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30 things for ASC leaders to know for March

Here are 30 healthcare updates from the past month for ASC leaders to note:

Republicans pull AHCA
Republican lawmakers pulled the American Health Care Act after GOP leaders estimated the bill lacked support to advance through the House on March 24, 2017.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont stands behind Green Mountain Surgery Center
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, the state's largest insurance company, supported Green Mountain Surgery Center, which has been in a lengthy certificate-of-need battle with the local hospital association. An independent physician group filed the CON to build the ASC in Colchester, Va., nearly two years ago.

Kenny Hancock joins Partners Surgical Corp. as chief business development officer
Houston-based Partners Surgical Corp. named ASC industry veteran Kenny Hancock the company’s new chief business development officer.

Nobilis names Marc Celia EVP of operations
Houston-based Nobilis Health Corp. named Marc Celia executive vice president of operations. In his new role, Mr. Celia will oversee all Nobilis facility operations and will collaborate with center CEOs and administrators to strengthen efficiency.

Surgery Partners revenue jumps 12.2% in 2016 to $1.1B
Nashville, Tenn.-based Surgery Partners reported a revenue increase in fiscal year 2016, the first full year since the company's initial public offering. Full year revenues increased 19.3 percent to $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2016. The same facility revenues were up 12.2 percent over fiscal year 2015, hitting $1.1 billion.

UnitedHealth Group pushes back expiration date on SCA offer exchange
Hopkins, Minn.-based UnitedHealth Group extended the expiration date on its exchange offer for Deerfield, Ill.-based Surgical Care Affiliates' outstanding shares to March 24, 2017. Aside from the final date, UnitedHealth did not change the other terms and conditions.

WHO: 12 highest priority superbugs
The World Health Organization compiled a list of antibiotic-resistant pathogens it deemed a priority on March 20, 2017. The organization formulated the list based on the severity of the threat they posed to human health. WHO ranked Acinetobacter baumannii, carbapenem-resistant and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, carbapenem-resistant as top priorities.

ASCA partners with American Joint Replacement Registry for outpatient total joint data
The Ambulatory Surgery Center Association partnered with the American Joint Replacement Registry to encourage ASCA members to use the registry. There are now around 6,300 surgeons using the registry and nearly 1 million procedures logged.

ASC wrong-site surgeries up in Q4
The ASC Quality Collaboration released data for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2016, showing the number of wrong site, side, patient, procedure and implants were up in the ASC setting, compared to previous quarters. For Q4, the rate of wrong site, side, patient, procedure and implant was 0.031 per 1,000 ASC admissions. The figure is up from 0.022 per 1,000 ASC admissions in Q2 2016.

Forest Park Medical Center anesthesiologist pleads guilty to $40M kickback scheme
Dallas-based Forest Park Medical Center founder and anesthesiologist Richard F. Toussaint, MD, pled guilty to a count of conspiracy to pay healthcare bribes and kickbacks and a count of offering or paying illegal remuneration and aiding and abetting under the Travel Act on March 17, 2017, according to a press release from The United State's Attorney Office of the Northern District of Texas.

Novant, Wake Forest apply for CON for expansions, including ASC
Charlotte, N.C.-based Novant Health and Winston Salem, N.C.-based Wake Forest Baptist Medical each filed certificate-of-need applications for new facilities.

Florida Senate approves 24-hour stays in ASCs
Florida Senate ruled in favor of House Bill 145, which permits overnight stays at ASCs. Prior versions of the bill passed in the state House, but never gained traction in the Florida Senate. However, the Senate opted to support the bill which changes the amount of time patients can recover in ASCs.

2 Oregon health systems fight legislation allowing 24-hour stays at ASCs
Salem (Ore.) Health and Medford, Ore.-based Asante Health System are fighting a bill that would expand recovery times at ASCs in Oregon. In its present form, the House bill would pertain to 16 ASCs in the state and would allow patients to stay between 24 hours and 52 hours. The health systems worked with Rep. Cedric Hayden, R-Cottage Grove, on an amendment to the bill. The amendment seeks to form another work group to analyze the bill as it relates to overnight stays at ASCs.

Trump picks Dr. Scott Gottlieb as FDA commissioner
President Donald Trump selected Scott Gottlieb, MD, a physician well-seasoned in government service, as FDA commissioner. Dr. Gottlieb was a senior adviser to the FDA commissioner from 2003 to 2004.

Trump nominates former Anthem lobbyist to head DOJ antitrust division
President Donald Trump nominated former Indianapolis-based Anthem lobbyist Makan Delrahim, JD, to head the Department of Justice's antitrust division. Mr. Delrahim currently serves as deputy counsel to the president's administration.

Senate confirms Seema Verma as CMS administrator
On March 14, 2017, the Senate approved Seema Verma in a 55 to 43 vote, which was mainly along party lines. As CMS administrator, Ms. Verma will oversee the $1 trillion agency that manages health insurance programs for more than 130 million Americans.

Board to consider independent physicians proposal for ASC in Vermont
The Green Mountain Care (Vt.) Board set a hearing date regarding an application that independent physicians filed two years ago to build an ASC in Colchester, Vt. The physicians' proposed ASC would cost $1.8 million to build and would offer orthopedic and spine procedures, among others.

Replaced Olympus duodenoscopes tied to new bacterial outbreak in overseas facility
The FDA reported five patients from an overseas hospital tested positive for Klebsiella pneumoniae after providers treated them with the Tokyo-based Olympus TJF-Q180V duodenoscope.

Surgical scorecards reduce supply chain costs by 6.5%, yield $836.1k in savings
JAMA Surgery published a 2017 study finding surgeons can truncate overall supply chain costs by 6.54 percent when using scorecards that show them their supply costs relative to other providers. The lower supply direct costs translated to $836,147 in overall savings in the study.

65% of US patients see physicians receiving industry payments
Berlin, Germany-based Springer published a survey assessing how many Americans see physicians who accept industry payments and how many patients are aware of this fact. Sixty-five percent of Americans see a physician who receives some form of industry payment.

Healthcare management master's programs on the rise
Healthcare management master's degree programs are rising in popularity. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 17 percent growth from 2017 to 2024, which equates to approximately 56,300 more jobs.

Orphan drug sales to jump 11% in 5 years to $209B
Throughout the United States, orphan drug sales continue to soar, greatly outpacing other mediations' sales. EvaluatePharma, a market research firm, conducted an analysis finding orphan drug sales are likely to total $209 billion, an 11 percent increase, over the next five years.

Humana raises executive salaries nearly 90%
Louisville, Ky.-based Humana raised the compensation packages of its five chief executives nearly 90 percent from 2015 to 2016.

Colorado could owe CMS $43M after miscalculation
Colorado's Department of Health Care Policy and Financing estimates it could owe the federal government between $22 million and $43 million after miscalculating the number of Coloradans eligible for an enhanced federal match through Medicare.

Global colonoscopy device market to grow to $2B by 2021 at 5% CAGR
Technavio projects the global colonoscopy device market will grow to $2 billion by 2021 at an approximately 5 percent compound annual growth rate. Healthcare organizations' guidelines and the emergence of minimally invasive surgeries will drive market growth.

Unity Healthcare buys back full ownership of Unity Surgical Center from Franciscan Health
Lafayette, Ind.-based Unity Healthcare repurchased ownership of the Unity Surgical Center in Lafayette, Ind., from Indianapolis-based Franciscan Health.

Gastro Health acquires South Palm GI
Miami-based Gastro Health acquired Delray Beach, Fla.-based South Palm GI, P.A. The South Palm providers will continue to practice out of the clinic.

Knoxville Orthopaedic Center performs first outpatient hip replacement
The Knoxville (Tenn.) Orthopaedic Center performed its first outpatient hip replacement in the city and center in February 2017. Matthew Naduad, MD, performed the operation on a patient at the surgery center.

Maryland governor declares state of emergency over opioid crisis
Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in Maryland due to the state's opioid-addiction epidemic. Gov. Hogan committed an extra $50 million over the next five years to bolster state enforcement, prevention and treatment services.

MSP Commercial gets green light for 24.1k-sq-ft facility housing ASC
The Maple Grove (Minn.) City Council gave Eagan, Minn.-based MSP Commercial approval to build a new facility featuring an ASC.

More articles on healthcare:
16 statistics on Medicare cases in ASCs resulting in subsequent hospital visits
Trump administration proposes $1.2B NIH funding cut: 5 things to know
ASA taps Dr. Alex Hanneberg as interim chief quality office: 4 key notes

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