ASCA News Digest (April 2, 2019)

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April 2, 2019


ASCA Highlights

All you need is an internet connection to attend the Heart of Healthcare Online Career Fair for nurses, hosted by ASCA’s Career Center this Thursday, April 4, from 11:00 am–3:00 pm 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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How does your ASC’s performance compare to similar facilities? Find out by subscribing to ASCA's 2019 Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey. This valuable survey provides access to a full year of national comparison data you can use to improve clinical outcomes, billing performance, staffing and more at your ASC. Data collection for the first quarter (Q1) is now open, so purchase your subscription today!
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Hear firsthand from a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) official about CMS’ ASC survey process, including the role of state agencies and the accreditation organizations, during ASCA’s upcoming webinar, “CMS Surveys.” This program will take place at 1:00 pm ET on Tuesday, April 9. Register today!

This program is also included in ASCA’s 2019 Webinar All-Access Pass, which provides access to all 16 webinars in this year's series for one low fee.
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D&Y Staffing

Register today for the ASCA 2019 Conference & Expo, May 15–18 in Nashville, TN, to gain access to more than 50 ASC-specific educational 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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A few years ago, colonoscopes with three camera lenses entered the market. Until then, gastroenterologists who performed colonoscopies had relied for decades on a single-lens platform that provided a 180-degree field of view. The three-lens platform nearly doubled that figure and transformed colonoscopy. Read this ASC Focus article on how artificial intelligence (AI) might also make a big splash on endoscopy procedures.
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Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its April addenda that provide second quarter updates to the ASC payment system. ASCA has updated its payment resources, including the rate calculator, to reflect these changes. Please make sure you use the second quarter documents for all services provided on or after April 1, 2019. Read on.
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Industry News

2019's Best & Worst States for Doctors
WalletHub (03/25/19) Kiernan, John S.

Doctors are among the highest-paid and most educated professionals in the U.S. In fact, "physician" was the highest-paid job type in 2018, with a median base salary of over $195,000 and over 3,000 job openings during the year.
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Modernizing Medicine
Participation in Advanced Bundled Payments Model Falls 16 Percent
RevCycle Intelligence (03/25/19) LaPointe, Jacqueline

Provider participation in Medicare's new advanced bundled payments model dropped by about 16 percent in the first five months, according to updated data from CMS. The federal agency recently announced via email that 1,086 healthcare providers are still participating in the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI Advanced).
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For the First Time, The Leapfrog Group Opens Its 2019 Survey Cycle to Ambulatory and Outpatient Surgical Services
PR Newswire (04/01/19)

The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit representing the nation's largest and most influential employers and purchasers, announces today the opening of the 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Survey, for the first-time including questions about outpatient surgery in addition to its traditional content on the quality and safety of inpatient care. Leapfrog also launches today the new Leapfrog ASC Survey, open for ambulatory surgery centers.
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Heron Therapeutics  

How the Surgical Setting Contributes to the Opioid Crisis

The number of Americans who become addicted to opioids following surgery is an under-reported implication of a crisis sweeping the nation. How did we get to a point where up to 440,000 people become addicted this way — every year? Continue reading here.

When Should an Aging Doctor Call It Quits?
Washington Post (03/31/19) Maltz, Jonathan

When are you going to retire, Doc? It's a question I was asked several times a week.
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April 2019 Update of the Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System
MLN Matters (03/28/19)

This MLN Matters article is for physicians, providers, and suppliers billing Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) for services subject to the Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) payment system and provided to Medicare beneficiaries. CR11232 describes changes to and billing instructions for various payment policies implemented in the April 2019 ASC payment system update.
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Bill to Ease Restrictions on Hospital Business Passes Georgia Senate
Atlanta Journal-Constitution (03/26/19) Hart, Ariel

After a decade of trying, the Cancer Treatment Centers of America has struck a deal with the Georgia Hospital Association to lift a state law that constrains its growth in Georgia. Their agreement was inserted into House Bill 186, and the Georgia Senate voted 51-4 Monday to approve the amended bill.
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Plain Talk About Price Transparency
Health Affairs Blog (03/25/19) Hempstead, Katherine; White, Chapin

Starting in January 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began requiring that all hospitals post their standard charges (chargemaster) online, prompting the anticipated collective groan from onlookers. Chargemasters are hard for patients to find, and if they are located, the average person finds them incomprehensibly technical.
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ASCA 2019