Message from the President

Role of ASCs in the Fight Against COVID-19

The COVID-19 battle rages on as the nation and its healthcare system struggle to get ahead of the pandemic.

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Message from the CEO

Help Your Patients Avoid Surprise Medical Bills

Whether you are talking to your patients, friends or family members, chances are someone has a story about a time they, or someone they know, received a medical bill they were not expecting. It also is likely that at least some of those invoices were for a significant amount of money.

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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

Supporting More Complex Orthopedics Cases in the ASC

Use technology to stay ahead

With advances in surgeon technique and surgical equipment, orthopedics cases once performed in the inpatient setting only are safely migrating their way to the outpatient setting. ASCs with orthopedic programs are increasingly performing these more complex cases and for good reasons: Adding such cases can be an effective way to enhance surgical volume while also expanding the types of high-quality, lower-cost cases available for their patient community.

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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, 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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Avoid Negligent Credentialing

Consider an automated management system

Credentialing in ASCs must be done in accordance with best practices and the standards set by the accreditation organizations.

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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

Adding Procedures to the ASC-Payable List

ASCA advocacy bears fruit

Advances in medical technology and changes in Medicare payment policy have expanded the list of procedures that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will reimburse ASCs for providing to the program’s beneficiaries. ASCA has advocated for its members and urged CMS to add procedures to the ASC-payable list that can be performed safely on the Medicare population in the ASC setting.

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Advocacy Spotlight

Understanding Sequestration

How it affects ASCs

Medicare spending is estimated to be $765 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2020. Most of that spending, like payments from Medicare to your ASC and physicians, is subject to a 2 percent reduction to what Medicare pays you, under what is called sequestration.

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ASCA Provides COVID-19 Resources Online

As response and recovery efforts tied to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve, ASCA is working with healthcare and regulatory officials to provide responsible, reliable resources to help ASCs respond to the crisis.

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Web Crawl

ASCA Celebrates 50 Years of ASCs

This year ASCA invites you to join in celebrating 50 years of ASCs by visiting our new anniversary website.

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