Departments

Departments

 

Message from the President

Manage Your PPE Supply Effectively during the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world in myriad ways. The healthcare supply chain was not an exception and experienced major disruptions this past year.


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Message from the CEO

Rely on ASCA’s Virtual Education to Help You Navigate 2021

As the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out continues, we are regularly reminded that developing a vaccine and planning its distribution in less than a year is uncharted territory for most government officials.


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As I See It

An Administrator’s Guide to Retirement

Hire from outside, divide the job or mentor an employee

The following is a common story heard throughout the 5,900-plus ASCs across the US. Your 60-something ASC administrator who has been with your organization forever is ready to retire.


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Doing Business

The Business of Unlisted Codes

Strategies to avoid rejections, denials and audits

Surgeons often embrace new technology and highly complex or rare cases. While these challenges help surgeons excel in their field, they also can create coding and billing dilemmas.


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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

Emerging Trends in the Face of the Pandemic

The virus has enhanced the appeal of ASCs by highlighting their strengths and advantages

Prior to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the national ASC market was already experiencing substantial growth due to its placement across two converging trends: the consumerization of healthcare services and the ongoing industry-wide transition from fee-for-service care to value-based care.


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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

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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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

Establish a Respiratory Protection Program

Protocols, respirator tests and documentation required

Surgery centers never had to have a full respiratory protection program before now, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent use of respirators, they might soon have to write and implement one.


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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

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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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

A Day in the (Current) Life of an ASC Infection Preventionist

More responsibilities and more stress in the changed world of COVID-19

My, how things have changed in a year. Last year, some of my biggest concerns were checking to see if any of our patients had acquired a surgical site infection (SSI), monitoring hand hygiene among the staff, physicians and vendors and observing what was going on in the surgical area itself.


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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

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

Federal Agency Roundup

Government organizations that provide guidance to ASCs

Federal agencies, part of the executive branch of the government, issue many rules and regulations that affect ASCs. While some agencies like the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) might be well known to ASCA members, others might be less familiar.


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Advocacy Spotlight

One-on-One with an ASCA Board Member

Amanda Hawkins, CASC, talks about participating in the HWOW program

Amanda Hawkins, CASC, director of The Surgery Center of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina, joined the ASCA Board of Directors in 2019. She will serve a three-year term. All members of the ASCA Board also serve on the ASCA Foundation Board.


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Member Profile

Barbara Draves, CASC

Barbara Draves, CASC, president of the Ohio Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers and administrator of The Surgery Center in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, shares the strategies she uses to handle conflict management and employee problems in her facility.


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ASCA News

Register Today for the ASCA 2021 Virtual Conference

For more than two decades, ASCA’s annual conference has remained the premier, can’t-miss event for the ASC community, and this year’s virtual conference is no different.


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Web Crawl

View ASCA’s Two New Virtual Courses On Demand

Both the Infection Prevention for ASCs and Management Essentials for ASC Administrators virtual courses are now available on demand through the ASCA Learning Hub.


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