Message from the President

Staying Safe and Keeping Patients Informed During a Pandemic

As the world works out how to live with COVID-19, we, the healthcare providers and facilities, have an obligation to keep our patients informed, safe and educated.

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Message from the CEO

Impact of Deferring Elective Surgeries

The COVID-19 lockdown halted elective surgeries and moved most routine care online. This difficult step was necessary to save space in hospitals for those who needed immediate care and to make sure that our healthcare workers had sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE).

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As I See It

Crisis Can Fuel Positive Change

Lessons learned from COVID-19

The world has changed rapidly and profoundly for all of us. Every aspect of our lives has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

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Doing Business

Considering Single-Use Products

With the coronavirus among us, disposable instruments might be the way to go

In this new reality impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare facilities, including ASCs, are being asked to answer difficult questions.

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ASCA 2020

Make the Most of Joint Ventures

Get the best from your hospital partnership

With hospitals increasingly looking to participate in the ASC industry and physicians increasingly looking for a health system partner, a mutually beneficial hospital-physician joint venture relationship is more important for the ASC industry now than ever in the past.

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History and Role of MedPAC

Where do ASCs fit in

On two mornings every month between September and January, a long line of people waits to enter a wood-paneled meeting room in the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown Washington, DC. Whether they are lobbyists, regulatory consultants or patient advocates, the people in line all have a special interest in health policy.

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Host Facility Tours

Educate your lawmakers and advocate for ASCs

In 2019, ASCA members hosted facility tours for state and federal lawmakers representing diverse constituencies across the country. These tours helped shore up support for ASCs among longstanding legislators and introduced new state and federal officials to the ASC setting.

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ASC Valuation and Transaction Trends

Transaction activity remains robust, more HOPDs convert to ASCs and median reported EBITDA multiples continue to increase

HealthCare Appraisers released its 2020 ASC Valuation and Benchmarking Survey in spring. ASCA collaborated with HealthCare Appraisers on conducting the survey, which includes insights from owners and managers of more than 1,200 ASCs throughout the US.

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In Memoriam

ASC community remembers a beloved leader

Randy Leffler, 51, executive director of the Ohio Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers (OAASC), passed away last December.

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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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How to Correctly Code and Bill for Premium IOLs

Watch out for these potential problem areas

Several compliance issues could come up with the use of intraocular lenses (IOL) used in cataract cases performed on Medicare patients in ASCs. These compliance issues involve the use of premium lenses.

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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, healthcare 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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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 US 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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COVID-19 Pandemic Shifts ASC Technology Priorities

Remote collaboration once deemed ‘nice to have’ has now become a must-have

In contrast to hospitals that were forced to adopt technology in response to legislation and regulatory developments like the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) and meaningful use incentive program, ASC technology adoption has largely been driven by a competitive desire and a way to reduce costs.

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Preparing for and Responding to a Data Breach

Have a written plan, implement it in a timely manner and communicate with your patients

ASCs are attractive targets for cybercriminals. Surgery centers collect and store vast amounts of sensitive personal information. This is highly valued as it can be used for identity theft, blackmail and extortion.

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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.

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Regulatory Review

The Evolution of Device-Intensive Procedures

How we got here

A question that ASCA staff get commonly is how does the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reimburse for devices?

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Advocacy Spotlight

ASCA Advocacy in Action

The association has worked with the government successfully to improve the options for care for Medicare beneficiaries

Over the years, ASCA has had many successes in changing federal policy with the support and help of its members. Looking back over at our successes on the federal level over the last few years, 2016 stands out.

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Renew Your ASCA Membership for 2021

Make sure you can continue to take advantage of all your member benefits. Members can renew online or by writing LaToya Millet and requesting an invoice.

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Web Crawl

On Demand Access to ASCA 2020 Ends October 31

ASCA’s first-ever virtual conference is available on demand through October 31. This is your last chance to watch recordings of all the sessions, earn up to 26 continuing education credits and visit the virtual expo hall.

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