ASCA News Digest (July 16, 2019)

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July 16, 2019


ASCA Highlights

ASCA has expanded its affinity partnership with SPH Analytics to include two new patient experience surveys. Through this partnership, ASCA members receive special discounted rates on the ASC Patient Experience Survey and the ASC Express Survey, in addition to the OAS CAHPS Survey. Visit ASCA’s Patient Experience Surveys page to learn more or get started.
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Data collection for the second quarter (Q2) of ASCA’s 2019 Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey ends in two weeks. Subscribers should make sure to submit their data by July 31 in order to get a complete picture of trends for the year.

Not yet subscribed to the 2019 survey? Purchase a subscription now.
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Candidates who plan to take the September Certified Administrator Surgery Center (CASC)™ exam must submit their application by Wednesday, July 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.
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Since ASCA’s last update at the beginning of the year, healthcare organizations across the country posted 216 breaches of protected health information (PHI) affecting 500 or more individuals. This is the greatest number of breaches reported in a six-month span in the past two years. Read this ASC Focus Digital Debut article for more information.
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On July 9, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments over whether to affirm a lower court’s decision that declared the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) invalid. The following day, the US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform held a hearing to examine the potential implications of the administration’s decision not to defend the ACA in court. Read on.
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Modernizing Medicine

Industry News

Trends in Colonoscopy Rates Not Aligned With Increase in Early Onset Colorectal Cancer (07/14/2019)

A new study finds that trends in colonoscopy rates did not fully align with the increase in colorectal cancer (CRC) in younger adults, adding to evidence that the rise in early onset CRC is not solely a result of more detection. The study is published early online in the Journal of Medical Screening.
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Managing High-Alert/Hazardous and Look-Alike-Sound-Alike Medications in Ambulatory Care Settings
Joint Commission Ambulatory Buzz blog (07/10/19) Hurt, Bobby

High-alert and hazardous medications bear a heightened risk or cause significant patient harm and/or sentinel events when they are used in error and, as a result, require special safeguards. Look-alike/sound-alike (LASA) medications are those, either written or spoken, which may lead to potentially harmful errors when confused with each other.
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Where Are All the Women in Surgery?
Association of American Medical Colleges (07/15/19) Haskins, Julia

Stephanie Bonne, MD, clearly recalls her first bout of sexism in surgery as a third-year medical student working in the operating room alongside a male student. "The attending surgeon looked at the resident and said, 'Why don't we let our future colleague make the skin incision?' and handed the knife to the guy," Bonne says.
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D&Y Staffing
Accuracy of the Relative Value Scale Update Committee's Time Estimates and Physician Fee Schedule for Joint Replacement
Health Affairs (Summer 2019) Vol. 38, No. 7 Urwin, John W.; Gudbranson, Emily; Graham, Danielle; et al.

Even though relative value units guide 70 percent of physician payment, little research has assessed their accuracy. We analyzed actual service time for total hip and knee replacements at two academic hospitals in the period January 1, 2013–October 1, 2016, using electronic health record time-stamp data, and we compared that time with the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and most recent Relative Value Scale Update Committee recommendations.
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Covenant Surgical Partners Expands National Footprint Through Partnership With Arizona Centers for Digestive Health
Business Wire (07/15/19)

Covenant Surgical Partners today announced its newest partnership with Arizona Centers for Digestive Health, the state's leading provider for full-spectrum gastrointestinal care, treating more than 52,000 outpatient clinical patients per year through 17 physicians and 11 physician assistants and nurse practitioners. With this agreement, Covenant adds 11 new practice locations and two state-of-the-art ambulatory surgery centers to its expanding national portfolio.
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Government EHR Proposals Threaten Patient Privacy
AMA News Release (07/02/19) Robeznieks, Andis

Two federal agencies have proposed rules pertaining to health information technology that will have a significant impact on the exchange, access and use of all health care data. While there are elements in both that deserve support, there are also several problems—particularly when it comes to patient privacy.
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