Departments

Departments

Message from the President

Let’s Renew Our Commitment to Staff and Compliance

Summer is in full swing and vacations are on everyone’s schedules. Meanwhile, ASCs are adjusting to updated guidance the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released recently and staffing continues to challenge us all.


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Message from the CEO

News from ASCA

Summer is on us. While this is the time when many of us go on vacation, I want to take a moment to tell you about what ASCA is doing for you and your ASC.


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As I See It

Pre-Plan Your ASC Build

Select the delivery method and equipment that is right for you

If you are thinking of building an ASC, it pays to follow proven processes that lead to maximum return on investment.


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Doing Business

Engage Physicians Effectively

Necessary tips for success

Successful ASCs rely on strong and efficient partnerships with physicians. As ASCs continue to expand and strengthen their role in the healthcare delivery system, it is critical that the industry continues to evolve by finding more effective and efficient ways to engage physicians.


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ASCA 2022

Who Signs on the Dotted Line?

Come to ASCA 2022 to learn how to avoid legal risks during the informed consent process

When we are out doing surveys, we see that people do not have a clear understanding of the informed consent process. The process is more than just a form that needs to be signed before a procedure. It involves multiple steps.


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Medicare

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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Advocacy

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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Trends

Sg2 Annual Report Projects Double-Digit ASC Growth

Expansion expected in nearly all major specialties

ASCs will see 15 percent and 25 percent growth in the next 5 and 10 years, respectively, according to Sg2’s 2022 Impact of Change Forecast Highlights.


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Awards

Nap Gary’s Legacy Continues Through ASCA Lifetime Award

Who can nominate and how

The ASCA Board of Directors established the Nap Gary Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the ASC Community to recognize individuals whose contributions have made a difference in the ASC industry.


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Tribute

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

Bundling Care

An ASC director of operations discusses value-based payments in her surgery center

Becky Ziegler-Otis, CASC, ASCA Board member and director of operations for revenue cycle at Ambulatory Surgical Center of Stevens Point in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, recently talked with ASC Focus about how the center’s prior experience with bundled payments helped prepare it to participate in WC Bundled Payments, Trilogy Health Solutions’ workers’ compensation cost-containment program.


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Coding

Hurdles Slowing Down Migration of Procedures

Barriers to moving complex procedures from HOPDs to your ASC

CY 2021 brought policy and reimbursement changes that would seem to position ASCs favorably for an obvious migration of cases from the hospital outpatient department (HOPD) to the ASC.


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Improve Claim Compliance

Use correct modifiers

In the coding world, modifiers are two-digit symbols added to CPT procedure codes to signify the procedure has been altered in some way.


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Compliance

Eliminate Common ASC Coding and Billing Compliance Issues

Follow these steps

Noncompliant coding and billing can lead to increased denials, missed reimbursement opportunities and unnecessary refunds. Additionally, poor compliance outcomes harm surgeon and patient satisfaction and could lead to more serious consequences, including loss of payer contracts and legal ramifications.


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Regulations

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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Marketing

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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Insurance

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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Legislature

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

Stay on the Forefront of Efficiency and Quality

Consider these new strategies

During the last 27 years, as an ophthalmic surgeon, I also was part owner of an ASC in Washington, DC. While I was able to transition successfully, I wish I had had many of the tools and features available today that would have made my life easier and my business more profitable.


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Technology

Air-Cleaning Options for Facility Hygiene

Purification systems and UV-C technology help reduce the spread of infectious particles

Now that we know that COVID-19 can be airborne during medical procedures that generate aerosols, implementing technologies and best practices that limit the potential exposure of pathogens in aerosols has become essential.


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Infection Prevention

Build an Effective Infection Prevention Program

Rely on sound policies, careful training and accountability

ASC employees often wear multiple hats and fill multiple roles that are normally individualized at larger facilities. In some cases, surgery centers have tight reprocessing areas or limited equipment, tools or chemistries to reprocess devices. Having access to the most updated instructions for use (IFU) is critical for success in this field and these situations.


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Cybersecurity

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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Finances

Review Key Revenue Cycle Metrics as Your ASC Grows

Consider improving processes in these four areas as your center adds more complex procedures to its list

Driven by continuous successful outcomes in the outpatient setting, ASCs have emphasized incorporating more complex procedures into their repertoires as a formative growth strategy.


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Billing

Is Your Billing Team Performing Optimally?

Take a deep dive into your processes to decide

Your ASC is well-positioned in the community. It has a good reputation, as do your providers. Your caseload is steady or perhaps growing. You have a happy, busy staff.


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Regulatory Review

What to Know about the No Surprises Act in Year One

Surgery centers should be aware of upcoming changes

The No Surprises Act (NSA) has new requirements for ASCs that fall under two major categories: disclosure of patient protections and good faith estimates. With regard to disclosures, all health providers and facilities are required to make publicly available a one-page notice that gives patients information on restrictions against balance billing, applicable state-level protections, and appropriate contact information for reporting violations.


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Advocacy Spotlight

ASCA’s Facility Tour Program Pivots during Pandemic

Surgery center enlists new cosponsor for ASC legislation

Despite state-level shutdowns of elective procedures, multiple shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and staff, and countless surges of COVID-19 cases that arrived alongside the pandemic, ASCs have continued advocating for their centers.


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Member Profile

David Shapiro, MD

David Shapiro, MD, ASCA Board member and anesthesiologist at Red Hills Surgical Center in Tallahassee, Florida, discusses FGI guidelines that ASCs should be most aware of this year.


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Industry Insight

William A. Miller

William A. Miller, partner at Higgs, Fletcher, & Mack LLP in San Diego, California, discusses the most important legal issues for ASCs this year.


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ASCA News

Attend ASCA’s 2022 Infection Prevention Virtual Course

Take ASCA’s updated Infection Prevention for ASCs course virtually on August 29 and 30 to get the resources you need to develop and maintain an infection prevention program that protects your patients and your ASC.


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Web Crawl

Q2 Benchmarking Reports Available August 15

The data submission period for the second quarter (Q2) of ASCA’s 2022 Clinical & Operational Benchmarking Survey closed July 31.


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