Departments

Departments

 

Message from the President

Apply the Pareto Principle at Your ASC

Networking with participants at ASCA’s annual meetings each year always reminds me of the incredible people who work in this industry. Their passion and dedication for those we serve is inspiring. Once we “sharpen our saw” with this great educational opportunity each year, we return to our centers and look for areas of improvement. We need to continuously search for these opportunities in our quest to provide outstanding care and service to all our customers—our patients, physicians and team members—because this is what sets us apart.


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Message from the CEO

New Credential Recognizes Infection Prevention Expertise

ASC professionals with specialized knowledge and skills in infection prevention can now demonstrate their expertise through an infection prevention certification program introduced this year by the Board of Ambulatory Surgery Certification (BASC). The new Certified Ambulatory Infection Preventionist (CAIP) program also provides an opportunity for infection preventionists (IP) working in the ASC setting to distinguish themselves from IPs who work in other settings and to demonstrate their commitment to best practices in infection prevention and control.


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As I See It

Innovations in Ophthalmic Outpatient Surgery

Opportunities and challenges for ASCs

What do ophthalmic surgeons want in an ASC?

We frequently hear this question from ASCs that are considering adding ophthalmic surgery as a specialty.


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ASCA 2018

Applying Moneyball to Your ASC

Use meaningful KPIs to help drive your business forward

Going . . . going . . . gone! Everyone wants the homerun hitting hero on their team. And, for many years, professional baseball teams paid big money to sign up the likes of Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa.


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Coding

Applying NFPA 99 to Your ASC

The Health Care Facilities Code identifies provisions for maintaining building systems

Health care facilities, including ASCs, contain many building systems and equipment that are unique compared to other occupancies. Those systems play a vital role in providing care to patients and are a key component in patient outcomes. Even those systems that are not unique to health care can have more importance in facilities that are occupied by the sick, weak or otherwise compromised (i.e., individuals who are sedated or under anesthesia). The continual upkeep of these systems and equipment is essential to providing safe patient care.


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Compliance

Make HIPAA Compliance a Top Priority

Avoid these missteps in your ASC

Despite extensive media coverage regarding the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) compliance audits and penalties, HIPAA compliance programs still are not given top billing in some ASCs.


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Regulations

OSHA Updates Its Regulations

Learn how to implement the revised reporting requirements

In 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a proposed rule to improve the tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses through the electronic collection of establishment-specific injury and illness data. After receiving comments on the proposal, OSHA issued the final rule that became effective January 1, 2017 (Occupational Safety and Health Administration 29 CFR Part 1904). For more information on the final rule, click here. Although ASCs are partially exempt from some of the requirements in that rule, they are subject to a requirement that prohibits employers from discouraging workers from reporting an injury or illness.


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Doing Business

Is Staff Hours Per Case a Reliable Labor Metric?

How to best measure employee productivity in the perioperative environment

I was driven to write this because managers/administrators get blamed for high and inconsistent staff hours per case (SH/C), when the reason for this outcome might be completely out of their control. When managers are pushed to lower SH/C they might inadvertently lower their staffing assignments to a point below what is acceptable for safe clinical care. When that happens, you will have problems ranging from sub-par patient and physician experiences—resulting in poor online reviews and lost cases—to bad clinical outcomes.


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Insurance

Trends in Medical Risk Transfer

Risks that are uninsurable or prohibitively expensive to insure might call for alternative risk transfer

In an ever-changing world, it is no secret that risks associated with ASCs also are evolving. Trends in medical risk transfer, however, are generally not related to ordinary risks but rather nontraditional—low frequency/high severity—risks. If these risks occur, they have the ability to bring a practice to a screeching halt. Examples of such risks include: loss or suspension of professional license, legislative and regulatory changes, cyber risk (breach of customer data and detrimental code) and related Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) violations.


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Legislature

ASCA Advocates for Fair Implementation of Section 603

Congress passes site-neutral payment legislation

On November 2, 2015, congressional leaders and the Obama administration announced a bipartisan budget agreement that would fund the federal government for two years, raise the nation’s debt ceiling and stave off Medicare premium increases for beneficiaries. The final legislation, called the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, responded to a number approaching fiscal deadlines and leadership changes in the House that could have impacted the ability to strike such a deal.


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Technology

Rein in Surgical Case Coordination Inefficiencies

Cloud-based technology can help ASCs overcome fragmented case communication issues

Designed to be efficient, ASCs provide a more focused and specialized approach to surgeries without the costly overhead typical in a hospital environment. The result is high-quality care with better patient satisfaction. When it comes to surgical case coordination, however, the natural evolution of technology and communication has created a fragmented mess involving email, text messages, phone calls, white boards and word of mouth.


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Finances

Take Your ASC Revenue Cycle to the Next Level

Your employees are the most important tool to success

We all know every penny counts, but the rapidly changing rules surrounding ASC reimbursement can make revenue cycle management difficult. We can be ready for whatever changes come our way if we have the right tools, anticipate and adapt. When we think “tools,” we generally think software, hardware and medical equipment, but the most important tool for an ASC’s success is something else that is sometimes forgotten. More on that later. Below are a few tips to manage your revenue cycle successfully.


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Regulatory Review

The History and Regulation of EHRs

ASCA is working with the government to create an ASC-specific certification

In recent years, health information technology (HIT) has been the talk of the health care industry. Central to this discussion are products known as electronic health records (EHR), systems that electronically capture patient-provider encounter information, securely store the digital information and make it available for future reference. The potential benefits of such a system are boundless: streamlined provider workflows, increased information sharing across sites of service, reduction in medical errors, increased patient access to their health record, better medication tracking and more. Developing and implementing tailored, functional EHRs, however, has been a rocky road even for those with time and resources.


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Advocacy Spotlight

Celebrate National ASC Month in August

Host a facility tour and invite your state representative

While awareness of the ASC industry has grown, many lawmakers still lack a full understanding of how ASCs positively affect America’s health care industry. Facility tours play a powerful role in educating lawmakers and influencing the legislative process. During the facility visit, policymakers directly observe how their policies affect patients and ASCs.


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ASCA News

Attend ASCA’s May Webinars

ASCA will offer two webinars this month: “Cut Costs with a Collaborative Effort inside Your ASC” on Tuesday, May 8, and “In Print, On Air and Online: The Challenges and Opportunities of Media Relations” on Tuesday, May 22. Both programs will be held at 1:00 pm ET.


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Web Crawl

Q1 Benchmarking Data Collection Now Open

Data collection for the first quarter (Q1) of ASCA’s Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey will be open April 1–30. Submit your data by April 30, and your Q1 report will be available on May 15. It is not too late to purchase a 2018 subscription. ASCA members pay $329; nonmembers pay $499.


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