ASCA News Digest (April 28, 2020)

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ASCA HIGHLIGHTS

On April 24, President Donald Trump signed H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which replenishes financial support programs created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and provides additional funding for COVID-19-related testing.

ASCA recommends that ASCs contact their business partners who assist with tax and lending issues to discuss how the options created by this legislation might apply to an individual ASC.
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Use this checklist, developed by ASCA, if you are in a region with a low incidence of COVID-19 disease to help your facility identify the key elements to consider as you prepare to resume in-person care of non-COVID-19 patients. This checklist is available to ASCA members only; if you are not a member, please join today.
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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ASCA 2020 has transitioned to a virtual event. The ASCA 2020 Virtual Conference & Expo, scheduled for July 9–10, will offer the same top-quality education, networking and resources as ASCA’s in-person events—all from the comfort of your home or office. If you registered for ASCA 2020 in Orlando, you have automatically been registered for this interactive virtual event.

Visit the ASCA 2020 website to learn more and register. Additional details, including an updated agenda, will be available soon.
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Be sure to check out the latest installments of The Advancing Surgical Care Podcast: “ASCs as Hospitals Without Walls” and “Resuming Elective Surgery”.

ASCA members can listen to these short, informal programs, which were developed to help ASCs navigate the challenges of the current COVID-19 operating environment, through ASCA’s COVID-19 Resource Center.
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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, data submission for the first quarter (Q1) of ASCA’s 2020 Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey is extended through Sunday, May 31. This year, the survey includes new specialty-specific questions about total knee/hip/shoulder replacement procedures as well as complex spine procedures. Submit your data or subscribe to the survey.
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Designated ASCA voting members have two days left to vote for the members of the ASCA Board of Directors. The candidates selected to serve on the ASCA Board will also serve on the ASCA Foundation Board. Learn more about the candidates and cast your ballot by this Thursday, April 30.
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released guidance April 19 on restarting non-emergent non-COVID-19 healthcare. If states or regions have passed the Gating Criteria (symptoms, cases and hospitals) the White House announced on April 16, 2020, then they may proceed to Phase I. These recommendations can guide healthcare systems and facilities as they consider resuming in-person care of non-COVID-19 patients in regions with a low incidence of COVID-19 disease. Read this Digital Debut article about the key elements to consider before resuming in-person care of non-COVID-19 patients.
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With new guidance from ASCA, CMS and specialty organizations regarding the resumption of elective surgeries, states have begun easing restrictions imposed on procedures at the outbreak of the pandemic. Currently 10 states (Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and West Virginia) have issued orders directing the resumption of elective surgeries.

ASCA is tracking these developments through its new and improved State Guidance on Elective Surgeries resource, now available only to ASCA members.
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INDUSTRY NEWS

CMS Press Release (04/26/20)
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it is reevaluating the amounts that will be paid under its Accelerated Payment Program and suspending its Advance Payment Program to Part B suppliers effective immediately. The agency made this announcement following the successful payment of over $100 billion to healthcare providers and suppliers through these programs and in light of the $175 billion recently appropriated for healthcare provider relief payments.
CMS Press Release (04/26/20)
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AAAHC News Release (04/22/20)
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) recently released ten recommendations for Protecting Patients, Families and Staff During Necessary Surgeries. These ten recommendations provide sound guidance for infection control and prevention that align with your AAAHC Accreditation Standards.
AAAHC News Release (04/22/20)
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AAOS Press Release (04/17/20)
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) released two new reports based on clinical data on hip and knee arthroplasty patient outcomes as part of the American Joint Replacement Registry Program, the largest orthopaedic registry in the world based on annual procedures submitted. The new reports, which offer actionable information to guide physicians and patient decision making to improve care, include the 2019 AJRR Annual Report Supplement and the California State Registry Supplement.
AAOS Press Release (04/17/20)
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HealthCare Appraisers is pleased to have collaborated with ASCA members in publishing the 2020 ASC Valuation and Benchmarking Surveys, a resource for ASC stakeholders to gauge insights into transaction activity, valuation trends, and certain operational statistics within ASCs throughout the US.

Request your copy of HealthCare Appraiser’s 2020 ASC Valuation & Benchmarking Surveys here.
Joint Commission On Infection & Control Blog (04/23/20) Robert Campbell
During a declared disaster when the demand for inpatient care is high, can hospitals use ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) as alternative sites for providing inpatient care? While there are no specific Joint Commission standards that address using ASCs as alternate care sites, on April 3, 2020 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a memorandum from its Quality, Safety & Oversight Group that provides Guidance for Processing Attestation Statements from Ambulatory Surgical Centers Temporarily Enrolling as Hospitals during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.
Joint Commission On Infection & Control Blog (04/23/20) Robert Campbell
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Commonwealth Fund (04/23/20) Ateev Mehrotra; Michael Chernew; David Linetsky; et al.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed how outpatient care is delivered in health care practices. To decrease the risk of transmitting the virus to either patients or health care workers within their practice, providers are deferring elective and preventive visits, such as annual physicals.
Commonwealth Fund (04/23/20) Ateev Mehrotra; Michael Chernew; David Linetsky; et al.
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ASCA AFFILIATE LEADERS

News summaries © copyright 2020 SmithBucklin

About ASCA

Mission: The Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) is the national membership association that represents ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) and provides advocacy and resources to assist ASCs in delivering high-quality, cost-effective ambulatory surgery to all the patients they serve.

About Us: At ASCA, we are eager to help you become better acquainted with our nation's ASCs and the people who own and operate them. We are also eager to help you develop policies on ASC-related issues. If you have questions, please contact us. We'll put you in touch with the experts and, if you like, arrange for you to visit an ASC in your area.

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