ASCA News Digest (September 24, 2019)

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September 24, 2019


ASCA Highlights

ASCA has announced its support for the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act of 2019 (H.R. 4350) introduced in the US House of Representatives last week by US Representatives John Larson (D-CT) and Devin Nunes (R-CA). H.R. 4350 would help slow the growing disparity in ASC and hospital outpatient department payments by making permanent the use of the hospital market basket as the inflationary update factor for ASCs, increase quality transparency for patients, require Medicare to disclose the reasons procedures are denied reimbursement in the ASC setting and add an ASC voice to the Advisory Panel on Hospital Outpatient Payment.
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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.

Sign up today to get the best registration rates 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 next Monday, September 30, so register today!
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Renew your ASCA membership for 2020 via the online portal on ASCA’s website by next Monday, September 30, to receive a discounted online-only rate (available only to facility members). Thank you for your membership; we look forward to working for you in 2020!

Not yet an ASCA member? Join today.

Note: Membership renewal for corporate facilities will open October 1.
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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.

Get on-call sourcing, equipment planning, and tracking and reporting services for just $30 per operating room per month with the new ASCA Buyer Program, offered through the ASCA Asset Network and provided by affinity partner HANDLE.

Sign up by next Monday, September 30, to save 40% on your subscription. Learn more.
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In the August 2019 issue of ASC Focus, the column “Passing Bills” covered factors that contribute to the pace at which Congress considers and passes legislation. Since the publication of that article, there have been two major developments on the legislative front. Read this Digital Debut to learn more.
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RG Medical

On September 17, the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act of 2019 (H.R. 4350) was introduced by Congressmen Devin Nunes (R-CA) and John Larson (D-CT) in the US House of Representatives. Read this Government Affairs Update to learn more about the bill and how you can help secure the support of your representatives.
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Industry News

The Outpatient Surgery Center Gold Rush
Axios (09/23/19) Herman, Bob

The number of procedures taking place in outpatient surgery centers — where people go under the knife and return home the same day — is expected to rise from 23 million in 2018 to 27 million in 2021, according to estimates from consulting firm Bain & Co. Why it matters: Surgeries in freestanding centers cost less than those that happen in hospital outpatient departments, which is why many insurers and policymakers are pushing for this shift.
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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.
CMS Weighs Reimbursement for Out-of-Hospital Coronary Interventions (09/20/19) Cox, Caitlin E.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is weighing whether to reimburse for percutaneous coronary interventions at ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs), a policy shift that could transform healthcare delivery in cardiology. CMS already reimburses for cardiac diagnostic services in office-based labs and in ASCs, but for calendar year 2020, the proposed payments now under consideration relate to percutaneous treatment.
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Focus on Improving Hand Hygiene Compliance to Protect Patients and Health Care Workers
Joint Commission On Infection & Control Blog (09/17/19) Garcia-Houchins, Sylvia

The Joint Commission announced they would cite one occurrence of failure to perform proper hand hygiene in health care facilities to remind organizations the importance of hand hygiene in a 2017 statement. Two years later, The Joint Commission still stands behind this statement.
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Centurion Service Group
Missouri Surgery Center Marks 20 Years
Daily Journal (09/18/19)

The Surgery Center of Farmington is celebrating 20 years. It opened their doors and performed the first surgical procedure on Sept. 27, 1999.
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Nurses in Four States Strike to Push for Better Patient Care
New York Times (09/20/19) Ortiz, Aimee

Thousands of nurses across the country went on strike Friday morning, pushing for better patient care by demanding improved work conditions and higher pay. About 6,500 National Nurses United members at 12 Tenet Healthcare hospitals in California, Arizona and Florida organized a 24-hour strike, which began at 7 a.m., to protest current nurse-to-patient ratios that they contend are burning out employees and making it difficult to provide the best possible care.
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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.

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

Winter Seminar

National Medical Billing Services