ASCA News Digest (September 10, 2019)

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September 10, 2019


ASCA Highlights

Sign up today to get the best registration rate for the ASCA 2020 Winter Seminar, January 16–18 in New Orleans, LA. This year’s program features three specialized tracks: ASC Management, Coding & Reimbursement and—back this year by popular demand—Finance & Accounting.

Attendees can move freely between the tracks and join any of the sessions offered throughout the seminar. Best rates end September 30, so check out the schedule and register today!
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ClearGage   Missing out on revenue has been a consistent issue for ambulatory practices due to higher rates -of patient financial responsibility and a growing demand for outpatient care. This trend is forcing many practices to wait 90-120 days to receive payment, if at all, as medical bills are often going unpaid or underpaid. However, much of this lost revenue is avoidable. In this eGuide from ClearGage, you’ll learn exactly how your practice can implement intelligent communication tools to increase efficiency, maximize revenue, and optimize RCM processes. Ready to improve your bottom line? Find out how in our eBook.

Online membership renewals for 2020 are now open for independent facilities. Renew via the online portal on ASCA’s website by September 30 to lock in 2019 dues rates and maintain access to all of ASCA’s members-only resources. Thank you for your membership and we look forward to working for you in 2020!

Note: Membership renewal for corporate facilities will open October 1.
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Make sure your ASC’s compensation packages are competitive as you plan budgets and staffing for 2020. ASCA’s Salary & Benefits Survey report makes it easy for you to benchmark your ASC’s information with similar facilities, negotiate a raise or determine salary and benefits for a new position. ASCA members save $100 on the survey report. Purchase your report today.
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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.

Purchase your copy of Finance & Accounting for ASCs, 4th Edition. This essential resource covers the fundamental concepts that every ASC manager needs to know and is illustrated with real-world examples from ASCs like yours.

All material in this latest edition has been reviewed and updated. Additionally, a new chapter on strategic planning will help your ASC build for tomorrow based on your facility’s strengths and weaknesses today.
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The good news: Workers’ compensation collections can be easy. The bad news: There are several obstacles that can make a simple experience difficult.

“While workers’ compensation collections is similar in many ways to collecting from insurance companies, elements of the process are unique,” says Ken Bulow, president of Zulu Health in South Pasadena, California. “ASCs must understand these aspects or they run the risk of failing to collect in full or losing money on workers’ compensation cases.” Read on.
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McKesson   Infection is the most common cause of total knee revisions, and the third most common in total hips. In fact, by 2030 the infection risk for hip and knee arthroplasty is expected to increase threefold.

If you’re doing total joints today, or planning to do them in the future, it’s important to have the tools and knowledge needed to prevent, diagnose and treat surgical site infections (SSIs).

What’s your plan to reduce SSIs? Click here for 4 tips to consider as part of your pre-op protocols.

The US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Azar has declared a public health emergency (PHE) for certain states. The formal declaration gives agencies such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) the flexibility to implement key administrative actions, including special enrollment opportunities for hurricane victims and the activation of programs that will assist in delivering medical resources in an emergency. Read more.
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Industry News

AMA Releases 2020 CPT Code Set
AMA News Release (09/04/19)

The American Medical Association (AMA) today announced the release of the 2020 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set containing identifiers and descriptors assigned to each medical, surgical, and diagnostic services available to patients. Trusted since 1966 as the health system’s common language, the CPT code set enables accurate reporting, measurement, analysis, and benchmarking of medical services and procedures across the nation's entire health care system.
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RG Medical   Preventing Perioperative Hypothermia
DataTherm® Continuous Patient Temperature Monitoring in the ASCs

Perioperative Hypothermia is considered a common complication and those patients who receive neuraxial and general anesthesia are at risk. Perioperative Hypothermia can be defined as a core body temperature dropping below 36°C during surgery.

Even mild to moderate PH can be associated with increased susceptibility to cardiovascular stress, infection, impaired coagulation as post anesthetic shivering and discomfort. Continuously monitoring the patient’s temperature during the entire surgical process versus periodically taking temperatures is the only way to truly assess the patient for temperature trending and normothermia outcomes.

“Dynamic Patient Temperature Monitoring™”

RG Medical Diagnostics

Tips for Addressing the Most Challenging Standards for AHC and OBS: Jan.-June 2019
Joint Commission Ambulatory Buzz blog (09/04/19) Webb, Joyce

It's that time of year again! Let's take a look at the Top 10 Challenging Standards through the first half of 2019, for accredited Ambulatory Health Care organizations and Office-Based Surgery practices.
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CMS Announces New Enforcement Authorities to Reduce Criminal Behavior in Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP
CMS Press Release (09/05/19)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today issued a final rule that strengthens the agency's ability to stop fraud before it happens by keeping unscrupulous providers out of our federal health insurance programs. This first-of-its-kind action – stopping fraudsters before they get paid – marks a critical step forward in CMS' longstanding fight to end "pay and chase" in federal healthcare fraud efforts and replace it with smart, effective and proactive measures.
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RG Medical
Outpatient Study Finds Masks, Respirators Equally Protective
CIDRAP (09/04/19) Schnirring, Lisa

In outpatient settings, surgical masks and more expensive respirator masks appear to be equally effective for protecting health workers against flu and other respiratory viruses, according to a new study based on data over four flu seasons. Earlier studies comparing the two forms of respiratory protection have shown mixed results.
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Most Doctors Think ACA Opened Up Healthcare Access, Study Says
United Press International (09/06/19) Dyson, Tauren

Most doctors think Obamacare has helped patients get better healthcare, even as a lengthy court battle threatens to strike down the law, new findings show. About 60 percent of physicians in the United States thought the Affordable Care Act gave more people access to the medical treatment they wouldn't otherwise have had, according to research published September in the journal Health Affairs.
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ABILITY   ABILITY EASE® All-Payer empowers you to accelerate your revenue cycle and reduce A/R days while decreasing staff workload. With a centralized approach to claims management, you can submit, filter, edit and report on claims, remits and EOBs for all of your payers — with a single, easy-to-use platform. Take advantage of centralized claims management with ABILITY today.
Central Mass. Partnership Providing Cheaper & Better Surgeries
Worcester Business Journal (08/23/19) Welker, Grant

Outpatient surgery centers benefit patients by having lower costs and avoiding a trip to a hospital campus – enough of a lure for health providers who otherwise could be seen as close competitors to join together to create one such center in Shrewsbury. The Surgery Center, which opened last May, was the work of UMass Memorial Health Care and Reliant Medical Group, two Worcester organizations otherwise fighting one another to attract both patients and the providers who treat them.
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Centurion Service Group
Winter Seminar

National Medical Billing Services