ASCA News Digest (April 20, 2021)

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ASCA HIGHLIGHTS

The ASCA 2021 Virtual Conference is almost here! This year’s virtual conference starts live next Monday, April 26, and continues on May 3 and May 10. All sessions will also be recorded and available to view on demand afterwards. That means if you can’t attend a session during its scheduled time, you can watch it later at your convenience.

For more than two decades, ASCA’s annual conference has remained the premier, can’t-miss event for the ASC community—and this year’s conference is no different. ASCA 2021 will feature nearly 50 educational sessions, ample networking opportunities and a virtual expo hall filled with ASC industry vendors. Don’t miss out—register now!
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On a call with ASC Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program support staff last week, ASCA staff learned that 2,000 ASCs still have not registered to report their Medicare quality data and the registration process can take several weeks. As a reminder, ASCs that fail to report by the deadline are subject to a 2 percent cut to their fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare reimbursements for the following year.

ASCA is advising all ASCs that plan to submit quality data but have not yet registered to do so immediately so that they can meet the reporting deadline of May 17, 2021.
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The data submission period for the first quarter (Q1) of ASCA’s 2021 Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey will close next Friday, April 30, at 11:59 pm ET. Q1 reports will be available on May 15.

This year the survey includes several exciting new features, including a new specialty-specific section for ophthalmology procedures and free access to the new ASCA e-booklet Benchmarking Basics for ASCs. If you have not yet purchased your subscription, subscribe today!
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In March, ASCA announced a new 401(k) retirement plan benefit available exclusively to ASCA members. The ASCA Member Association Retirement Plan is designed to allow participating facilities an opportunity to reduce their administrative burden, streamline employee benefit offerings and offload fiduciary liability. This program provides an excellent opportunity to help your employees save for retirement, reduce plan administration and allow your facility to focus on its primary mission of providing top-quality patient care. Learn more.
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On April 14, President Joe Biden signed H.R. 1868 into law. This legislation will extend the suspension of 2 percent sequestration cuts to Medicare reimbursement through the end of the year. ASCA and its members’ advocacy played an important role in this bill getting signed into law and ensuring that ASCs will continue to receive this form of financial support. Read this Digital Debut for a better glimpse of ASCA advocacy in action.
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On March 26, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released interpretive guidelines and updates to Appendix Z of the State Operations Manual (SOM) as a result of the revisions of the Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Regulatory Provisions to Promote Program Efficiency, Transparency, and Burden Reduction (CoPs) (CMS 3346-F) Final Rule (Burden Reduction Rule) that became effective November 29, 2019.
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Register today for a unique virtual focus group experience to share your industry knowledge and expertise!

Provation is looking for administrators and executives of multispecialty ASCs to participate in an interactive discussion on a documentation solution that will capture patient encounters and allow for reporting across specialties. Participants will have the opportunity to provide direct input into the multispecialty strategy and product roadmap of one of the leading providers of healthcare software and SaaS solutions for ASCs.

***This is a sponsored program with the support of ASCA. For information about sponsorship opportunities available from ASCA, please reach out to Alex Yewdell.***
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INDUSTRY NEWS

JD Supra (04/13/21) Nelson Mullins
In four different bills introduced over the last month, North Carolina’s General Assembly is once again proposing changes to North Carolina’s certificate of need ("CON") law, first enacted in 1971. This law extensively regulates the acquisition, development and expansion of a variety of health care services in North Carolina, such as hospital beds, operating rooms, ambulatory surgery facilities, MRI scanners and long-term care facilities.
JD Supra (04/13/21) Nelson Mullins
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Managed Healthcare Executive (04/21) Tara Vail
In 2009, hospitals and doctors were given financial incentives to adopt electronic health records through the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. Ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) were not eligible for these funds, and were therefore not incentivized like the rest of the healthcare system to implement the technology.
Managed Healthcare Executive (04/21) Tara Vail
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National Law Review (04/09/21) Chris M. Morrison
At the end of March, Florida joined the roster of states that have erected legal shields for health care providers against COVID-19-oriented liability claims. Concerned about uncertainty surrounding the emergency measures taken in response to COVID-19 and the effects that lawsuits could have on the economic recovery and the ability of health care providers to remain focused on serving the needs of their communities, the Florida Legislature passed CS/SB 72 on March 29, 2021.
National Law Review (04/09/21) Chris M. Morrison
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Journal of Arthroplasty (04/21) Pramod Kamalapathy; Kristina Kurker; Alyssa Althoff; et al.
The effect of pre-existing mental illness on outpatient surgical outcomes is not well characterized. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between preexisting mental illness diagnosis and postoperative complications following outpatient total knee and total hip arthroplasty and compare to inpatient total joint arthroplasty.
Journal of Arthroplasty (04/21) Pramod Kamalapathy; Kristina Kurker; Alyssa Althoff; et al.
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Upper Michigans Source (04/15/21) Noel Navarro
The newest and only ambulatory surgery center in Upper Michigan addresses the need for same-day treatment that allows you to recover comfortably in your home. The Upper Peninsula Surgery Center in Marquette, owned by Upper Michigan Associates, offers outpatient surgical care for the eyes, bones and joints.
Upper Michigans Source (04/15/21) Noel Navarro
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Community Impact Newspaper (04/09/21) Eva Vigh
HCA Healthcare Ambulatory Surgery Division broke ground this week on a new, multispecialty ambulatory surgery center, Willis Surgery Center, according to an April 9 news release from HCA Healthcare. The new, single-story ambulatory surgery center, located at 9863 FM 1097 Road West, Willis, is set to be complete in spring 2022, is affiliated with HCA Houston Healthcare Conroe and is jointly owned with HCA Healthcare.
Community Impact Newspaper (04/09/21) Eva Vigh
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News summaries © copyright 2021 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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