ASCA News Digest (October 5, 2021)

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ASCA HIGHLIGHTS

Registration is now open for ASCA’s 2022 Virtual Coding & Reimbursement Seminar! This popular virtual seminar provides essential training for ASC billers and coders.

During three afternoons in January—Monday, January 10; Tuesday, January 18; and Monday, January 24—you’ll hear from industry experts as they discuss the coding and billing updates for 2022 and share strategies you can use to maximize your ASC’s reimbursements.
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ASCA has posted updated Medicare payment documents that reflect updates in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) October addendum. This includes a new rate calculator and payment resources spreadsheets for the fourth quarter. All resources related to Medicare can always be found on the ASCA website under Federal Regulations.
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Data collection for the third quarter (Q3) of ASCA’s 2021 Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey is now open. Subscribers should make sure to submit their data by October 31 to get a complete picture of trends for the year.

Not yet subscribed to the 2021 survey? Purchase a subscription now.
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The ASCA Member Retirement Plan is a 401(k) retirement plan benefit available exclusively to ASCA members.

The plan is designed to allow participating facilities an opportunity to reduce their administrative burden, streamline employee benefit offerings and offload fiduciary liability.
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As discussed in the “ASCA Comments on Medicare’s 2022 Proposed Payment Rule” Digital Debut, CMS argued in the proposed payment rule that “while there are similarities between the ASC and hospital outpatient department (HOPD) settings, there are also significant differences between the two care settings.” CMS uses that problematic argument to continue to reimburse for some procedures in the HOPD setting, but not the ASC setting. Read this Digital Debut for more on how federal regulations compare for these two sites of service.
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Earlier this month, two ASCA members hosted facility tours for their new members of Congress. On September 8, Mobile Surgery Center in Mobile, Alabama, hosted a facility tour for its member of Congress, Representative Jerry Carl (R-AL). On September 9, San Diego Endoscopy Center in San Diego, California, hosted a tour for the staff of its member of Congress, Representative Sara Jacobs (D-CA). Both facilities used their tours to introduce the new lawmakers to the ASC community and educate them on the pressing issues that ASCs face.
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INDUSTRY NEWS

Healthcare Purchasing News (09/21/21)
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has launched Hear Us Out, a nationwide effort to report nurses' reality from the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and urge those who have yet to be vaccinated to reconsider. In response to the surge of the delta variant, a dramatic increase in younger Americans dying and the Food and Drug Administration's first full approval of a COVID-19 vaccine, AACN is advocating on behalf of the acute and critical care nursing community, as the profession and healthcare systems are being pushed to a breaking point.
Healthcare Purchasing News (09/21/21)
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HHS News Release (09/30/21)
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights issued guidance to help the public understand when the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule applies to disclosures and requests for information about whether a person has received a COVID-19 vaccine. The guidance reminds the public that the HIPAA Privacy Rule does not apply to employers or employment records.
HHS News Release (09/30/21)
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CMS Press Release (09/30/21)
Today, the Biden-Harris Administration, through the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, Treasury, and the Office of Personnel Management issued an interim final rule with comment period to further implement the No Surprises Act – a consumer protection law that helps curb the practice of surprise medical billing. This rule details a process that will take patients out of the middle of payment disputes, provides a transparent process to settle out-of-network rates between providers and payers, and outlines requirements for health care cost estimates for uninsured (or self-pay) individuals.
CMS Press Release (09/30/21)
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Urology Times (09/09/21) Ronney Abaza
Over the past 2 decades, robotic surgery has grown in urology to become the most common method for surgical management of prostate cancer and more recently for partial nephrectomy. Robotic surgery is also increasingly being applied to renal cancers requiring radical nephrectomy as well, even for complex and locally advanced tumors such as those invading contiguous organs or extending into the vena cava.
Urology Times (09/09/21) Ronney Abaza
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Seven Days (09/21/21) Colin Flanders
State regulators have granted the University of Vermont Medical Center permission to begin planning its proposed outpatient surgery facility, overriding concerns raised by frontline workers about whether the hospital can adequately staff the expansion. The hospital was required to seek this initial level of approval, known as a "conceptual" certificate of need, because the proposed facility is expected to cost more than $30 million.
Seven Days (09/21/21) Colin Flanders
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Mining Journal (10/04/21)
The Lake Superior Community Partnership recently assisted the Upper Peninsula Surgery Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate its grand opening. Upper Peninsula Surgery Center is Marquette’s first ambulatory surgery center.
Mining Journal (10/04/21)
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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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