ASCA News Digest (July 13, 2021)

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ASCA HIGHLIGHTS

ASCs must report their Medicare quality data by Monday, July 19, at 11:59 pm PT. As a reminder, ASCs that fail to report by the deadline are subject to a 2 percent cut to their fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare reimbursements for the following year.
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Join ASCA’s next webinar, Understanding Manufacturer’s Instructions for Use & Point of Use Treatment of Medical Devices, to review two recent “hot-button” issues for surveyors: following manufacturer instructions for use and appropriate point of use treatment of soiled medical devices.

This webinar, scheduled for Tuesday, July 20, at 1:00 pm ET, is part of the Infection Preventionist 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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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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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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Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (D) signed the two-year state budget implementer bill, SB 1202, into law a couple of weeks ago. The budget implementer contained policy provisions impacting various state laws, including one with big implications for ASCs: an advantageous overhaul of the state’s ASC gross receipts tax. Read this Digital Debut for more on how multiyear advocacy efforts by one state ASC association finally found success.
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On July 1, the US Departments of Health & Human Services (HHS), Labor, and the Treasury, and the Office of Personnel Management issued “Requirements Related to Surprise Billing; Part I,” an interim final rule aimed at restricting excessive out-of-pocket costs to consumers from surprise billing and balance billing. This is the first in a series of regulations aimed at shielding patients from increased financial hardships stemming from surprise medical bills.
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INDUSTRY NEWS

National Law Review (07/12/21) Cyrus Abbassi
Cardiology procedures in the ambulatory surgery center (ASC) setting are growing rapidly. According to MedPAC's March 2021 report to Congress, there were 88 single-specialty cardiology ASCs billing Medicare in 2019 (the latest year with reportable data), which is a significant uptick from just 18 such ASCs in 2017.
National Law Review (07/12/21) Cyrus Abbassi
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Kaiser Health News (07/09/21) Bernard J. Wolfson
A federal price transparency rule that took effect this year was supposed to give patients, employers and insurers a clearer picture of the true cost of hospital care. When the Trump administration unveiled the rule in 2019, Seema Verma, then chief of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, promised it would "upend the status quo to empower patients and put them first."
Kaiser Health News (07/09/21) Bernard J. Wolfson
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FDA Letters to Health Care Providers (07/08/2021)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is informing health care providers about potential biocompatibility concerns associated with NuVasive Specialized Orthopedics' Precice devices made from stainless steel and titanium. The FDA is also providing health care providers with recommendations for monitoring patients with these devices
FDA Letters to Health Care Providers (07/08/2021)
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U.S. News & World Report (07/12/21) Robert Preidt
A major U.S. hospital system had a strong rebound in most cancer screening tests after a steep drop-off in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study shows. The findings are based on an analysis of data from the Boston-based Mass General Brigham system.
U.S. News & World Report (07/12/21) Robert Preidt
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Washington Post (07/09/21) Amy Goldstein
President Biden is calling on federal health officials to intensify efforts to drive down prescription drug prices as part of an executive order he signed Friday to spur federal agencies to promote economic competition. The order directs his administration to work with states to devise plans to import medicines safely from Canada, where they are sold at lower prices — an idea long endorsed by many Democrats and embraced by former president Donald Trump over the objections of the pharmaceutical industry.
Washington Post (07/09/21) Amy Goldstein
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CMAJ (06/14/21) Matthew Choi; Li Wang; Christopher J. Coroneos; et al.
Analgesics that contain codeine are commonly prescribed for postoperative pain, but it is unclear how they compare with nonopioid alternatives. We sought to compare the effectiveness of codeine and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for adults who underwent outpatient surgery.
CMAJ (06/14/21) Matthew Choi; Li Wang; Christopher J. Coroneos; 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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