Departments

Departments

Message from the President

Managing Inventory Effectively

Labor costs are a large piece of a surgery center’s overall spend, but supply costs take a big chunk as well. Without enough or the correct supplies, cases can be canceled or last longer than necessary, patients could be put at risk and physicians could be upset.


Read More >

 


Message from the CEO

Take Advantage of ASCA’s Educational Opportunities

Did you know that three-quarters of the ASCs that failed to meet the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ quality reporting requirements in 2022 were not ASCA members? ASCA has resources that can help your surgery center meet Medicare’s quality reporting requirements and comply with other regulatory requirements that apply.


Read More >

 


ASCA 2024

Cardiovascular in ASCs

Considering adding this specialty? Come to ASCA 2024 to learn more

Cardiology has become one of the fastest-growing ASC segments as demand for value-based care delivery and high-quality healthcare rises. Much like orthopedic and spine procedures shifting to a lower-cost setting, the addition of cardiology to Medicare’s ASC Covered Procedures List makes this service line an attractive transition to the ambulatory setting.


Read More >

 


As I See It

Adding Anesthesia as an Ancillary Service

Learn how ASCs make this idea work

As executive vice president of Anesthesia Operations at nimble solutions, I have noticed a growing trend among ASCs and anesthesia providers. Typically, anesthesiologists establish third-party contracts with ASCs. Recently, however, ASCs have begun to embrace anesthesia as an ancillary service.


Read More >

 


Doing Business

Best Practices in Sterile Processing

Training, testing and proper PPE use are essential

The sterile processing department (SPD) plays a crucial role in maintaining a clean and sanitary environment within a surgery center. Decontamination, cleaning, washing, inspecting, sterilizing and testing are just some of the tasks staff perform there.


Read More >

 


Emergency Preparedness

Shootings in Healthcare Facilities Rise

Steps to take to keep your surgery center safe

The topic of emergency preparedness comes up regularly in workplaces, but recently, this preparation has had to be enhanced. Specifically, healthcare facilities now have to think about what to do in the case of an active shooter.


Read More >

 


Advocacy

ASCA Members Celebrate National ASC Month

Surgery centers host facility tours for congressional staff, advocate for their cause

In August, ASCs across the country celebrate National ASC Month to highlight the high-quality, cost-effective surgical care that surgery centers provide to their patients and communities. 90210 Surgery Medical Center in Beverly Hills, California, and South Kansas City Surgicenter in Overland Park, Kansas, hosted their members of Congress to educate them about ASCs and the work they do for their community.


Read More >

 


Trends

Sg2 2023 Annual Report Forecasts Significant Growth in ASC Volume

GI, ophthalmology and orthopedic procedures will see the highest increases

ASCs will see 12 percent and 22 percent growth in the next 5 and 10 years, respectively, according to Sg2’s 2023 Impact of Change Forecast Highlights.


Read More >

 


Education

Master Life Safety Code Compliance

Sign up for ASCA’s virtual course this October to learn how

ASCA’s third virtual course this year, Life Safety Code for ASCs, will be broadcast live over two half days, October 23 and 24. Recordings of the sessions will be available on demand later.


Read More >

 


Awards

Bryant Receives Nap Gary Award for Lifetime Achievement

The former chief executive officer of ASCA led the organization from 1998–2010

ASCA awarded its 2023 Nap Gary Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the ASC Community to Kathy Bryant, former chief executive officer of ASCA.


Read More >

 


Continue Reading Below

Q&A

Doing Right by the Community

An Illinois ASC helps patients in need access care

The Orthopaedic Institute Surgery Center in Metropolis, Illinois, helps its community by never sending a child who needs surgery back home without that surgery if the ASC can safely provide it. This is irrespective of the child’s insurance status. Melanie Russell, RN, the administrator of the ASC, is a pivotal part of this effort.


Read More >

 


Coding

Decoding the Anatomy of Pain Management Injections

Epidurals, biologics and emerging technologies

Understanding patient anatomy is a crucial part of the coding process, especially for intricate procedures like pain management injections. Getting those codes right the first time requires comprehensive knowledge of each injection type, technique and administration site.


Read More >

 

How to Use CMS’ Single-Use Endoscopes Billing Code

Follow these tips

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently assigned a new Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) code for use in facility billing for single-use endoscopes. This device code offers ASCs additional Medicare payments when using disposable ureteroscopes.


Read More >

 


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.


Read More >

 


Regulations

South Carolina Enacts Major Reform to Certificate of Need Law

Changes eliminate CON requirements for new ASCs

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed SB 164 in the spring, eliminating certificate of need (CON) requirements for almost all health facilities, including ASCs, in the state, but excluding nursing homes and the Medical University of South Carolina.


Read More >

 


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.


Read More >

 


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.


Read More >

 


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.


Read More >

 


Legislature

Reintroducing the ASC Act in Congress

If passed, the Outpatient Surgery Quality and Access Act will better align Medicare’s ASC and HOPD payment systems

As this issue of ASC Focus goes to press, Congressman John Larson (D-CT) and Congressman Brad Wenstrup, DPM (R-OH), are planning to introduce the Outpatient Surgery Quality and Access Act of 2023 in the House side of the 118th Congress, and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Senator William Cassidy, MD (R-LA), are planning to introduce the legislation in the Senate.


Read More >

 


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.


Read More >

 


Continue Reading Below

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.


Read More >

 


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.


Read More >

 


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.


Read More >

 


Finances

Exploring Denial Reasons

A revenue cycle analysis

With a focus on improving surgery centers’ revenue cycle management operations and rate of collections, our business intelligence and analysis team recently conducted a study using a subset of data to investigate common denial reasons for ASCs.


Read More >

 


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.


Read More >

 


Regulatory Review

Medicare Advantage in the Spotlight

Prior authorization policies could limit procedures ASCs provide

In the January 2023 issue of ASC Focus magazine, ASCA highlighted the growing proportion of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. MA plans, which covered less than 15 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in 2005 according to an issue brief from the Commonwealth Fund, now cover a majority of Medicare beneficiaries according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.


Read More >

 


Advocacy Spotlight

ASCA Continues to Fight Legislative Threats to ASCs

Get involved, stay involved to protect your surgery center

The 118th Congress has tackled healthcare with fervor, scrutinizing consolidation and demanding transparency. The particularly turbulent environment that has prevailed since this session’s start has presented both threats and opportunities for ASCs.


Read More >

 


Member Profile

Eric K. Shepard, MD

Eric K. Shepard, MD, anesthesia director at Frederick Surgical Center in Frederick, Maryland, and director of Outpatient Regional Anesthesia–Maryland for North American Partners in Anesthesia in Melville, New York, discusses the evolution of anesthesia services in the ASC.


Read More >

 


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.


Read More >

 


ASCA News

Save Up to 40 Percent on ASCA 2024 Registration

ASCA has restructured its rates for the ASCA 2024 Conference & Expo and lowered the registration costs by up to 40 percent. Register today for the conference, taking place April 17–20 in Orlando, Florida.


Read More >

 


Web Crawl

Get the 2024 Virtual Course Bundle

Purchase ASCA’s 2024 Virtual Course Bundle today to get four courses for less than the price of three.


Read More >