ASCA News Digest (September 15, 2020)

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ASCA HIGHLIGHTS

You can now renew your ASCA membership online via ASCA’s website. With your membership comes a variety of benefits that help you run your ASC more efficiently, provide quality patient care and stay up to date on industry trends and regulations. See all the ways you can put your ASCA benefits to good use.

Not yet a member? Join ASCA today.
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ASCA staff have created sample comment letters (available to ASCA members only) and other talking points to consider for inclusion in your comments to CMS regarding the 2021 proposed ASC payment rule. The templates that are currently available advocate for:
  • removal of the secondary rescaling applied to ASCs, a policy that contributes to the growing disparity in reimbursement rates between ASCs and HOPDs
  • CMS’ proposal to add total hip arthroplasty to the ASC-payable list
  • additional codes to be added to the ASC-payable list
Submit your comments by Monday, October 5.
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This Friday, September 18, is the last day to apply for the October Certified Ambulatory Infection Preventionist (CAIP)™ exam. CAIP is the first credential designed specifically for infection preventionists in the ASC industry. The exam period is October 1–31. Take the next step in your career—apply today.
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During ASCA’s webinar, Bringing Out the Best in Your Staff: Go Beyond Your Comfort Zone, scheduled for next Tuesday, September 22, at 1:00 pm ET, participants will learn how to create a culture where accountability, encouragement, teamwork and motivation are principles that are palpable throughout their organization. Register for this webinar today.

This program is also included in ASCA’s 2020 Webinar All-Access Pass, which provides access to all 20 webinars in this year's series for one low fee.
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ASCA’s first-ever virtual conference is available on demand through October 31—so you still have time to watch recordings of all the sessions and visit the virtual expo hall. If you watch just one session each week, you can earn 7+ CE credits!

Session highlights include HR Updates: Sex, Drugs and Wage and Hour, which provides the latest legal updates on ASC requirements to address employee drug testing and use and discuss the legal requirements for sexual harassment and wage and hour compliance.

If you’re still not registered, sign up for ASCA 2020 today!
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For many ASCs, money from the Provider Relief Fund has been an important source of relief during the trying financial times tied to the COVID-19 emergency. This monetary assistance, however, comes with strings attached. Under current rules, ASCs that accepted aid from the Provider Relief Fund will face tax implications related to that assistance next year. Read this Digital Debut on how ASCA is advocating for non-taxable federal aid for COVID-19.
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In this episode of the Advancing Surgical Care Podcast, Charlie Leonard, a member of ASCA’s Public Affairs team, is joined by ASCA’s Manager of Grassroots and Political Affairs Adam Parker and ASCAPAC Board Member and Parkway Surgery Center Administrator Kirsten Anderson for a discussion about hosting virtual facility tours. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ASCA has built a new virtual tour program to help ASCA members connect with their members of Congress to educate them about the impact of COVID-19 on their communities.
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INDUSTRY NEWS

Joint Commission Ambulatory Buzz blog (09/02/20) Joyce Webb
It's that time of year again! Time to review the top 10 challenging standards for accredited ambulatory health care (AHC) organizations in 2019.
Joint Commission Ambulatory Buzz blog (09/02/20) Joyce Webb
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New York Times (09/11/20) Sarah Kliff
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Americans vastly scaled back their preventive health care, and there is little sign that this deferred care will be made up. Vaccinations dropped by nearly 60 percent in April, and almost no one was getting a colonoscopy, according to new data from the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute.
New York Times (09/11/20) Sarah Kliff
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Medscape (09/11/20) Marcia Frellick
Responses from physicians in eight countries show profound effects from COVID-19 on their personal and professional lives, according to the results of a Medscape survey. More than 7500 physicians ? nearly 5000 in the United States, and others in Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom ? responded to questions about their struggles to save patients and how the pandemic has changed their income and their lives at home and at work.
Medscape (09/11/20) Marcia Frellick
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USA Today (09/12/20) Jayne O'Donnell
As hospitals filled with COVID-19 patients and the coronavirus infected physicians and nurses, state medical boards took a hands-off approach to doctor discipline: Emergency actions against doctors' licenses dropped 59 percent from April through June of this year compared with the same period last year. Emergency license suspensions and restrictions dropped 85 percent in April alone, according to the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, which administers the National Practitioner Data Bank and provided the analysis to USA TODAY.
USA Today (09/12/20) Jayne O'Donnell
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AMA News Release (09/08/20)
The American Medical Association (AMA) today published an update to the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set that includes two code additions for reporting medical services sparked by the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The update to the CPT code set was approved by the CPT Editorial Panel, the independent body convened by the AMA with authority to expedite the review of proposed modifications and additions to the CPT code set.
AMA News Release (09/08/20)
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JAMA Surgery (09/09/20) Megan G. Janeway; Sabrina E. Sanchez; Qi Chen; et al.
Are patient race, health insurance status, and household income associated with the location (freestanding ambulatory surgery center vs hospital-based outpatient department) in which ambulatory surgery is performed? In this cohort study of 13 million patients who received ambulatory surgery in New York and Florida between 2011 and 2013, the likelihood of receiving surgery at a freestanding ambulatory surgery center compared with a hospital-based outpatient department was significantly lower among patients who were Black, had public health insurance, and resided in rural areas.
JAMA Surgery (09/09/20) Megan G. Janeway; Sabrina E. Sanchez; Qi Chen; et al.
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ASCA AFFILIATE LEADERS

News summaries © copyright 2020 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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