ASCA News Digest (July 24, 2018)

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July 24, 2018

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Data collection for the second quarter (Q2) of ASCA’s Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey will close next Tuesday, July 31. This online resource allows you to compare your ASC's metrics with national performance statistics on clinical outcomes, staff indicators, billing performance and more.

Not yet subscribed to the 2018 survey? Purchase a subscription now.
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DePuy Synthes    Why did you start performing total joint replacements at the surgery center?

This year, ASCA has expanded the celebration of National ASC Week into a full month! For all of August, ASCs around the country will participate in National ASC Month by opening their doors to the public and hosting facility tours. This is a great way to promote awareness to both your local policymakers and the public of the high-quality, cost-efficient surgical care that ASCs provide.

If your ASC is planning to participate in any National ASC Month events, please let Danielle Kaster know right away.
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ASCA is excited to announce that the exam period for the new Certified Ambulatory Infection Preventionist (CAIP)™ credential opens for the first time next week on Wednesday, August 1. CAIP is the first credential designed specifically for infection preventionists in the ASC industry.

The exam period for the Certified Administrator Surgery Center (CASC)™ credential will also open on August 1, and both periods will close Friday, August 31.
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Developing & Managing Ambulatory Surgery Centers offers an in-depth look into what it takes to run a successful ASC. This electronic book examines the four cornerstones of an ASC—patient and clinical care, risk management, business office systems and managed care and payer contracting—defining the complexity involved in developing and managing all components. ASCA members enjoy a special discounted rate. Purchase today.
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The Joint Commission will require ASCs to meet several new elements of performance (EP) primarily focused on fluoroscopy starting January 1, 2019. In response, ASCA interviewed Joyce Webb, RN, project director of the Department of Standards and Survey Methods at The Joint Commission. Read this Digital Debut article where she explains the changes ASCs can expect with the new and revised fluoroscopy requirements.
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On July 12, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the CY 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) proposed rule. The proposed rule contains significant proposed changes to documentation for evaluation and management (E/M) services, allowing physicians to select the level of service based on time or medical decision-making alone. Read on.
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Industry News


Doctors Raise Alarm About Shortages of Pain Medications
NPR Online (07/20/18) Goodwyn, Wayne

In hospitals across the country, anesthesiologists and other doctors are facing significant shortages of injectable opioids. Drugs such as morphine, Dilaudid and fentanyl are the mainstays of intravenous pain control and are regularly used in critical care settings like surgery, intensive care units and hospital emergency departments.

FDA's Efforts to Encourage the Development of and Broaden Access to Generic Versions of Abuse-Deterrent Opioids
FDA News Release (07/20/18) Gottlieb, Scott

One of the ways that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working to address the opioid epidemic is by encouraging the development of opioid analgesic products that are harder to manipulate and abuse. Opioids with abuse-deterrent formulations are intended to make certain types of abuse, such as crushing a tablet to snort or dissolving a capsule to inject, more difficult or less rewarding.

Robots Changing Surgery in Eastern Iowa
Eastern Iowa Gazette (07/23/18) Ramm, Michaela

As technology continues to evolve, money transactions can be done on mobile phones, smart speakers can help with household chores and people may not have to drive their own cars. But what if a robot is the one who does your surgery?

Doctors, Hospitals Sue Patients Who Post Negative Comments, Reviews on Social Media
USA Today (07/18/18) O'Donnell, Jayne; Alltucker, Ken

Retired Air Force Colonel David Antoon agreed to pay $100 to settle what were felony charges for emailing his former Cleveland Clinic surgeon articles the doctor found threatening and posting a list on Yelp of all the surgeries the urologist had scheduled at the same time as the one that left Antoon incontinent and impotent a decade ago. He faced up to a year in prison.

Progress on Patient Safety Slowed by Ineffective Technology, Healthcare Professionals Say
PR Newswire (07/19/18)

Nearly nine out of 10 respondents to a national survey of physicians, nurses and healthcare executives say their organizations are successfully improving the safety of patients. But real problems remain, and to make further improvements, respondents to the Health Catalyst survey said they need better health information technology to warn clinicians of impending patient harm, as well as more resources and greater organizational focus on the problem.

Why Don't More People Shop for Health Care? Online Tools Exist, But Most Don't Use Them
Chicago Tribune (07/20/18) Schencker, Lisa

At Rush University Medical Center on Chicago’s West Side, the median charge for a vaginal birth was $16,703 last year. Three miles away, at Norwegian American Hospital, it cost about half that: $8,873.

Sniffles? Cancer? Under Medicare Plan, Payments for Office Visits Would Be Same for Both
New York Times (07/22/18) Pear, Robert

The Trump administration is proposing huge changes in the way Medicare pays doctors for the most common of all medical services, the office visit, offering physicians basically the same amount, regardless of a patient's condition or the complexity of the services provided. Administration officials said the proposal would radically reduce paperwork burdens, freeing doctors to spend more time with patients.

Do FLACS, Zepto, miLOOP or All Three?
Ocular Surgery News (07/03/18) Hovanesian, John A.

It's now been 8 years since the U.S. approval of the first instrument for femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery in the United States, yet the adoption of this technology has been slowed by the cost of lasers and a lack of convincing evidence that it improves outcomes in routine cataract cases. Only one-third of U.S. surgeons regularly perform FLACS, and only 5 percent use it for more than 50 percent of their cases.

New MGMA Data Shows Medical Practices Utilizing More Non-Physician Providers Are More Profitable, Productive
MGMA.com (07/18/18)

Today, Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) released its 2018 MGMA DataDive Cost and Revenue data, which found that medical practices that utilize more non-physician providers benefit from increased revenue and productivity. "In the face of a growing physician shortage in the United States, and as MGMA discovered through several other DataDive datasets, American medical practices continue to rely more and more on non-physician providers to treat their patients," said Dr. Halee Fischer-Wright, President and CEO of MGMA.


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