PREVIEW: Departments



Message from the President

Ophthalmology Cases Give ASCs a Chance to Shine

Ophthalmic surgical procedures have been the mainstay of surgical practices in ASCs for many years. Since the likelihood of cataract procedures is tied to the aging process, a great majority of cases are covered by Medicare. By age 65, more than 90 percent of the US population will have a cataract surgery. Women have more cataracts than men, and it is projected that the number of people with cataracts will double to 50 million by 2030. That is a lot of people who will need great surgery centers and surgeons to provide this service. I will be one of them.

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Message from the CEO

Take Advantage of ASCA Resources

As the year wraps up and you are busy tying up loose ends, I want to remind you of two important tools from ASCA that could help your outcomes next year.

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As I See It

For It Is in Giving that We Receive

Participating in medical missions enriches you as a person and makes you better at your job

When we incorporate the act of giving into the business of our surgery centers and affiliated practices, the positive impacts magnify. Far outweighing the cost of lost chair time for paying patients, involvement in humanitarian activities enhances emotional intelligence, inspires effective teamwork and drives innovation and resourcefulness in your surgical team and the business of ophthalmology.

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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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CMS Gives the Green Light to Exparel

Special coding considerations apply

With prescription opioid addiction surpassing epidemic proportions, any effective non-opioid pain management tool that might prevent further opioid misuse is certainly one to be embraced. According to a 2017 study by the National Safety Council, in the US, the odds of death by an opioid overdose (1:96) is more likely than death by a motor vehicle accident (1:103).

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OSHA Updates Its Regulations

Learn how to implement the revised reporting requirements

In 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a proposed rule to improve the tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses through the electronic collection of establishment-specific injury and illness data. After receiving comments on the proposal, OSHA issued the final rule that became effective January 1, 2017 (Occupational Safety and Health Administration 29 CFR Part 1904).

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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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Doing Business

Control Ancillary Services Costs

Negotiate better contracts and minimize expenses

Most ASC administrators wear multiple hats and manage myriad tasks. One of those hats is to keep a close eye on the recurring monthly expenses that keep the lights on and the business running in their ASC. Because these expense categories—such as telecom, waste hauling, property tax, bank fees, utilities and maintenance contracts—often cross departments, we sometimes see an underlying, unintentional mindset that should be addressed before the spend can be properly managed.

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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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Enhance Cybersecurity in Your ASC

Try these low-cost strategies to stay ahead of the game

ASC owners and administrators sometimes hesitate to fund the expensive technologies they assume are required to improve cybersecurity at their center. In reality, some of the most effective preventive cybersecurity measures an ASC can put in place also are affordable. By addressing the “low-hanging fruit” of cybersecurity risk, ASCs can reduce vulnerability without breaking the bank.

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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. When we think “tools,” we generally think software, hardware and medical equipment, but the most important tool for an ASC’s success is something else that is sometimes forgotten. More on that later. Below are a few tips to manage your revenue cycle successfully.

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Regulatory Review

Keep Your Next Building Project Compliant

Consult the FGI Guidelines and hire an architect with ASC experience

The main regulatory guidance to consult when building or renovating an ASC comes from the Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI), an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing guidance for the planning, design and construction of hospitals, outpatient facilities and residential healthcare and support facilities.

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Advocacy Spotlight

What ‘Medicare for All’ Could Mean for Your Facility

Much would depend on the plan the federal government adopts

Over the last two years, Democrats on the campaign trail have used “Medicare for All” as a slogan and to describe a variety of policy proposals. In the 116th Congress, almost a dozen bills have been introduced that fall under the “Medicare for All” umbrella. Although these proposals do not have bipartisan support, the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives has spent the last year holding preliminary hearings to learn more about the topic. If signed into law, the proposals would have varying impacts on ASCs.

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Attend ASCA’s September Webinars

In September, ASCA will offer two webinars as a part of its 2019 Webinar Series.

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Web Crawl

ASCA Introduces Online 'Asked & Answered' Series

This summer, ASCA introduced “Asked & Answered,” an online series featuring short interviews with leading experts inside and outside the ASC community who have unique insights into issues affecting ASCs.

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