ASCA News Digest (September 29, 2020)

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ASCA HIGHLIGHTS

Being an ASCA member gives you and your staff access to vital educational resources, timely networking, essential news, information and tools that apply daily in your practice. Don’t delay—renew your membership today to make sure you have continuing access to these valuable benefits into the new year.

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ASCA’s first-ever virtual conference is available on demand for only one more month! Through October 31, you can watch recordings of all the sessions and visit the virtual expo hall. Be sure to take advantage of this time. If you start now and watch just one session each week, you can earn 5+ CE credits!

Session highlights include Building a Robotics Program, in which participants will examine the strategic decisions behind investing in robotic technology in the ASC setting.

Sign up for ASCA 2020 today!
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During ASCA’s webinar, What Do I Have to Complete…and When?, scheduled for next Tuesday, October 6, at 1:00 pm ET, participants will get checklists of the things an ASC administrator needs to remember and gain practical tips and strategies designed to help busy administrators stay on track. 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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How does your ASC’s performance compare to similar facilities? Find out by subscribing to ASCA's 2020 Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey. This valuable survey provides access to a full year of national comparison data you can use to improve clinical outcomes, billing performance, staffing and more at your ASC.

Purchase your subscription today!
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This week ASCA released a new analysis of Medicare payment data, conducted by KNG Health Consulting LLC, that shows performing outpatient surgery procedures in ASCs instead of HOPDs from 2011 through 2018 saved Medicare $28.7 billion. The analysis projects that without any policy changes, procedures provided to Medicare patients in ASCs are expected to reduce program costs by an additional $73.4 billion from 2019 to 2028. Read this Digital Debut to learn more on the study’s findings.
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The deadline to submit comments on Medicare’s 2021 proposed ASC payment rule is just one week away. ASCA staff have created sample comment letters (available to ASCA members only) and other talking points to consider for inclusion in your comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (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
Be sure to submit your comments by next Monday, October 5.
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INDUSTRY NEWS

Madison365.com (09/28/20) David Dahmer
When "Black Panther" star Chadwick Boseman recently died at the young age of 43 after being diagnosed with colon cancer, many medical professionals and social workers felt a renewed urgency to talk about the rise of incidence of colon cancer in young people and to share information on screening, symptoms and prevention of colorectal cancer, especially for an African-American population, who are more likely to develop colorectal cancer at a younger age and to be at a more advanced stage when diagnosed. "We think that the racial disparities we see are something that we can really start chipping away at," Dr. John Eason, an associate professor of sociology at UW-Madison, tells Madison365, "but it starts with getting information out there and making sure that people know their family history."
Madison365.com (09/28/20) David Dahmer
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GAO Reports (09/20)
In the government’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Congress and the administration have taken action on multiple fronts to address challenges that have contributed to catastrophic loss of life and profound economic disruption. These actions have helped direct much-needed federal assistance to support many aspects of public life, including local public health systems and private-sector businesses.
GAO Reports (09/20)
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AMA News Release (09/21/20)
The American Medical Association (AMA) strongly supports provisions in the Continuing Resolution that will offer relief to hard-pressed physician practices. Revisions to the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Payments program (AAP) will help keep doors open during the pandemic and continue to offer patients access at this time. "Upon passage of the Continuing Resolution, patients should know that their physician is more likely to weather the pandemic's economic challenges. Congress recognized the danger, and rightfully modified the program so physicians can keep seeing patients," said AMA President Susan R. Bailey, M.D.
AMA News Release (09/21/20)
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Health Leaders Media (09/15/20) Christopher Cheney
A coalition of 27 organizations convened by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement has launched an initiative to improve coordination of patient safety work nationwide. Patient safety has been a pressing issue in healthcare since 1999, with the publication of the landmark report To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System.
Health Leaders Media (09/15/20) Christopher Cheney
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Medscape (09/25/20) Ken Terry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which recently trumpeted the success of accountable care organizations (ACOs) in the Medicare Shared Savings Program, is endangering the ability of ACOs to succeed next year by proposing new regulations on how quality is assessed and how quality data is reported, say the National Association of ACOs and leading medical and hospital associations in a September 23 letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma. Among the signers of the letter, besides the National Association of ACOs, are the American College of Physicians, the American Medical Association, America's Essential Hospitals, America's Physician Groups, AMGA, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Federation of American Hospitals, the Medical Group Management Association, and Premier Inc.
Medscape (09/25/20) Ken Terry
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Anaesthesia (08/17/20) A. Van Harten; H. G. Gooszen; J. J. Koksma; et al.
Several studies have reported on the negative impact of interruptions and distractions on anaesthetic, surgical and team performance in the operating theatre. This study aimed to gain a deeper understanding of these events and why they remain part of everyday clinical practice.
Anaesthesia (08/17/20) A. Van Harten; H. G. Gooszen; J. J. Koksma; 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.

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