Message from the President

Let’s Celebrate 50 Years of Clinical Excellence With More Success

Without excellence in clinical care, we will, over time, become extinct. Just being the lower-cost provider is useless without the best clinical outcomes. When we combine these two pillars of the industry—lower cost and clinical excellence—we create value for our stakeholders.

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Message from the CEO

Are You on Top of Your Emergency Preparedness Plan?

One of the themes of this issue of ASC Focus is “emergency preparedness,” and as I write this column, Hurricane Dorian has just decimated parts of the Bahamas and created havoc along its entire path.

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As I See It

Improve the Patient Experience

Use technology, reimbursement and marketing strategies

Telehealth, wearable health tracking devices, cloud-based services and a seemingly unending list of technological innovations dominate today’s headlines, and all areas of healthcare incorporate technology. Your ASC’s revenue cycle is no exception.

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Q & A

ASCA CEO Discusses Proposed 2019 ASC Payment Rule

A Q&A with Bill Prentice

On July 25, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2019 proposed payment rule for ASCs and hospital outpatient departments (HOPD). ASCA Chief Executive Officer Bill Prentice talks about the policy changes proposed and the implications of those changes for ASCs.

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CMS Gives the Green Light to Exparel

Special coding considerations apply

With prescription opioid addiction surpassing epidemic proportions, any effective non-opioid pain management tool that might prevent further opioid misuse is certainly one to be embraced. According to a 2017 study by the National Safety Council, in the US, the odds of death by an opioid overdose (1:96) is more likely than death by a motor vehicle accident (1:103).

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Managing Medical Equipment

Follow accrediting bodies’ requirements

When a medical device arrives at an ASC it becomes subject to management under at least 14 different Elements of Performance (EP) within The Joint Commission (TJC) Environment of Care (EC) Standards, 2019 Environment of Care, Essentials for Health Care. However, it is important to understand that the requirements for all accrediting bodies stem from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines and are essentially the same from a medical equipment management perspective.

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HIPAA Biannual Update

July to December 2018

Since ASCA’s last update in July 2018, health care organizations across the country posted 163 breaches of protected health information (PHI) affecting 500 or more individuals.

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Legal Matters

Informed Consent Process in Ambulatory Surgery

Review state laws and AHRQ materials before creating your policy

In rare situations, the duration of the informed consent could present an issue. Some state laws presume that a written authorization signed by the patient is valid. Some states might specify the time frame in which consent remains valid; others require that consent be obtained no more than 30 days from the procedure. Therefore, checking state regulations is essential.

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Doing Business

The National Practitioner Data Bank and Your ASC

The federally run program prevents practitioners from moving without disclosing previous damaging performance

The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) is a federally run program managed by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

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Build a Data-Driven Marketing Program

Foster relationships by eliminating the guesswork

Relying on word-of-mouth to cultivate awareness is not enough to establish and build reputation among potential patients in today’s competitive healthcare marketplace. Patients are using various means to shop for and select their care providers, and it is helpful to have a marketing program that connects with people as they consider options.

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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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Quality Improvement

Implement a QMS for Device Processing

New systems benefit patients and staff

Joseph Juran, a leading expert in the quality industry and author of Juran’s Quality Handbook—The Complete Guide to Performance Excellence, defines “quality management” as all activities of the overall management function that determine the quality policy, objectives and responsibilities and implement them by such means as quality planning, quality control and quality improvement within the quality system.

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Enhance Cybersecurity in Your ASC

Try these low-cost strategies to stay ahead of the game

ASC owners and administrators sometimes hesitate to fund the expensive technologies they assume are required to improve cybersecurity at their center. In reality, some of the most effective preventive cybersecurity measures an ASC can put in place also are affordable. By addressing the “low-hanging fruit” of cybersecurity risk, ASCs can reduce vulnerability without breaking the bank.

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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

CMS Makes Significant Changes to ASC Conditions for Coverage

Impact on individual facilities varies widely based on state law and accrediting bodies

On September 25, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a final rule to relieve burden on healthcare providers by “removing unnecessary, obsolete or excessively burdensome Medicare compliance requirements for healthcare providers and suppliers.”

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Advocacy Spotlight

Use Research to Drive ASC Advocacy

Studies find that patient outcomes at surgery centers are equal to or better than other sites of service

Fact- and data-based studies that show ASCs provide high-quality and low-cost care make for a powerful tool to educate legislators about the many benefits ASCs provide.

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Last Chance to Register for the ASCA 2020 Winter Seminar

The ASCA 2020 Winter Seminar, January 16–18, in New Orleans, Louisiana, will offer three days of education designed specifically for ASC professionals.

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Web Crawl

Purchase ASCA’s 2020 Webinar All-Access Pass

Enjoy big savings on a full year of ASC education with ASCA’s 2020 Webinar All-Access Pass.

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