ASCA News Digest (April 6, 2021)

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ASCA HIGHLIGHTS

Register for the ASCA 2021 Virtual Conference before Friday at midnight and save $50 by using promo code APRIL50!

This can’t-miss virtual event is taking place live in just three weeks, on April 26, May 3 and May 10, and will be available on demand afterwards. ASCA 2021 will feature nearly 50 educational sessions, the opportunity to earn up to 26 CEs, ample networking opportunities and a virtual expo hall filled with ASC industry vendors. Register now to save!
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Last Thursday, April 1, the second-quarter (Q2) updates to Medicare’s ASC payment system took effect. In response, ASCA has posted a 2021 Q2 Rate Calculator that reflects these changes (available to ASCA members only).
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The data submission period for the first quarter (Q1) of ASCA’s 2021 Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey is now open and will close on Friday, April 30, at 11:59 pm ET. Your Q1 report will be available on May 15.

This year, the survey includes several exciting new features, including a new specialty-specific section for ophthalmology procedures and free access to the new ASCA e-booklet Benchmarking Basics for ASCs. If you have not yet purchased your subscription, subscribe today!
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Designated ASCA voting members are encouraged to vote for the members of the ASCA Board of Directors. The official results will be announced May 10 on the ASCA website. The candidates selected to serve on the ASCA Board will also serve on the ASCA Foundation Board. This year the candidates have each submitted a personal statement, résumé and a video.

Please note, the video posted for candidate Arnie Valedon, MD, was not properly displayed and a new video has been posted. Please revisit his entry as well as the other candidate entries on the candidate information page, and cast your ballot by Friday, April 16.
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) made significant changes to the surgical codes that can be performed in hospital outpatient departments (HOPD) and ASCs in the calendar year (CY) 2021 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS)/ASC final payment rule. Between the announced elimination of the inpatient-only (IPO) list and hundreds of codes being added to the ASC Covered Procedures List (ASC-CPL), confusion runs high regarding the setting where procedures can be performed now and in the future. Read this Digital Debut to clear up some of that confusion.
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The US Senate has passed H.R. 1868 to extend the suspension of sequestration cuts to Medicare reimbursement through the end of the year. Previous legislation suspended the 2 percent sequestration cuts through March 31, 2021.
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INDUSTRY NEWS

Fierce Healthcare (04/05/21) Robert King
At the end of 2020, Tenet Healthcare made a major pivot to enter the ambulatory surgery center business with a $1.1 billion deal to get up to 45 centers. The deal, which Tenet made in part after selling off its urgent care business, comes after a rough 2020 for hospitals that saw outpatient revenue plummet due to COVID-19.
Fierce Healthcare (04/05/21) Robert King
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Joint Commission Ambulatory Buzz blog (03/30/21) Kimberly Persley
For the past year, we have all been dealing with the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. For ambulatory surgery centers in particular, this has meant postponing and/or cancelling procedures.
Joint Commission Ambulatory Buzz blog (03/30/21) Kimberly Persley
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FDA News Release (04/01/21)
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it is investigating numerous medical device reports (MDRs) describing patient infections and other possible contamination issues associated with reprocessing urological endoscopes, including cystoscopes, ureteroscopes and cystourethroscopes—devices used to view and access the urinary tract. Reprocessing these types of medical devices involves both cleaning and high-level disinfection or sterilization so the devices can be reused.
FDA News Release (04/01/21)
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Healio Gastroenterology (04/01/21) Monica Stonehill
Patients who did not comply with colonoscopy, compared with compliers, had more than double the rate of cumulative colorectal cancer mortality during 10 years of follow-up in an organized program, according to study results. "The excess risk of CRC death among those not completing colonoscopy after a positive fecal occult blood test should prompt screening programs to adopt effective interventions to increase compliance in this high-risk population," Manuel Zorzi, MD, MSc, from Veneto the Tumor Registry, Azienda Zero, Padova, Italy, and colleagues wrote.
Healio Gastroenterology (04/01/21) Monica Stonehill
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ThurstonTalk (04/01/2021) Heidi Smith
Dr. P. Brodie Wood, a board-certified surgeon at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates (OOA), is one of the busiest orthopedic surgeons in the country, performing over 1,000 total joint replacements every year. Previously, many patients opted for a longer stay in a hospital or skilled nursing facility after surgery, but COVID-19 has changed that preference.
ThurstonTalk (04/01/2021) Heidi Smith
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The Hill (03/24/21) John Bowden
A carcinogen has been found in hand sanitizer that entered the market during the coronavirus pandemic, according to an online pharmacy. The pharmacy, Valisure, tested numerous hand sanitizer products for chemicals including benzene, formaldehyde and others, finding higher levels of the cancer-causing benzene in nearly two dozen products sold in the U.S.
The Hill (03/24/21) John Bowden
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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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