Message from the President

Orthopaedic Procedures in the ASC Setting

It doesn’t matter if you spell it orthopaedics or orthopedics, this specialty is very important to the ASC industry. As Baby Boomers, we have worn out our hyaline cartilage, torn our rotator cuffs and, in general, have worn out.

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Message from the CEO

Add Quality

One of the themes of this issue of ASC Focus is “quality improvement” and I’d like you to take a minute and reflect on what you are doing to keep your ASC staff abreast of current regulatory and operational requirements. Keeping current on these requirements can improve your ASC’s patient outcomes.

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As I See It

Stop Guessing, Start Measuring

Choose meaningful, data-based QAPI study topics

The purposes of quality assurance and performance improvement (QAPI) for ASCs are quite clear. In fact, they are spelled out for you: “quality assurance,” meaning care is maintained at an acceptable level, and “performance improvement,” meaning changes are implemented to strengthen operations.

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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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ASCA 2019

Change Opioid Prescribing Habits at Your ASC

Come to ASCA 2019 to learn how

During the past several decades, the US has experienced increasing problems with opioid abuse. To counter the epidemic, we conducted a study to identify internal improvement processes throughout one of the largest orthopedic practices in the US and its affiliated ASCs to promote and drive change in opioid-prescribing patterns in their physicians.

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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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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).

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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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Doing Business

Put Digital Charts to Work

Save time, improve efficiency and gain patient satisfaction

ASCs spend a lot of money on the materials needed to build a paper chart. Centers shell out roughly $7 per chart, and that doesn’t include the time and labor office staff invest in assembling, retrieving, taking apart and reassembling them. A typical ASC spends five minutes building a patient chart, which translates into an entire business day per month for every 100 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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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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CMS, ONC Release New Regulations on EHI

What these rules could mean for ASCs

On February 11, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) concurrently released two long-awaited federal regulations addressing health information technology (HIT). The two rules seek to ease the flow of healthcare information, both from provider to patient as well as between providers, and add to a continually expanding regulatory framework governing electronic health information (EHI).

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Host a Facility Tour

Help your member of Congress understand your ASC’s contributions to your community

ASCs provide high-quality, economically priced care, yet many policymakers don’t know about the countless benefits that ASCs provide to their patients and the community. Hosting a tour of your center for a policymaker gives you the unique opportunity to show them firsthand the benefits your ASC provides.

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Salary Survey Results Available in July

ASCA will release the results from its 2019 Salary & Benefits Survey in July. The survey collects national, regional and state data on more than 20 ASC positions and is a valuable resource that helps ASCs attract and retain the best employees.

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Web Crawl

Register for ASCA's National Advocacy Day

Participate in ASCA’s National Advocacy Day on Tuesday, September 24, and make your voice heard on Capitol Hill.

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