Message from the President

Staying on Our Toes

New Year’s greetings.

“The old order changeth, yielding place to new,” and along with the new, come changes. The ASC industry is known for its ability to be nimble and adapt quickly to the ever-changing health care landscape. This flexibility keeps us at the top of our game to ensure we continue to provide high-quality, cost-effective health care to our customers.

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Message from the CEO

Are you Ready for ASCA 2018?

As all of us here at ASCA are gearing up for ASCA 2018, April 11–14, in Boston, I want to encourage anyone who hasn’t already registered for this meeting to sign up now.

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As I See It

Ins and Outs of H&P

Make sure you know the how, what and when behind these critical assessments

The minimum requirement for a preop history and physical (H&P) is well defined in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Conditions for Coverage (CfC).

  1. According to §416.52 Conditions for Coverage Q-0261 (Rev. 71, Issued: 05-13-11, Effective: 5-13-11-Implementation: 05-13- 11) §416.52(a) Standard: Admission and Pre-surgical Assessment: Not more than 30 days before the date of the scheduled surgery, each patient must have a comprehensive medical history and physical assessment completed by a physician (as defined in section 1861(r) of the Act) or other qualified practitioner in accordance with applicable State health and safety laws, standards of practice, and ASC policy. (Please check your state and accrediting body requirements to ensure you will not be held to a more stringent timeframe).

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ASCA 2018

Use TeamSTEPPS to Communicate Effectively

Attend ASCA 2018 to find out more

Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (Team- STEPPS) is an evidence-based set of teamwork tools aimed at optimizing patient outcomes by improving communication and teamwork skills among health care professionals.

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Coding Audits

Keep your ASC safe from hacking

What are the sounds of silence? Announce a coding audit during your next staff meeting and you will quickly find out.

This feared exercise need not inspire dread. In fact, while a coding audit might seem stressful, it is a straightforward, valuable learning opportunity that can position a facility for long-term success in today’s fast-changing, hypercompetitive health care market. Through regular coding audits, ASCs can improve compliance, eliminate inefficiencies and optimize revenue and financial performance.

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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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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

OR Utilization

The double-edged sword

Everyone wants their ASC to be busy, their operating rooms (OR) full and their profits rolling in. What is the definition of “full” and can a center be “too full” or “too busy?”

When we talk about how busy a center is, we are talking about OR utilization. How well are you using your fixed capacity (ORs) to drive your revenue (cases)?

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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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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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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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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

TKA Comes Off the Inpatient-Only List

What are the implications for ASCs?

One of the most heavily discussed policy changes in the calendar year (CY) 2018 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) was the removal of total knee arthroplasty (TKA), CPT 27447, from Medicare’s inpatient-only (IPO) list as of January 1, 2018. While TKA is not on the ASC-payable list, its removal from the inpatient-only list is a positive step toward reimbursement in the ASC setting for fee-for-service Medicare patients.

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Advocacy Spotlight

PAC Talk

ASCAPAC thanks its donors

Only members of ASCA are eligible to contribute and solicit contributions to ASCAPAC.

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Get 24/7 Access to ASCA’s 2018 Webinar Series

ASCA’s 2018 webinar series will deliver essential ASC management advice from top experts in areas ranging from regulatory compliance and infection control to managing human resources risk and improving collections in your ASC.

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Web Crawl

Get Your CE Credits For 2018 Winter Seminars

Those who attended ASCA’s 2018 Winter Seminars, January 11–13, in Las Vegas, Nevada, have until February 28, 2018, to submit the evaluations needed to get their nursing contact hours and/or administrator education units (AEUs) for these programs.

Attendees submitting coding contact hours will need to follow the directions established by AAPC.

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