ASCA News Digest (July 30, 2019)

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July 30, 2019


ASCA Highlights

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the 2020 proposed payment rule for ASCs and hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs). Of note, CMS has proposed to add eight codes to the ASC-payable list, including total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Learn more and download the rule.
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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.

Tomorrow, July 31, is the last day to submit second-quarter (Q2) data for ASCA’s 2019 Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey. This valuable online resource 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. Be sure to submit your data by the deadline 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 tomorrow, 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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The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) is seeking volunteers to serve on its AAAHC Governance Unit. The committee, according to AAAHC, is a great way to get engaged, network with like-minded peers, stay up-to-date on quality practices that work and help develop educational programs and tools that improve the quality of care provided across the ambulatory healthcare field. Additional details on AAAHC’s Governance Unit are available on the AAAHC website.
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Two new tools, available now, can help you tell prospective patients about the outstanding care and value your ASC provides. Learn more.
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ABILITY   ABILITY EASE® All-Payer offers a centralized approach to claims management. With a single, easy-to-use platform for all payers, billing staff can accelerate revenue cycles and reduce A/R days. This single tool empowers you to submit, filter, edit and report on claims, remits and EOBs for Medicare, Medicaid and private payers. Find out how ABILITY can help you streamline workflows and save money today.

Is the infection preventionist a priority position in your ASC? If not, it should be. Join ASCA’s next webinar, Taking the Infection Preventionist Seriously, to learn how to allocate an appropriate amount of time and resources to your ASC’s infection preventionist. This program will take place next Tuesday, August 6 at 1:00 pm ET. Register now.
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For all of August, ASCs around the country will participate in National ASC Month by opening their doors to the public and hosting facility tours. This is a great way to promote awareness to both your local policymakers and to the public of the high-quality, cost-efficient surgical care that ASCs provide.

Sign up here to host a facility tour or contact Adam Parker.
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D&Y Staffing

On July 22, the Ambulatory Surgery Center Quality Collaboration (ASCQC) held its sixth annual conference in Washington, DC. The high rate of returning attendees coupled with the addition of new stakeholders shows an understanding that commitment to quality is an ongoing process. By voluntarily continuing to share best practices, discuss areas for improvement and review ever-expanding quality benchmarks, ASCs can maintain their place as high-quality, low-cost centers for care. Read more.
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Industry News

99% of Patients Would Recommend New Jersey Ambulatory Surgery Centers to Their Friends and Family
Albany Times Union (07/25/19)

According to a recent benchmarking study conducted by SPH Analytics for the New Jersey Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers (NJAASC) among patients who have had a procedure performed at a N.J.-based ambulatory surgery center (ASC) within the last 12 months, slightly more than 99 percent strongly agreed or agreed that they would recommend the facility to their family and friends. Specifically, 89.76 percent of the 36,000 respondents strongly agreed, while 9.26 percent agreed; less than 1 percent (.98 percent) said they disagreed or strongly disagreed.
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Modernizing Medicine
The Joint Commission Launches Educational Campaign on Preventing Falls
Joint Commission Press Release (07/24/19)

The Joint Commission today debuted its new Speak Up to Prevent Falls campaign — featuring free, downloadable educational materials in English and Spanish to help educate patients and their health care providers on how to avoid unnecessary falls. Hundreds of thousands of patients fall in hospitals every year and 30 to 50% of these patients sustain an injury.
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Arizona Centers for Digestive Health Advancing Local Health Care
Glendale Star (07/29/19)

Arizona Centers for Digestive Health (AZCDH), the state's leading provider of gastrointestinal care, is partnering with Covenant Surgical Partners — a Nashville, Tennessee-based physician services company that is working to advance practices across the United States. Founded by former Mayo Clinic physicians, AZCDH is a highly-dynamic gastroenterology group providing a full spectrum of care for more than 52,000 outpatient clinical cases per year across its 11 practice locations and two ambulatory surgery centers — spanning Phoenix, Glendale, Scottsdale, Avondale, Gilbert, Mesa, Maricopa and Queen Creek.
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NY DOH Revised ASC Policies
Garfunkel Wild (07/19/19)

The New York State Department of Health ("DOH") has revised its ambulatory surgery center (ASC) Certificate of Need Policy to require a closer review of the financial impact that a new freestanding ASC can have on the continued availability of essential community health care services in rural areas. Previously, DOH would only recommend disapproval of a new ASC if the impact would likely result in the closure of a local hospital, and the burden was placed on the surrounding hospitals, rather than the applicant, to prove this financial impact.
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Can Music Reduce Pre-Op Anxiety, Improve Patient Experience?
Patient EngagementHIT (07/23/19) Heath, Sara

Listening to relaxing music may be an effective, drug-free solution for reducing patient anxiety and creating a positive patient experience for those undergoing minor, outpatient surgery, according to a group of researchers from Penn Medicine. Minor outpatient surgeries – procedures such as arthroscopic knee or hip surgeries and hand or elbow surgery – often require a sedative to help relax patients.
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