ASCA News Digest (March 9, 2021)

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ASCA HIGHLIGHTS

Register today for the ASCA 2021 Virtual Conference, scheduled for April 26, May 3 and May 10. For more than two decades, ASCA’s annual conference has remained the premier, can’t-miss event for the ASC community—and this year’s conference is no different. ASCA 2021 will feature nearly 50 educational sessions, ample networking opportunities and a virtual expo hall filled with ASC industry vendors. Attendees can participate in the live event or watch recordings on demand at their convenience. Register now!
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ASCA is excited to announce a new 401(k) retirement plan benefit available exclusively to ASCA members. The ASCA Member Association Retirement Plan is designed to allow participating facilities an opportunity to reduce their administrative burden, streamline employee benefit offerings and offload fiduciary liability. This program provides an excellent opportunity to help your employees save for retirement, reduce plan administration and allow your facility to focus on its primary mission of providing top-quality patient care. Learn more.
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ASCA is introducing a new, bimonthly survey series called ASCA’s 60-Second Survey. These will be short surveys designed to take the pulse of the ASC community and help ASCA provide the most up-to-date outreach and advocacy. Take the first survey about your facility’s experience with COVID-19 operations today!
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Find out how ASCA’s new Culture of Safety Survey can facilitate communication and drive improvement that keeps patients safe in your ASC. Listen to “Surveying Your Center’s Culture of Safety,” a conversation with ASCA CEO Bill Prentice and ASCA Board member David Shapiro, MD, recorded as part of ASCA’s Advancing Surgical Care Podcast.

Please remember, ASCs that want to participate in the 2021 survey need to subscribe by March 31.
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Visit the ASC Focus website to read the latest edition of ASC Focus magazine. Highlights of the March issue include “Expect Continued Supply Chain Disruption,” “Dos and Don’ts of Cardiology in the ASC Setting” and “Evolution of Cardiology Procedures in ASCs.”
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On March 1, ASCA Board President Michael Patterson and ASCA staff met virtually with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) staff responsible for payment policies in ASCs. At this meeting, ASCA representatives discussed payment policy changes needed to stop the divergence in payments between ASCs and hospital outpatient departments (HOPD), including the short-sighted ASC weight scalar that continues to drive a growing disparity between HOPD and ASC payments.
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INDUSTRY NEWS

Joint Commission Ambulatory Buzz blog (03/01/21) James Kendig
We're nearly a year into the COVID-19 crisis in the U.S. and it's time to take stock on what's worked and what hasn't. Unfortunately, COVID-19 won't be the last pandemic, even if I cringed at reading this quote from National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, (and boss of Dr. Anthony Fauci) in Time magazine: "We need to be prepared for whatever COVID-24 is going to look like."
Joint Commission Ambulatory Buzz blog (03/01/21) James Kendig
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American Journal of Gastroenterology (03/01/21) Vol. 116, No. 3, P. 458 Aasma Shaukat; Charles J. Kahi; Carol A. Burke; et al.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer in men and women in the United States. CRC screening efforts are directed toward removal of adenomas and sessile serrated lesions and detection of early-stage CRC. The purpose of this article is to update the 2009 American College of Gastroenterology CRC screening guidelines.
American Journal of Gastroenterology (03/01/21) Vol. 116, No. 3, P. 458 Aasma Shaukat; Charles J. Kahi; Carol A. Burke; et al.
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AMA News Release (03/03/21)
The COVID-19 pandemic upended projected patterns of spending for physician services in the United States and a new report from the American Medical Association documents these unprecedented changes in the Medicare program during the first six months of 2020. The new report "Changes in Medicare Physician Spending During the COVID-19 Pandemic" analyzed Medicare claims data exclusive to physician services and found spending dropped as much as 57 percent below expected pre-pandemic levels in April of 2020.
AMA News Release (03/03/21)
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Newswise (02/25/21)
A prescribing guideline tailored to patients' specific needs reduced the number of opioid pills prescribed after major surgery with researchers reporting a greater than 90 percent patient satisfaction rate with pain management and the highest compliance rate to date with appropriate disposal of leftover pills. The study was selected for the 2020 New England Surgical Society Program and published as an "article in press" on the website of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons (JACS) in advance of print.
Newswise (02/25/21)
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Ocular Surgery News (03/04/21) Robert Linnehan
Immediate sequential bilateral cataract surgery can provide comparable outcomes and efficiencies as traditional cataract surgery, but until reimbursement rates are modified, it may not become widespread. Immediate sequential bilateral cataract surgery reduces patient visits to the operating room and has outcomes comparable to traditional delayed sequential bilateral cataract surgery, OSN Cornea/External Disease Section Editor Elizabeth Yeu, MD, said.
Ocular Surgery News (03/04/21) Robert Linnehan
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Bloomberg Law (02/22/21) Sara Hansard
Health-care and life sciences deal volume started the year at a sizzling pace in January with the most transactions per month—258—in more than a year. "With more than 10 percent of the U.S. population now having received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and supply continuing to ramp up, along with another large Covid-19 economic rescue plan expected in early March, investment activity is expected to remain strong as the country accelerates its recovery from the pandemic," Larry Kocot of KPMG in Washington said.
Bloomberg Law (02/22/21) Sara Hansard
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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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