ASCA News Digest (November 30, 2021)

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ASCA HIGHLIGHTS

This week only, take advantage of this exclusive Cyber Monday discount on the 2022 Webinar All-Access Pass! Use promo code CYBER21 to save $50 on your purchase.

Enjoy big savings on a full year of top-quality ASC education. This popular pass provides access to all 11 webinars in ASCA’s 2022 series—both the live events and the recordings—at a fraction of the full purchase price. It is also a great way to earn nursing contact hours and Administrator Education Units.
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During Understanding Medicare’s 2022 Final Payment Rule, the fourth webinar in the Administrator track, participants will get the final word on the changes to Medicare’s ASC payment system that will take effect January 1, 2022.

Registrants will also find out about changes to ASC payment rates in 2022, updates to the ASC Covered Procedures List and new measures added to the ASC Quality Reporting Program. Note: Coding changes will not be discussed.

This webinar will take place next Tuesday, December 7, at 1:00 pm ET.
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As ASCA previously announced, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized the 2022 final payment rule for ASCs, which included the adoption of ASC-20: COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage Among HCP. This new measure requires 2022 data collection and submission through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) using its Secure Access Management Services (SAMS) system.

The CDC will provide two training sessions featuring a live walkthrough of the new SAMS and NHSN enrollment processes for ASCs. The first session is on Thursday, December 2, at 1:00 pm ET, and the second session is on Wednesday, December 8, at 1:00 pm ET.
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Register today for ASCA’s 2022 Virtual Coding & Reimbursement Seminar! During this virtual event, 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 and protect its bottom line.

This seminar will take place during three afternoons in January—Monday, January 10; Tuesday, January 18; and Monday, January 24.
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Surgery on its own is a stressful experience for patients. Present them with an unexpectedly high bill on the day of their procedure and that stress level could rise significantly and might even cause postponement of the surgery.

Working to ensure this scenario does not play out is one of the reasons why some ASCs are making it a priority to educate patients in advance about their expected out-of-pocket expenses. Read this ASC Focus article for more on patient education.
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After more than two years, ASCA’s National Advocacy Day is back!

Taking place March 8­­–9 next year, National Advocacy Day gathers members of the ASC community from across the country to advocate for their facilities and the high-quality care they deliver. Sign up today to participate in this excellent opportunity to meet face-to-face with your members of Congress and their staff to educate them about the many benefits ASCs provide.
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INDUSTRY NEWS

Reuters (11/29/21) Stephanie Nebehay
The heavily mutated Omicron coronavirus variant is likely to spread internationally and poses a very high risk of infection surges that could have "severe consequences" in some places, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday. No Omicron-linked deaths had yet been reported, though further research was needed to assess its potential to resist vaccines and immunity induced by previous infections, it added.
Reuters (11/29/21) Stephanie Nebehay
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CNN.com (11/29/21) Tierney Sneed
A federal judge in Missouri issued an order Monday partially blocking the Biden administration from implementing a vaccine mandate for certain health care workers. The judge's order, which covers the 10 states that brought the case, played down the effectiveness of the vaccines and said that the "public would suffer little, if any, harm from maintaining the 'status quo' through the litigation of this case."
CNN.com (11/29/21) Tierney Sneed
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Philadelphia Business Journal (11/17/21) John George
In a year where Pennsylvania's ambulatory surgery centers saw revenues and profits drop because of the Covid-19 outbreak, the Philadelphia region still had three center top $6 million in net income in fiscal 2020. The Surgery Center of Pennsylvania Hospital in South Philadelphia had the highest net income in fiscal 2020 at nearly $6.4 million, according to data released Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Health Care Containment Council (PHC4).
Philadelphia Business Journal (11/17/21) John George
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HHS News Release (11/22/21)
A new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) highlights that millions of Americans with private health insurance experience some kind of surprise medical billing. The report, which was written by researchers in HHS's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, found that surprise medical bills are relatively common among privately-insured patients and can average more than $1,200 for services provided by anesthesiologists, $2,600 for surgical assistants, and $750 for childbirth-related care.
HHS News Release (11/22/21)
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Vox (11/27/21) Dylan Scott
Inflation is on the rise, driving up the price of gas and food. One sector of the U.S. economy is behaving particularly strangely: For once, medical prices have been increasing at a significantly lower rate than prices in the overall economy.
Vox (11/27/21) Dylan Scott
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New York Post (11/26/21) Carl Campanile
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed an executive order Friday to postpone elective hospital surgeries — something that hasn’t been done since the worst of the initial coronavirus outbreak last year. Hochul said she made the move to deal with staffing shortages and boost bed capacity amid an anticipated “spike” in new cases and the emergence of the new Omicron variant in South Africa.
New York Post (11/26/21) Carl Campanile
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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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