ASCA News Digest (February 26, 2019)

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February 26, 2019


ASCA Highlights

Register for the ASCA 2019 Conference & Expo, May 15–18 in Nashville, TN, by this Thursday, February 28, to take advantage of early bird savings. ASCA 2019 offers 50+ ASC-specific sessions designed for ASC professionals at all levels, unparalleled networking opportunities, hundreds of product demos in the largest ASC-specific exhibit hall of the year and more.

Need help convincing your supervisor to send you to ASCA 2019? Check out ASCA’s supervisor approval letter template, which you can customize to your own specific situation. Register today!
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LendingUSA   An Innovative Patient Financing Solution for ASCsToday’s ASCs have more options than ever to help patients pay for services — but they're only useful if patients take advantage of them. Offering patient-friendly financing can boost patient satisfaction and support your ASC. By adding LendingUSA as a financing option, ASCs are empowered to provide their patients with low monthly payments for out-of-pocket surgery costs.To learn more about LendingUSA Patient Financing, click here!

If you have not already done so, renew your ASCA membership for 2019 by 11:59 pm ET this Thursday, February 28. ASCA membership provides your entire staff with access to vital educational resources, great networking opportunities, essential industry news and practical tools to use daily in your facility. 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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ASCA members are invited to apply for medical mission scholarships provided through the ASCA Foundation’s partnership with One World Surgery. Opportunities are available for nurses, surgical techs and scrub techs, and each scholarship covers the program fee as well as roundtrip coach airfare for the participant. One World Surgery is recruiting for several upcoming trips including:

March 9–14 (female anesthesiologist or CRNA)
March 23–30 (surgical techs, preop and PACU nurses)
April 27–May 4 (circulators/scrub techs, preop and PACU nurses)

Learn more and apply today.
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If you attended ASCA’s 2019 Winter Seminar last month in Austin, TX, don’t forget to request your continuing education (CE) credits. In order to obtain nursing contact hours, Administrator Education Units (AEUs), Infection Prevention Contact Hours (IPCHs) or a certificate of participation, you must complete a session evaluation no later than this Thursday, February 28.
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In 2013, a Texas ASC was the site of a fatal stabbing that claimed the life of a nurse and visitor. In response, the facility implemented numerous security measures to help reduce the likelihood of another attack. Several measures relied upon a new technology: radiofrequency identification (RFID). Read this ASC Focus article to find out how to leverage RFID technology to protect your ASC.
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Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a surveyor memo announcing updates to Appendix Z of the State Operations Manual (SOM), which outlines the emergency preparedness requirements for CMS providers and suppliers. Learn more.
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ASCA is seeking to partner with an information technology (IT) company to administer a web-based Culture of Safety Survey to ASCA members. The selected company will provide a web-based platform for the Ambulatory Procedure/Surgery Center Survey on Patient Safety; implement the survey; produce benchmarking reports for participating ASCs as well as a comparison among like ASCs; and provide training to ASCA and ongoing support to ASCA and ASCs for using the web-based platform.

If you are interested in working with ASCA on this project, please provide the information requested in ASCA’s RFP by Friday, March 15.
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Industry News

Florida Bill to Allow Overnight Ambulatory Surgical Center Stays Moves Forward in the Senate
Tampa Bay Times (02/19/19) Koh, Elizabeth

A proposal to allow patients at ambulatory surgical centers to stay overnight was approved by the Senate Health Policy committee Tuesday, with a promise from its sponsor that she would not seek to further extend how long patients can remain at those facilities. Patients at ambulatory surgical centers can currently only stay for the duration of the day but SB 434, which was passed unanimously, would allow patients to stay at such centers up to 24 hours, enabling them to remain overnight.
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Physician Employment Trends
Physicians Advocacy Institute (02/21/19)

In February 2019, PAI and Avalere released a report that added an additional 18 months of data to the existing study of trends in hospital-driven consolidation, with the total analysis running from July 2012 through January 2018. Over this latest timeframe, the new data shows a continued trend of hospitals acquiring physician practices in every region of the nation (acquiring an additional 8,000 practices), and continued growth in physician employment by hospitals and health systems (an additional 14,000 physicians shifted from independent practice to employed arrangements).
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Analysis Shows One-in-Five U.S. Rural Hospitals at High Risk of Closing Unless Financial Situation Improves
Navigant Healthcare (02/20/19)

One-in-five U.S. rural hospitals are at a high risk of closing unless their financial situation improves, according to a new Navigant analysis of publicly available data. The study also shows that 64 percent of these at-risk rural hospitals are considered highly essential to the health and economic well-being of their communities.
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CMS Office of the Actuary Releases 2018-2027 Projections of National Health Expenditures
CMS Press Release (02/20/19)

National health expenditure growth is expected to average 5.5 percent annually from 2018-2027, reaching nearly $6.0 trillion by 2027, according to a report published today by the independent Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Growth in national health spending is projected to be faster than projected growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 0.8 percentage points over the same period.
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Certificate of Need Laws Helps Hospitals But Hurt Patients
Augusta Chronicle (GA) (02/15/19) Scherz, Hal

In his recent State of the Union address, President Trump pointed out that although progress is being made on a variety of health care issues, healthcare costs are just too expensive for the average American, writes Hal Scherz, MD, the founder of Docs 4 Patient Care, and president and managing partner of Georgia Urology in Alpharetta. One reason is this: hospitals are the most expensive delivery point in the health care system, and ironically, an increasing amount of that care is being directed there.
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ASCA 2019