ASCA News Digest (June 11, 2019)

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June 11, 2019


ASCA Highlights

We encourage you to participate in the 2019 ASCA Member Survey that is now live. Last week all ASCA members were emailed a link and identification code to access the survey. Your feedback is imperative to help us enhance the ASCA member experience. Participants will be entered to win a $100 gift card.
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Echelon Medical Capital   Echelon Medical Capital offers innovative accounts receivable liquidity solutions for healthcare providers that take insurance or medical liens against pending personal injury cases. Echelon Medical Capital has quickly become one of the largest dedicated medical receivables funding companies in the country. With unrivaled levels of committed capital, Echelon can support medical practices of any size, including doctors, hospitals and surgery centers.

Beginning next Monday, June 17, we will be celebrating ASCA’s second annual Member Appreciation Week! This celebration is dedicated to all of our wonderful members that make our work possible. Head over to the Member Appreciation Week site for your chance to win one of many daily prizes or one of the grand prizes!
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Save the date for the ASCA 2020 Conference & Expo, to be held May 13–16, 2020, at the Orlando World Center Marriott. If you have a suggestion for a topic or speaker for ASCA’s next annual conference, please let us know. Submissions for ASCA 2020 will be accepted through June 30. Submit your suggestion.
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D&Y Staffing

Make sure your ASC is achieving compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) with ASCA's HIPAA Workbook for ASCs. This valuable resource provides comprehensive tools and information to help you design, evaluate and update your ASC's compliance program. The HIPAA Workbook for ASCs is free for ASCA members and available for purchase by nonmembers. Get your copy today.
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Scrubs. Gloves. Scalpels. Drapes. A rowboat. Which of these is not like the others?
Read this ASC Focus Digital Debut on the necessary steps to protecting your ASC from embezzlement.
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On May 3, as part of a quarterly update to the Medicare Claims Processing Manual, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced retroactive changes to the underlying physician payment calculations for a number of procedures. Specifically, CMS adjusted the malpractice relative value unit (RVU) which is one of three components considered when calculating Medicare physician payments (the others being work and practice expenses). Read on.
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Industry News

What's Doctor Burnout Costing America?
NPR (05/31/19) Huang, Pien

Doctor burnout is costing the U.S. health care system a lot — roughly $4.6 billion a year, according to a study published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine. "Everybody who goes into medicine knows that it's a stressful career and that it's a lot of hard work," says Lotte Dyrbye, a physician and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who co-authored the study.
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Modernizing Medicine
Reverse Reference Pricing: Rewarding Patients for Reducing Medicare Costs
Health Affairs Blog (06/07/19) Sood, Neeraj; Whaley, Christopher M.

Prices for health care services vary significantly, not only across markets but also within markets across settings of care. For example, the same services or care received in hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) can cost several times as much as care received in ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), with no difference in quality.
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Piedmont Announces Partnership with Surgery Center
WGAU (06/03/19) Walker, Sydney

Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center signed an agreement to enter into a partnership with Surgery Center of Athens, expanding high-quality surgical services to the Athens-area community. "Piedmont Athens Regional is pleased to announce this partnership with the Surgery Center of Athens, a leader in providing surgical services to our community," said Michael Burnett, chief executive officer of Piedmont Athens Regional.
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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.

Hospital Gets Green Light on Surgery Center
My Columbia Basin (OR) (05/30/19)

Providence St. Mary Medical Center's certificate of need to open a freestanding ambulatory surgery center at the Providence Southgate Medical Park on Second Avenue was approved Wednesday by the Washington State Department of Health. The Providence Ambulatory Surgery Center’s goal is to open next year at the park – which is located in the surgical department of the former Walla Walla General Hospital.
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Quest, LabCorp Report Billing Data Breach Compromising Nearly 20M Patients
Fierce Biotech (06/05/19) Hale, Conor

Quest Diagnostics, one of the world's largest blood testing companies, has reported that a cybersecurity breach at its debt collection agency may have revealed the personal and medical information of nearly 12 million of its customers over a period of eight months. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Quest said it was first informed in mid-May of potential unauthorized activity on the web payment page hosted by the American Medical Collection Agency, its collections service provider.
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CMS Seeks Public Input on Patients over Paperwork Initiative to Further Reduce Administrative, Regulatory Burden to Lower Healthcare Costs
CMS Press Release (06/06/19)

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking new ideas from the public on how to continue the progress of the Patients over Paperwork initiative. Since launching in fall 2017, Patients over Paperwork has streamlined regulations to significantly cut the "red tape" that weighs down our healthcare system and takes clinicians away from their primary mission—caring for patients.
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