ASCA News Digest (February 9, 2021)

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ASCA HIGHLIGHTS

Can we mandate vaccination of our employees? What are the recent changes to applicable COVID-19 leave laws? How can we address violations of an employer’s COVID-related workplace policies?

Get the answers to these and other common questions about COVID-19 vaccination during this just-added ASCA webinar, Handling COVID-19 Employee Vaccinations, Updated Leave Entitlements & Addressing Violations of COVID-19 Protocols, scheduled for Thursday, February 18, at 1:00 pm ET. Register today.

This program is from the Clinical Director track and is included in ASCA’s 2021 Webinar All-Access Pass, which provides access to all 17 webinars in this year's series for one low fee.
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If your ASC’s employees see something unsafe, do they feel comfortable asking questions or speaking up? Do staff members feel rushed between procedures or do they have enough time to properly prepare for the next patient?

Find out with the new Culture of Safety Survey—an electronic survey that evaluates how well your ASC’s organizational culture supports patient safety. The data submission period for the 2021 survey will be open March 1–April 15. You must subscribe by March 31 in order to participate in the 2021 survey. Survey subscriptions are $100 per ASC.
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If you haven’t already, sign up today for ASCA’s new virtual course for ASC administrators, Management Essentials for ASC Administrators, taking place March 1 and 2.

Registrants will hear from expert faculty with extensive experience in ASC management as they discuss what ASC leaders need to know about compliance, finance, quality management and human resources—and how to keep up with the latest information about these critical operational areas. This virtual course will also help you prepare for the Certified Administrator Surgery Center (CASC)® exam.
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On January 3, the 117th Congress was sworn in to office. This Congress includes more than 60 new legislators, meaning ASCA has more than 60 new members of Congress who need to be educated about ASCs and their role in providing their constituents with high-quality care while saving patients and the Medicare system billions of dollars each year.

Hosting a virtual facility tour remains the easiest, most effective way to ensure that your legislator knows about the issues that impacted ASCs in 2020, and how your facility has fared during the pandemic. ASCA staff are here to help you throughout the process.
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Register today for the ASCA 2021 Virtual Conference, taking place April 26, May 3 and May 10, 2021. Be sure to check back to the schedule page to see the latest session descriptions as they come in!
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Visit the ASC Focus website to read the latest edition of ASC Focus magazine. Highlights of the February issue include “Benchmark to Meet Accreditation Requirements, Improve Operations,” “ASCA 2021 to Deliver Enhanced Virtual Experience” and “One World Surgery Needs Volunteer Consults.”
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On February 2, ASCA joined several other healthcare organizations in sending a letter to congressional leadership requesting that Medicare sequestration be further suspended throughout the duration of the public health emergency (PHE). This letter builds upon the association’s previous advocacy efforts last year with a broad base of provider associations.
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INDUSTRY NEWS

Joint Commission Press Release (02/02/21)
The continuing onslaught of COVID-19 is pushing heath care organizations to their limits and workers beyond physical exhaustion, inflicting emotional damage on those who care for patients. Public health experts project that high rates of infection and mortality will continue through the winter, despite the recent rollout of vaccines.
Joint Commission Press Release (02/02/21)
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Fierce Healthcare (02/05/21) Robert King
About 1 in 5 Medicare Part D beneficiaries got an opioid through the drug benefit in the first eight months of last year, declining slightly at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report found. The report, published last month from the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General (OIG), details opioid use as the pandemic took hold in March.
Fierce Healthcare (02/05/21) Robert King
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The Hill (02/05/21) Jessie Hellmann
The Biden administration will use wartime powers to significantly increase the supply of rapid at-home and point-of-care COVID-19 tests, a move some experts say could go a long way in slowing the spread of the virus. The Defense Production Act (DPA) will also be used to "rapidly surge" domestic testing capabilities, investing money in six suppliers to produce 61 million at-home and point-of-care tests to be available by the end of the summer, said Tim Manning, the White House COVID-19 response team supply coordinator.
The Hill (02/05/21) Jessie Hellmann
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New York Times (02/04/21) Andrew Jacobs
Dr. Sheetal Khedkar Rao, 42, an internist in suburban Chicago, can't pinpoint the exact moment when she decided to hang up her stethoscope for the last time. There were the chaos and confusion of the spring, when a nationwide shortage of N95 masks forced her to examine patients with a surgical mask, the fears she might take the coronavirus home to her family and the exasperating public disregard for mask-wearing and social distancing that was amplified by the White House.
New York Times (02/04/21) Andrew Jacobs
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D Magazine (01/21) Will Maddox
Tenet Health made some bold moves at the end of 2020, acquiring a portfolio of surgery centers while announcing the sale of its platform of urgent care centers. The health system's investment into the surgery centers grew its share of those facilities by 17 percent.
D Magazine (01/21) Will Maddox
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Current Medical Research and Opinion (01/21) Paul J. Limburg; Lila J. Finney Rutten; A Burak Ozbay; et al.
Despite the availability of multiple screening modalities for early detection of colorectal cancer (CRC), participation rates remain well below guideline recommendation goals in the United States. This study analyzed and compared recent national trends in utilization of CRC screening modalities using Medicare claims data.
Current Medical Research and Opinion (01/21) Paul J. Limburg; Lila J. Finney Rutten; A Burak Ozbay; et al.
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News summaries © copyright 2021 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.

Contact Us: Advertising inquiries should be addressed to Chris Schriever or Alex Yewdell at 202.337.1897 or at advertising@ascassociation.org.

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