groups   Attending ASCA 2018? 

As an ASCA 2018 attendee, you are invited to participate in one of six ASCA Affiliate-led Focus Groups and Lunches Topics include Perioperative Innovations, Joint and Spine Cases, IT & Cybersecurity, Infection Prevention, Reimbursement for Postsurgical Pain Management and Physician Preference Items.

For consideration, please complete the Focus Group Registration Request form. Participation is limited to ASCA 2018 attendees and advance registration is required.

ASCA Highlights



Online registration for ASCA 2018 closes Friday, March 30. Don’t miss out on ASCA's annual meeting, April 11–14 in Boston. ASCA 2018 will offer ample opportunities to network with more than a thousand of your colleagues, discover new products and services in the ASC industry’s largest exhibit hall, keep up with the latest marketplace trends, earn continuing education credits and more. Register today.
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One Medical Passport

After five years of development and discussions, the Oregon Legislative Assembly unanimously passed legislation that creates a license for extended stay recovery centers. Patients in these extended stay centers can have 48 hours to recover from the time of admission at the ASC, as compared to the 24-hour limitation for ASCs. Read more of this Digital Debut from ASC Focus.
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All designated ASCA voting members are encouraged to vote for members of the ASCA Board of Directors. There are five openings on the ASCA Board this year and four incumbents running for a second term. Learn more about the candidates and be sure to cast your ballot by March 31.
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Smith & Nephew

Developing & Managing Ambulatory Surgery Centers offers a comprehensive overview of the various components of running an ASC. This electronic book focuses on the four major elements of ASC management: patient and clinical care, risk management, business office systems, and managed care and payer contracting. Purchase today.
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Want to be featured in Member Focus? Share your answer to this month’s questionWhat is the best part about attending an ASCA annual meeting?—and you could be selected for a future profile.

Member Focus, published on the ASC Focus website, invites ASCA members to share their views on key ASC issues.
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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?

The Long Island Center for Digestive Health, a Physicians Endoscopy facility located in Garden City, New York, recently hosted an event promoting Colon Cancer Awareness Month. More than 100 individuals attended the event, including US Representative Kathleen Rice (NY-4) and New York State Representative Rose Marie Walker (NY-17). Read more.
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Industry News


IMQ Continues Work to Ensure Ambulatory Surgery Center Safety
California Medical Association (03/19/18) Shorstein, Neal H.; Spiegel, Mindel

While a recent article questioned the safety of ambulatory surgery centers, studies have shown that outpatient surgery centers generally are as safe as hospitals for many procedures. This is particularly true in California, due in part to the work of the Institute for Medical Quality.

The Other Opioid Crisis: Hospital Shortages Lead to Patient Pain, Medical Errors
Kaiser Health News (03/19/18) Bartolone, Pauline

Even as opioids flood American communities and fuel widespread addiction, hospitals are facing a dangerous shortage of the powerful painkillers needed by patients in acute pain, according to doctors, pharmacists and a coalition of health groups. The shortage, though more significant in some places than others, has left many hospitals and surgical centers scrambling to find enough injectable morphine, Dilaudid and fentanyl--drugs given to patients undergoing surgery, fighting cancer or suffering traumatic injuries.

Soaring Health Costs Prompt Employer-Hospital Surgery Deals
Dayton Daily News (03/18/18) Schroeder, Kaitlin

As the cost of health care continues to rise, large employers seeking to hold down health care costs are starting to negotiate fixed-price deals for common surgeries. Companies that self fund their health insurance benefits can pay as much for health care as they pay some of their large suppliers.

National Research Study Finds Large Gaps in U.S. Physician Compensation
PR Newswire (03/14/18)

Doximity today released its second annual Physician Compensation Report, one of the most comprehensive surveys of U.S. physician compensation. This year's study found that doctors saw an average 4 percent wage increase nationally from 2016 to 2017.

High Prices Are Not the Only Driver of U.S. Healthcare Costs
Health Leaders Media (03/14/2018) Commins, John

High drug prices, the excessive use of imaging and surgery, and excessive administrative burdens are the bulk of this country’s healthcare overspending, says healthcare policy expert Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD. In an essay this week in JAMA, Emanuel, chair of the department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, says Americans average $9,403 per person in annual health care spending.

Surgery Centers Eye Recovery Rooms to Keep Patients Longer
Bend Bulletin (OR) (03/14/18) Hawryluk, Markian

Two Bend surgery centers are interested in adding extended stay centers that would allow them to keep patients in recovery rooms for up to two days, a move that could cut costs for patients and insurance plans. Under current law, ambulatory surgery centers must discharge or transfer patients within 24 hours from the time of admission.

Surgical Fires Caused by Skin Preps and Ointments: Rare But Dangerous and Preventable
ISMP Medication Safety Alert Acute Care (03/08/18)

Surgical fires that ignite in or around patients can have devastating consequences, particularly if oxygen sources are present during head, face, neck, or upper chest surgeries. There are an estimated 200-240 surgical fires each year in the US, occurring in operating rooms or during procedures in physicians' offices or clinics.

Ambulatory-Surgery Centers Can Help Unlock Investment Value in Orthopedic Practices
peHUB (03/13/2018) Krause, Patrick

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' change of policy last summer to pay for total knee- and hip-replacement procedures in outpatient settings has made independent orthopedic practices--and in particular those that own ambulatory-surgery centers--an interesting area for investment. A blueprint for investment in orthopedics has been established by private equity investors who have been investing in specialties such as ophthalmology and dermatology.

Six Strategies for Improving Surgical Outcomes
McKesson (03/05/18)

As the industry shifts to value-based reimbursement models, improving patient care is a business imperative as well as an ongoing clinical objective. Given the high volume of surgeries performed at the nation's hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers, improving the quality and safety of surgical care is taking on added financial importance for providers.

Diagnostic Errors Top ECRI Institute's Patient Safety Concerns for 2018
PR Newswire (03/12/18)

ECRI Institute, widely considered the largest federally certified Patient Safety Organization, names diagnostic errors the number one concern on its 2018 Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for Healthcare Organizations. Each year, approximately 1 in 20 adults experiences a diagnostic error, according to published studies.

Congress Wants More Info on Joint Commission Accreditation Process
HealthExec (03/12/18) Gregory, John

The House and Energy Commerce Committee has sent letters to CMS and four hospital accreditation organizations (AOs), including the Joint Commission, asking for more information on how the entities conduct surveys and why there’s been a disconnect between their results and what state survey agencies find. The questions from Congress stem from a 2017 Wall Street Journal story about the disconnect on identifying patient safety problems.

Evidence-Based Approach Improves Rate of Colon Surgical Site Infections
Oncology Nurse Advisor (03/03/18) Nam, James

According to findings presented at the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) 2018 Annual Conference, colon surgical site infection (SSI) rates improved using an evidence-based approach, along with increased education and collaboration with healthcare providers. A near tripling of the colon SSI rate despite only a 14% increase in colon procedures at the study site led researchers to review current procedures, as well as potential causes and solutions.


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