Departments

Departments

Message from the President

Let’s Renew Our Commitment to Staff and Compliance

Summer is in full swing and vacations are on everyone’s schedules. Meanwhile, ASCs are adjusting to updated guidance the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released recently and staffing continues to challenge us all.


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Message from the CEO

Build Professional Development into Your Employee Benefits

Like other healthcare settings, ASCs continue to experience a staffing shortage. ASCA’s recent 60-Second Survey showed ongoing staffing issues with only 11 percent of respondents reporting no staff turnover in the past year and roughly half of facilities reporting greater than 5 percent staff turnover.


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As I See It

Determining ROI for Accreditation

What is best for patients supports a surgery center’s bottom line

The Joint Commission often receives questions from surgery centers about their investments into accreditation. Will they see this investment back? Is the investment worth it?


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Doing Business

Engage Physicians Effectively

Necessary tips for success

Successful ASCs rely on strong and efficient partnerships with physicians. As ASCs continue to expand and strengthen their role in the healthcare delivery system, it is critical that the industry continues to evolve by finding more effective and efficient ways to engage physicians.


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ASCA 2022

Who Signs on the Dotted Line?

Come to ASCA 2022 to learn how to avoid legal risks during the informed consent process

When we are out doing surveys, we see that people do not have a clear understanding of the informed consent process. The process is more than just a form that needs to be signed before a procedure. It involves multiple steps.


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Medicare

History and Role of MedPAC

Where do ASCs fit in

On two mornings every month between September and January, a long line of people waits to enter a wood-paneled meeting room in the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington, DC. Whether they are lobbyists, regulatory consultants or patient advocates, the people in line all have a special interest in health policy.


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Advocacy

Host Facility Tours

Educate your lawmakers and advocate for ASCs

In 2019, ASCA members hosted facility tours for state and federal lawmakers representing diverse constituencies across the country. These tours helped shore up support for ASCs among longstanding legislators and introduced new state and federal officials to the ASC setting.


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Trends

Sg2 Annual Report Projects Double-Digit ASC Growth

Expansion expected in nearly all major specialties

ASCs will see 15 percent and 25 percent growth in the next 5 and 10 years, respectively, according to Sg2’s 2022 Impact of Change Forecast Highlights.


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Awards

Nap Gary’s Legacy Continues Through ASCA Lifetime Award

Who can nominate and how

The ASCA Board of Directors established the Nap Gary Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the ASC Community to recognize individuals whose contributions have made a difference in the ASC industry.


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Tribute

In Memoriam

ASC community remembers a beloved leader

Randy Leffler, 51, executive director of the Ohio Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers (OAASC), passed away last December.


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Q & A

Bundling Care

An ASC director of operations discusses value-based payments in her surgery center

Becky Ziegler-Otis, CASC, ASCA Board member and director of operations for revenue cycle at Ambulatory Surgical Center of Stevens Point in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, recently talked with ASC Focus about how the center’s prior experience with bundled payments helped prepare it to participate in WC Bundled Payments, Trilogy Health Solutions’ workers’ compensation cost-containment program.


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Coding

Hurdles Slowing Down Migration of Procedures

Barriers to moving complex procedures from HOPDs to your ASC

CY 2021 brought policy and reimbursement changes that would seem to position ASCs favorably for an obvious migration of cases from the hospital outpatient department (HOPD) to the ASC.


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Improve Claim Compliance

Use correct modifiers

In the coding world, modifiers are two-digit symbols added to CPT procedure codes to signify the procedure has been altered in some way.


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Compliance

Eliminate Common ASC Coding and Billing Compliance Issues

Follow these steps

Noncompliant coding and billing can lead to increased denials, missed reimbursement opportunities and unnecessary refunds. Additionally, poor compliance outcomes harm surgeon and patient satisfaction and could lead to more serious consequences, including loss of payer contracts and legal ramifications.


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Regulations

HIPAA Biannual Update

July to December 2018

Since ASCA’s last update in July 2018, healthcare organizations across the country posted 163 breaches of protected health information (PHI) affecting 500 or more individuals.


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Legal Matters

Informed Consent Process in Ambulatory Surgery

Review state laws and AHRQ materials before creating your policy

In rare situations, the duration of the informed consent could present an issue. Some state laws presume that a written authorization signed by the patient is valid. Some states might specify the time frame in which consent remains valid; others require that consent be obtained no more than 30 days from the procedure. Therefore, checking state regulations is essential.


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Marketing

Build a Data-Driven Marketing Program

Foster relationships by eliminating the guesswork

Relying on word-of-mouth to cultivate awareness is not enough to establish and build reputation among potential patients in today’s competitive healthcare marketplace. Patients are using various means to shop for and select their care providers, and it is helpful to have a marketing program that connects with people as they consider options.


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Insurance

Trends in Medical Risk Transfer

Risks that are uninsurable or prohibitively expensive to insure might call for alternative risk transfer

In an ever-changing world, it is no secret that risks associated with ASCs also are evolving. Trends in medical risk transfer, however, are generally not related to ordinary risks but rather nontraditional—low frequency/high severity—risks. If these risks occur, they have the ability to bring a practice to a screeching halt. Examples of such risks include: loss or suspension of professional license, legislative and regulatory changes, cyber risk (breach of customer data and detrimental code) and related Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) violations.


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Legislature

ASCA Advocates for Fair Implementation of Section 603

Congress passes site-neutral payment legislation

On November 2, 2015, congressional leaders and the Obama administration announced a bipartisan budget agreement that would fund the federal government for two years, raise the nation’s debt ceiling and stave off Medicare premium increases for beneficiaries. The final legislation, called the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, responded to a number approaching fiscal deadlines and leadership changes in the US House that could have impacted the ability to strike such a deal.


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Quality Improvement

Stay on the Forefront of Efficiency and Quality

Consider these new strategies

During the last 27 years, as an ophthalmic surgeon, I also was part owner of an ASC in Washington, DC. While I was able to transition successfully, I wish I had had many of the tools and features available today that would have made my life easier and my business more profitable.


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Technology

Air-Cleaning Options for Facility Hygiene

Purification systems and UV-C technology help reduce the spread of infectious particles

Now that we know that COVID-19 can be airborne during medical procedures that generate aerosols, implementing technologies and best practices that limit the potential exposure of pathogens in aerosols has become essential.


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Infection Prevention

Build an Effective Infection Prevention Program

Rely on sound policies, careful training and accountability

ASC employees often wear multiple hats and fill multiple roles that are normally individualized at larger facilities. In some cases, surgery centers have tight reprocessing areas or limited equipment, tools or chemistries to reprocess devices. Having access to the most updated instructions for use (IFU) is critical for success in this field and these situations.


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Cybersecurity

Preparing for and Responding to a Data Breach

Have a written plan, implement it in a timely manner and communicate with your patients

ASCs are attractive targets for cybercriminals. Surgery centers collect and store vast amounts of sensitive personal information. This is highly valued as it can be used for identity theft, blackmail and extortion.


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Finances

Review Key Revenue Cycle Metrics as Your ASC Grows

Consider improving processes in these four areas as your center adds more complex procedures to its list

Driven by continuous successful outcomes in the outpatient setting, ASCs have emphasized incorporating more complex procedures into their repertoires as a formative growth strategy.


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Billing

Is Your Billing Team Performing Optimally?

Take a deep dive into your processes to decide

Your ASC is well-positioned in the community. It has a good reputation, as do your providers. Your caseload is steady or perhaps growing. You have a happy, busy staff.


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Regulatory Review

CMS Updates ASC Guidance for Surveyors

Periodic written notice, H&P and anesthesia risk assessment requirements undergo revisions

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently updated the State Operations Manual (SOM) Appendix L—Guidance for Surveyors: Ambulatory Surgical Centers. CMS released the updated Appendix L in June, just two weeks after it announced an advance copy of the changes in a surveyor memo.


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Advocacy Spotlight

ASCA, Voices Lead the Way in Preventing Opioid Abuse

Widely supported NOPAIN Act likely to become law in this Congress

As in the past, ASCA has partnered with Voices for Non-Opioid Choices (Voices) to support the introduction of the Non-Opioids Prevent Addiction in the Nation (NOPAIN) Act (S. 586/ H.R. 3259) in Congress. As of June 2022, the legislation has more than 150 cosponsors, with more than 100 in the House and more than 50 in the Senate. The bill has seen significant traction and the provisions it contains could pass individually or be adopted in a larger legislative mechanism before the end of this Congress.


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Member Profile

John Goehle

John Goehle, chief operating officer of Ambulatory Healthcare Strategies LLC in Rochester, New York, discusses how to remain successful in these difficult financial times.


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Industry Insight

William A. Miller

William A. Miller, partner at Higgs, Fletcher, & Mack LLP in San Diego, California, discusses the most important legal issues for ASCs this year.


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ASCA News

Sign Up for ASCA’s 2023 Winter Seminar

ASCA’s 2023 Winter Seminar at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 12–14, is fast approaching. Sign up multiple members of your team today to make sure that your ASC is on solid financial ground, in compliance and on track for future success.


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Web Crawl

Share Your Facility Tour Experience from National ASC Month

If your ASC participated in activities celebrating this year’s National ASC Month in August, let us know.


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