ASCA News Digest (July 7, 2021)

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ASCA HIGHLIGHTS

The data submission period for the second quarter (Q2) of ASCA’s 2021 Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey is now open and will close on Saturday, July 31, at 11:59 pm ET. Q2 reports will be available on August 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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If you weren’t able to attend the ASCA 2021 Virtual Conference live, don’t worry—the entire conference is fully available on demand through the ASCA Learning Hub.

And now, you can save $150 when you purchase this premier ASC event, which features nearly 50 sessions you can watch anytime, anywhere.
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Candidates who plan to take the September Certified Administrator Surgery Center (CASC)® exam must submit their application during the month of July. The CASC credential is a distinction earned by members of the ASC community who demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the knowledge and skills required of an ASC administrator. Learn more.
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Word of mouth is a proven way to refer membership to your peers. ASCA members: Help us inform your colleagues of the benefits of ASCA membership.

For each new ASC you refer to ASCA that joins through ASCA’s effort, you will receive a $25 gift card. You must complete the referral form to be eligible. The program ends on September 28.
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On July 1, the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) opened the reporting portal for all healthcare providers, including ASCs, that received Provider Relief Fund (PRF) grants exceeding $10,000 in aggregate. Read this Digital Debut for everything your ASC needs to know about this reporting period.
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The US Supreme Court declined to consider a lawsuit by the American Hospital Association (AHA), paving the way for a Trump administration site-neutral payment policy to stand. The policy in question was finalized in the 2019 outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) final rule, as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) lowered the payment rate for evaluation and management (E&M) code G0463 provided at off-campus hospital outpatient departments (HOPD) to the physician office rate (roughly 35 percent of the HOPD rate).
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INDUSTRY NEWS

Regulatory Focus (06/30/2021) Joanne S. Eglovitch
New drug shortages in the US decreased in 2020, in part because of the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) use of enforcement discretion to ensure an uninterrupted supply of critical medical products during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Yet, the agency's new drug shortages report to Congress said that while these actions helped avert shortages in the short-term, more work is needed to improve supply chain resiliency.
Regulatory Focus (06/30/2021) Joanne S. Eglovitch
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Healthcare Dive (06/29/21) Samantha Liss
Nearly 70 percent of U.S. physicians are now employed by a hospital or a corporate entity, according to the latest report by Avalere for the Physicians Advocacy Institute, a coalition of state doctors' groups. This is the first time the report included ownership by corporate entities outside of just hospitals.
Healthcare Dive (06/29/21) Samantha Liss
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HHS News Release (07/01/21)
Today, the Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and Treasury, and the Office of Personnel Management, issued "Requirements Related to Surprise Billing; Part I," an interim final rule that will restrict excessive out of pocket costs to consumers from surprise billing and balance billing. Surprise billing happens when people unknowingly get care from providers that are outside of their health plan's network and can happen for both emergency and non-emergency care.
HHS News Release (07/01/21)
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JAMA Network Open (06/23/21) Xiaochu Hu; Michael J. Dill
The COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with loss of revenue, reduced work hours, and reduced earnings for physicians in the United States. Furthermore, pandemic restrictions and related regulatory changes allowing physicians greater flexibilities potentially altered physicians' work activities and environments.
JAMA Network Open (06/23/21) Xiaochu Hu; Michael J. Dill
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FDA in Brief (06/30/21)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it is revoking EUAs of all non-NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health)-approved disposable respirators, which includes imported disposable respirators such as KN95s, along with revoking EUAs for decontamination and bioburden reduction systems. Today's actions are consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's updated recommendations that health care facilities not use crisis capacity strategies and should promptly return to conventional practices.
FDA in Brief (06/30/21)
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STAT News (06/18/21) Elizabeth Preston
When Glenda Thomas of Framingham, Mass., checked her doctors' notes online after a recent infusion, she saw something that stuck in her mind. A nurse had written, "She denies recent illness."
STAT News (06/18/21) Elizabeth Preston
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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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