ASCA News Digest (November 24, 2020)

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ASCA HIGHLIGHTS

Register before midnight tomorrow to save $50 on ASCA’s new virtual courses for ASC administrators and infection preventionists:
  • Infection Prevention for ASCs, February 1 & 2, 2021: Get the resources you need to develop and maintain an infection prevention program that protects your patients and your ASC.
  • Management Essentials for ASC Administrators, March 1 & 2, 2021: Learn what every ASC leader needs to know about compliance, finance, quality management and human resources—and how to keep up with the latest information about these critical operational areas.
Each course takes place over two half days. You can participate in the live events or watch recordings of the sessions at your convenience. The $50 discount ends tomorrow, so register now to save!
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Learn more about ASCA’s decision to make ASCA 2021 an entirely virtual event, what to expect during the conference and how these decisions are affecting ASCA’s legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts in the newest episode of ASCA’s Advancing Surgical Care Podcast.

More information about the ASCA 2021 Virtual Conference—now scheduled for April 26, May 3 and May 10, 2021—will be posted on ASCA’s website as it becomes available. Register for ASCA 2021.
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The pandemic continues and communities across the country are seeing surges in the number of diagnosed cases of COVID-19. As those numbers multiply, so do the numbers and kinds of questions policymakers and the media are asking ASCA about the safety of outpatient surgery at this time.

ASCA needs good information to be able to advocate for you in Washington, DC, and your state capitol, so please take a few minutes to complete this brief survey. This survey closes tomorrow, November 25, so if you haven’t already submitted your data, please do so now.
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On November 20, ASCA Board members had the opportunity to speak with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma and other senior officials about how the federal government can best leverage ASCs in light of recent COVID-19 surges. As follow-up to the call, ASCA submitted suggestions to CMS as to how the agency could provide more flexibility to ASCs which would allow them to handle more outpatient cases that need to be redirected from the hospitals.
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is granting exceptions for ASC Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program requirements to ASCs located in areas designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the California wildfire (DR-4558-CA), Oregon wildfire (DR-4562-OR) and Louisiana Hurricane Laura (DR-4559-LA) disaster declarations. ASCs that are impacted by these declarations are exempt from data collection and submission requirements that apply for the remainder of Calendar Year (CY) 2020 that relate to CY 2022 payment determinations.
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Any changes in the composition of government could have a significant impact on the ASC community, including on legislation that aims to tackle the barriers to the growth of our healthcare delivery model like the Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality and Access Act. Read this Digital Debut for more on the implications of this general election on the ASC community.
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On November 12, ASCA joined other healthcare associations in sending a letter to Congress urging that the suspension of Medicare sequestration payment cuts be extended through the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (H.R. 748) suspended sequestration through December 31, 2020.
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No Focus Weekly this Friday
The weekly ASC Focus email will not be published this Friday, November 27, because of the Thanksgiving holidays. We wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving.
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INDUSTRY NEWS

Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (11/11/20)
On April 29, 2020, the ASA and APSF released "Joint Statement on Perioperative Testing for the COVID-19 Virus." This statement currently is undergoing revision, and the updated statement will be provided as soon as it is available.
Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (11/11/20)
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Joint Commission (11/17/20)
The Joint Commission has released Speak Up For Safe Surgery, a new educational campaign to help patients advocate for safer surgery. According to the new guidance, patients can help ensure their surgery is safe and successful by being an informed member of the care team.
Joint Commission (11/17/20)
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Policy and Medicine (11/22/2020) Thomas Sullivan
On Friday, November 20, 2020, United States President Donald Trump and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced the long-awaited seven-year Most Favored Nation model, issued as an interim final rule. The interim final rule will start to phase in almost immediately, with the first performance year starting on January 1, 2021.
Policy and Medicine (11/22/2020) Thomas Sullivan
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HHS News Release (11/20/20)
Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published two final rules that aim to reduce regulatory barriers to care coordination and accelerate the transformation of the healthcare system into one that pays for value and promotes the delivery of coordinated care. The rules provide greater flexibility for healthcare providers to participate in value-based arrangements and to provide coordinated care for patients.
HHS News Release (11/20/20)
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AMA News Release (11/16/20)
As the U.S. continues to break single-day records for the numbers of confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses, many of the nation’s physicians continue to report problems accessing the personal protective equipment (PPE) that is essential to limiting further spread of SARS-CoV-2. More than one-third of the 3,500 doctors responding to an AMA survey on COVID-19's financial impact on physician practices said that acquiring PPE was "very" or "extremely" difficult.
AMA News Release (11/16/20)
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Healio Gastroenterology (11/02/20) Alex Young
Scheduling a repeat colonoscopy the day after inadequate preparation may give a better chance for adequate prep and improve adenoma detection in a veteran population, according to research presented at the ACG Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting. In her presentation, Erin Bouquet, MD, from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said current guidelines suggest that repeat colonoscopy after poor preparation should be completed within 1 year.
Healio Gastroenterology (11/02/20) Alex Young
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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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