ASCA News Digest (July 20, 2021)

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ASCA HIGHLIGHTS

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2022 proposed payment rule for ASCs and hospital outpatient departments (HOPD) on July 19, 2021. Of note, CMS has proposed to reverse policy changes from the previous administration that added a significant number of codes to the ASC Covered Procedures List (ASC-CPL) and began the process of removing the inpatient-only (IPO) list. CMS also proposed to continue to align the ASC update factor with that used to update HOPD payments.
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The data submission period for the second quarter (Q2) of ASCA’s 2021 Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey is open through 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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Summer’s in full swing—add these four books to your summer reading list and by September you’ll be even better prepared to face any financial, management or compliance challenges that come your way.
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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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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” on July 1, 2021. The deadline to comment on this interim final rule (IFR) is September 7, 2021. Read this Digital Debut for more information.
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On July 13, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released CY 2022 proposed updates to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) and other related Part B payment policies. CMS is proposing a conversion factor of $33.5848, which is estimated to have negligible overall impact to major ASC specialties such as ophthalmology, orthopedic surgery and gastroenterology.
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INDUSTRY NEWS

CMS Press Release (07/13/21)
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing changes to address the widening gap in health equity highlighted by the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) and to expand patient access to comprehensive care, especially in underserved populations. In CMS's annual Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule, the agency is recommending steps that continue the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to strengthen and build upon Medicare by promoting health equity; expanding access to services furnished via telehealth and other telecommunications technologies for behavioral health care; enhancing diabetes prevention programs; and further improving CMS's quality programs to ensure quality care for Medicare beneficiaries and to create equal opportunities for physicians in both small and large clinical practices.
CMS Press Release (07/13/21)
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SHEA News Release (07/13/21)
Hospitals and other healthcare facilities should require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a consensus statement by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and six other leading organizations representing medical professionals working in infectious diseases, infection prevention, pharmacy, pediatrics, and long-term care. The paper specifies exemption for those with medical contraindications and some other circumstances in compliance with federal and state laws.
SHEA News Release (07/13/21)
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Joint Commission Ambulatory Buzz blog (07/13/21) Lorrie Cappellino
In 2021, The Joint Commission is conducting a high number of inaugural surveys. Some are newly minted businesses; others have returned to The Joint Commission after changing accreditation courses and others are long-standing ASCs under new leadership.
Joint Commission Ambulatory Buzz blog (07/13/21) Lorrie Cappellino
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ASC Focus (07/01/21)
The COVID-19 pandemic has shed a light on the many gaps in healthcare that diverse populations have experienced for decades, according to a July 14 release from The Joint Commission of Oakbrook, Illinois. Integral parts of communities, hospitals and ASCs need to understand the diverse populations they serve, including minority groups and vulnerable populations.
ASC Focus (07/01/21)
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MarketWatch (07/06/21) Paul Brandus
Temperatures aren't the only thing rising as we head into the dog days of summer. Drug prices are too, and they come just six months after most pharmaceutical manufacturers rang in 2021 with a prior round of price hikes.
MarketWatch (07/06/21) Paul Brandus
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Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery (07/16/21) Travis M. Langan; Calvin J. Rushing; Bryon J. McKenna; et al.
There has been significant change in the health care policy in the United States in recent years with an increasing focus on health care costs and patient satisfaction. One strategy of cost containment is to transition outpatient surgery away from high cost hospital environments.
Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery (07/16/21) Travis M. Langan; Calvin J. Rushing; Bryon J. McKenna; 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.

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