ASCA News Digest (September 14, 2021)

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ASCA HIGHLIGHTS

Join us next Tuesday, September 21, at 1:00 pm ET for the first webinar in the Administrator track. During How to Build a Useful, Engaging Employee Handbook—Review, Revise and Recirculate it Every Year, participants will learn how to review and revise their ASC’s employee handbook to communicate their facility’s policies, procedures and benefits and the expectations of its management effectively.

This webinar is also included in ASCA’s 2021 Webinar All-Access Pass, which provides access to all 17 webinars in this year’s series for one low fee.
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This Friday, September 17, is the deadline for ASCs to submit comments on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) 2022 proposed payment rule for ASCs and HOPDs. ASCA will once again submit comments raising industry-wide concerns, but it is important that CMS hears from individual centers as well. As a special member resource, ASCA staff have created sample comment letters that can provide a starting point if you wish to submit comments.

Submit your comments today.
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Renew your ASCA membership online today! 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. Renew during the month of September and lock in a discounted rate for 2022.

See all the ways you can put your ASCA benefits to good use.

Not yet a member? Join ASCA today.
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Prepare for the October Certified Ambulatory Infection Preventionist (CAIP)® exam by registering for Infection Prevention for ASCs On Demand.

During this course, you will get the resources you need to develop and maintain an infection prevention program that protects your patients and your ASC.
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In the newest episode of ASCA’s Advancing Surgical Care Podcast, “A Closer Look at Hospitals Without Walls,” Kara Newbury, ASCA’s regulatory counsel and director of Government Affairs, and Bill Prentice, ASCA’s chief executive officer, discuss the program’s first year, evaluate what worked and what did not and consider the future and long-term effects of this initiative. Read this Digital Debut to learn more about the Hospitals Without Walls (HWW) program.
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On September 7, ASCA submitted comments in response to “Requirements Related to Surprise Billing; Part I,” an interim final rule aimed at restricting excessive out-of-pocket costs to consumers from surprise billing and balance billing. This is the first in a series of regulations to implement the No Surprises Act, enacted on December 27, 2020. More rulemaking to implement the rest of the legislation is expected shortly.
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INDUSTRY NEWS

Fierce Healthcare (09/10/21) Paige Minemyer
Conducting common surgical procedures in ambulatory surgical centers can lead to significant savings for patients and payers, according to a new analysis from UnitedHealth Group researchers. The report finds that shifting outpatient procedures for non-complex, commercially insured people could reduce spending on these services by 59 percent.
Fierce Healthcare (09/10/21) Paige Minemyer
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EHR Intelligence (09/07/2021) Hannah Nelson
Almost all healthcare organizations that have implemented ambulatory surgery center (ASC) EHR systems report high clinician satisfaction and EHR usability, according to a recent KLAS report. As more medical care moves to ambulatory settings, ASCs are gaining momentum.
EHR Intelligence (09/07/2021) Hannah Nelson
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CNBC (09/09/21) Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra on Thursday unveiled the Biden administration’s road map to lowering the cost of prescription drugs.

The plan, summarized in a 29-page document, supports legislation that allows the federal government to negotiate lower prices on the costliest drugs each year and pass those savings on to private insurers.
CNBC (09/09/21) Berkeley Lovelace Jr.
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Joint Commission -- Improvement Insights (09/09/21) Katherine A. Bubric
Surgical counting is the process of accounting for all surgical items before, during and at the conclusion of a surgical procedure to ensure that no items are left inside the patient. On the surface, surgical counting may look like a simple task.
Joint Commission -- Improvement Insights (09/09/21) Katherine A. Bubric
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Fierce Healthcare (09/10/21) Robert King
An impending federal requirement for all healthcare staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine could exacerbate massive workforce shortage issues that are plaguing the hospital industry, a key industry group said. But other provider groups cheered the decision by the Biden administration to issue an emergency regulation next month that requires staff in hospitals and other facilities to get COVID-19 vaccinations or risk losing participation in Medicare and Medicaid.
Fierce Healthcare (09/10/21) Robert King
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FDA in Brief (09/08/21)
Patrizia Cavazzoni, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, says: “The opioid crisis continues to evolve and there are still relevant concerns with overprescribing, especially among vulnerable populations. Although many public and private entities have independently implemented their own education programs and other interventions to encourage safe and effective prescribing practices for opioid analgesics, there is no consistent education that all prescribers are required to take about the safe use of opioid medicines.
FDA in Brief (09/08/21)
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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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