Message from the CEO

Message from the CEO

2018 Proposed Rule Shows Results of ASCA’s Hard Work

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its 2018 proposed payment rule for ASCs and hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs) in July. While the proposal did not address all of ASCA’s concerns regarding Medicare reimbursement for ASC services, it did show a greater recognition of the evolution in care being provided in ASCs.


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Patient Safety and Policies that Decide Your Payments

This June-July issue of ASC Focus brings you articles on two key operational areas in your ASC: patient safety and marketing. Read a column on patient safety on page 8; learn about the most challenging accreditation guidelines related to medication management on page 10; find out how best to work with compounding pharmacies on page 14; consider ways to win over patients through engagement on page 16; and read about a screening colonoscopy program in a Missouri ASC that is seeing early success.


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An ASC Wish List

With a new administration in the White House, a new secretary at the US Department of Health and Human Services and health care front and center in Congress, one thing is certain: change is on the horizon.


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Make This the Year You Get Involved

This issue of ASC Focus magazine looks at ASC advocacy and gives you insights into the agenda that ASCA will press with legislators, regulators and other policymakers this year. This issue also provides you with background on the members of our Government Affairs team who dedicate their time to advocating on your ASC’s behalf. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the members of this team and ASCA’s advocacy agenda, and then, to find ways that you can be more involved.


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What to Watch in 2017

Although January might be a more traditional time to begin forecasting hot topics and new developments that might affect ASCs in the coming year, a number of articles in this edition address emerging issues that will lead surgery centers in important new directions in 2017.


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ASCs Provide $38 Billion in Savings, More Is Possible

If you read the email messages that ASCA sends its members each week and follow the news about ASCs, you likely already know that a study released in June shows that ASCs currently reduce private health insurance spending by $38 billion each year. That study also concludes that $5 billion of that savings goes directly to patients through lower deductibles and coinsurance payments.


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Using Medicare’s ASC Quality Reports

In 2016, Medicare released its most comprehensive ASC quality data reports to date. These reports are built on data that ASCs have been submitting to Medicare since 2012. For the first time, the reports provide the public with information on a set of ASC quality measures that, in addition to some key process measures, like the use of a safe surgery checklist, provide data on actual outcomes measures like patient burns, wrongsite surgeries and patient falls.


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New this Year from ASCA

With nearly half of 2016 behind us, now is a good time to review some of the innovative projects and outreach efforts that ASCA has been involved with this year.

New HIPAA Workbook for ASCs. To help ASCs comply with all of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) requirements, ASCA provided all of its facility and corporate members with a free HIPAA compliance workbook this spring. This workbook, developed specifically for ASCs, includes an in-depth review of the HIPAA requirements and a comprehensive set of customizable forms and worksheets that you can use to design, evaluate and strengthen your ASC’s compliance program.


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Use Social Media to Promote Your ASC

ASCA has developed a video, “What Is an ASC?,” that explains ASCs in clear and concise terms. We have posted the video on ASCA’s Advancing Surgical Care Campaign web site and on ASCA’s YouTube channel. I encourage you to share the video with your community by directing them to that site or by adding the video to your own web site.


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Be a Member, Get Exclusive Resources and Services for Your ASC

ASCs that renew their ASCA membership for 2016 and ASCs that are joining for the first time this year now have a valuable new resource at their fingertips: the HIPAA Workbook for ASCs. This workbook is designed specifically for ASCs and offers a comprehensive set of tools and information that your ASC can use to comply with all of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) requirements. ASCA is providing this new resource free to all facility and corporate members this year to add value to the rich benefits package we already offer and to support ASCA members in adopting best practices in HIPAA compliance.


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ASCs Instrumental in Increasing NYC Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and I have good news to share: ASCs in New York City (NYC) took part in a citywide initiative that increased the rate of colorectal cancer screening by colonoscopy in the city from 42 percent to 69 percent between 2003 and 2011. During the same eight-year period, that initiative also helped eliminate racial and ethnic screening disparities among black, white, Hispanic and Asian New Yorkers. Now a new task force has set its sights even higher, and has a strategy to bring NYC’s screening rate up to 80 percent.


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Plan Now to Join ASCA in Dallas this May

ASCA’s annual meeting this year will take place Thursday through Sunday, May 19–22, at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. If you haven’t registered already, I encourage you to make plans now to attend.


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Superior Quality Care and Patient Safety Top ASCA’s 2016 Agenda

New Year’s greetings. I hope all of you had a successful 2015 and are looking forward to the year ahead.

In 2016, ASCA is embarking on a new strategic plan that was developed with your needs and priorities in mind. The ASCA Board and staff will use this plan to guide our activities and the issues that we work on over the next three years on your behalf.


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