Message from the President

Patient Care and the ASC Value Proposition

Exceptional patient care and safety have always been the top priorities for ASCs, and that has not changed since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared.

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Message from the CEO

News You Can Use

As I write this column, we are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. ASCA continues to work with the Trump administration and Congress to ensure ASCs can fully support COVID-19 response efforts across the country.

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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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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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As I See It

Options for Controlled Drug Registration

What ASCs need to know

When an ASC’s controlled drug license is set to expire and requires renewal, the surgery center has options for the go-forward “registrant” designation.

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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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Doing Business

Keys to Case Profitability

Manage payers proactively and control costs

As the cost of delivering healthcare continues to rise, ASC reimbursement is getting tighter, necessitating even closer cost monitoring and a proactive stance on payer contracts and collection.

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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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Drop a Text

Communicate money matters with your patients like financial institutions do

Patients have a lot on their minds when it comes to preparing for, undergoing and recovering from surgery, so financial obligations are typically not at or sometimes anywhere near the top.

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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

Coronavirus Federal Legislative Roundup

A look back at Congress’s work on the first four COVID-19 bills

Since the threat of the coronavirus came into sharper relief earlier this year, the federal government has taken many steps to support and provide regulatory flexibility to ASCs and other healthcare providers and shore up other sectors of the economy.

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Advocacy Spotlight

ASCA Honors Industry Stalwarts

Bill Wilcox, Randy Leffler receive Nap Gary Award

ASCA named Bill Wilcox, retired vice chairman of Tenet Healthcare Corporation in Dallas, Texas, and retired chairman and chief executive officer of United Surgical Partners International (USPI) in Addison, Texas, and Randy Leffler, the recently deceased executive director of the Ohio Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers, as the recipients of its 2020 Nap Gary Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the ASC Community.

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Celebrate National ASC Month

Join ASCs across the country this August to celebrate 50 years of ASCs during National ASC Month.

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Web Crawl

Q2 Benchmarking Reports Available August 15

The data submission period for the second quarter (Q2) of ASCA’s 2020 Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey closed July 31.

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