ASCA News Digest (March 26, 2019)

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March 26, 2019


ASCA Highlights

Candidates who plan to take the Certified Administrator Surgery Center (CASC)™ exam in May must submit their application by 11:59 pm ET on Sunday, March 31. The CASC credential is a distinction earned by members of the ASC community who demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the knowledge and skills required of an ASC administrator. Learn more about CASC and apply 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!

All you need is an internet connection to attend the Heart of Healthcare Online Career Fair for nurses, hosted by ASCA’s Career Center next Thursday, April 4, at 11:00 am ET. Don't miss out on this one-of-a-kind event for ambulatory surgery professionals, where interviews are conducted via instant message or Skype. This online career fair is free for job seekers. Register today!
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Data collection for the first quarter (Q1) of ASCA’s 2019 Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey opens on Monday, April 1. This valuable online resource provides data you can use to improve clinical outcomes, staff indicators, billing performance and more at your facility.

ASCA members save more than $150 on subscriptions to the 2019 survey. If you haven’t already done so, purchase your subscription today.
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Improving the patient experience by enhancing patient safety is a priority for Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs), but ongoing identification errors continue to put patients at risk.


By adopting a consistent positive patient identification (PPID) process and implementing Zebra’s advanced barcode-based identification technology, ASCs can make significant progress toward streamlining workflows and reducing medical errors.

Register for the ASCA 2019 Conference & Expo, May 15–18 in Nashville, TN, to enjoy more than 50 ASC-specific sessions designed for 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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If ASCs that rely solely or heavily on gastroenterology (GI) are finding themselves under financial stress, they would be wise to undertake efforts that can help counter what is likely a mounting issue. Given the market trajectory, it might be time for GI ASCs to explore additional revenue sources. Read on.
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The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is an independent advisory agency that provides recommendations to Congress on Medicare payment issues. On March 15, MedPAC released their annual Report to the Congress, which includes analyses of payment adequacy for the Medicare fee-for-service program (i.e., hospital inpatient and outpatient services, physician services, ASC services, etc.), the Medicare Advantage (MA) program and the Part D prescription drug program. Read more.
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Industry News

Vermont's First Surgery Center Moves Giant Step Closer to Opening
Burlington Free Press (03/22/19) D'Ambrosio, Dan

Nearly five years after deciding to build Vermont's first ambulatory surgery center, lead investor Amy Cooper cut the ribbon on the newly constructed center Friday in Colchester, along with Gov. Phil Scott and Attorney General T.J. Donovan. "This project has been a dream for so long that it's sort of amazing even to me that we're standing here inside a real-live building that soon will be a real-live surgery center," Cooper exclaimed to the applause of a lobby full of supporters.
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Updox   Simplifying administrative tasks. Redefining engagement.

Let us help change the way you and your staff work with our easy to use collaboration platform. At Updox, we offer a broad set of capabilities to help streamline repetitive tasks, eliminate multiple logins and more, so you can focus on what matters most – helping patients.

Read More
Study Predicts Ideal Cleft Lip Patients for Procedures in Ambulatory Surgical Centers
PR Newswire (03/14/19)

Approximately 40 percent of patients would benefit from having their cleft lip repair surgery in an ambulatory surgical center (ASC), instead of a traditional hospital setting, according to research published in the February 2019 issue of The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal (CPCJ). "The shift toward using ASCs for cleft lip repair surgery is being driven by a growing interest to reduce medical costs," said Victor Chang, lead researcher.
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Surgical Smoke Generated in Utah Operating Rooms Contains Same Hazards as Cigarette Smoke, Report Says (UT) (03/14/19) Simonsen, Heather

We've come a long way in limiting cigarette smoke in public places, but half a million health care workers in the U.S. are still exposed to cancer-causing smoke every year, according the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA. We're all familiar with the "Mad Men" era of smoke-filled rooms, but this isn't the 1960s.
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A Spinal Surgery, a $101,000 Bill, and a New Law to Prevent More Surprises
Vox (03/19/19) Kliff, Sarah

When Claudia Knafo needed spine surgery in 2012, she interviewed multiple surgeons and ultimately settled on one whose website claimed to take her health insurance. She called the doctor's office and confirmed he was in network.
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ICD-10, Diagnostic Errors, and the Payment Reforms to Improve Diagnostic Accuracy
Medical Bag (03/25/19) Marzouka, George

In October 2015, physicians across the United States transitioned from the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Ninth Revision to the tenth revision (ICD-10-CM, the US version of the World Health Organization [WHO] ICD-10). Although the ICD-10-CM was a new concept for physicians in the United States, the international variant has been available since the early to mid-1990s.
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ImageFirst   ImageFIRST® is the largest and fastest growing national linen rental and laundry service specializing in the healthcare market. ImageFIRST’s 36 locations nationwide serve over 10,000 medical facilities every week providing linen, patient gowns, scrubs and more while managing their clients’ linen inventory for cost management. With a customer retention rate of over 95%, ImageFIRST is dedicated to improving patient satisfaction through quality products and remarkable service: their Comfort Care® line of gowns are proven to increase patients’ favorable perception of a facility by more than 50%. For more information about ImageFIRST, please visit
Medbridge Transport Partners with Houston Ambulatory Surgical Centers to Provide Outpatient Transportation
Business Wire (04/01/19)

Patient no-shows are a costly problem for any ambulatory surgical center. Unfortunately, while some facilities are better at managing this issue than others, it continues to be a common and universal concern.
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2019 AAFP/CompHealth Physician Happiness Survey
CompHealth (04/01/19)

Physician burnout and the physician shortage have been big news in healthcare for several years — and both are concerning issues that need to be addressed. However, there are still an abundance of positives around the practice of medicine and many physicians are very happy with their jobs and lives.
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Modernizing Medicine

ASCA 2019