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7 things for ASC leaders to know for Thursday

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Here are seven news updates for ambulatory surgery center leaders to know for August 7, 2014.

Surgery Partners to acquire Honolulu Spine Center for $5.82M.
As a part of Surgery Partners' $792 million acquisition of Symbion, Surgery Partners will purchase the company's share in the spine center. The $5.82 acquisition is subject to certificate of need approval and will need to be reviewed by the State Health Planning and Development Agency. The Surgery Partners and Symbion merger will give the company the combined strength of approximately 100 facilities and ancillary services in 27 states.

New tool delves deeper into the physician shortage issue.
According to a new physician shortage measurement tool, general internal medicine patient care full-time equivalents are projected to decline by 12 percent between 2011 and 2030. The Physicians Foundation and the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill have released The FutureDocs Forecasting Tool, a new model that estimates the supply of physicians at the sub-state, state and national level. Read the full report on Becker's Hospital Review.

Price transparency coming to Colorado ASCs.
The non-profit Center for Improving Value in Health Care has launched a website that allows consumers to compare hospital prices. The prices posted are based on median prices paid by commercial insurers and Medicaid. The data was obtained from the state's All Payer Claims Database. Ambulatory surgery center prices are expected to be posted by the end of the year.

CMS announces ICD-10 testing weeks.
The new ICD-10 transition date has been officially set at Oct. 1, 2015. Dedicated acknowledgement testing weeks can be expected to take place in November 2014 and March and June of 2015. CMS expects to initiate end-to-end testing for Medicare FFS providers in January, April and July of 2015.

Westmoreland ASC project, financial incentive package approved.
The Oneida County Industrial Development Agency has approved a financial incentive package requested for the Westmoreland (N.Y.) ambulatory surgery center project. The project is estimated to cost $7.5 million. The incentive package will offer partial property tax abatement for five years, as well as sales tax and mortgage recording tax exemptions.

RAC program to restart.
CMS has announced the Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor program — used to review Medicare claims and return misused funds to the Medicare Trust Fund — will be reinstated to review limited billing issues beginning this month. Read the full article on Becker's Hospital Review.

Woolfson Eye Institute celebrates 4th anniversary.
Woolfson Eye Institute in Atlanta, an ASC specializing in ophthalmology, is celebrating its fourth anniversary this month. The ASC focuses on LASIK, corrective vision and ophthalmic surgery and is accredited by The Joint Commission.

More Articles on ASC Issues:
Value-based care: Taking healthcare's biggest paradigm shift one step at a time
ASC payer mix – developing the best in-network, out-of-network strategy
Surgery Partners-Symbion deal to include $5.82M Honolulu Spine Center acquisition

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