From: Becker Scott <>
Subject: [Becker's ASC E-Newsletter] 10 Keys to Turning Around ASCs; 5 Current Business Challenges for Orthopedic Practices; Study: Majority of U.S. Hospitals At-Risk or Insolvent; Fewer Than 75 Registrations Remain for June Orthopedics and Spine Driven ASC Conference
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May 13, 2008
June 08 ortho short
Brent Lambert, MD, and Tom Mallon Provide 10 Keys to Turning Around ASCs; Hospital Needn't Have Disclosed Fired Anesthesiolgist's Drug Problem; Five Business Challenges Orthopedic Practices Face; New Sedative One Step Closer to FDA OK; New Ambulatory Pain Pump

1. 10 Keys to Turning Around ASCs. The healthcare sector is not immune to the weak economy and, as such, some ASCs may be finding themselves increasingly in financial trouble. This was the subject of a McGuireWoods teleconference entitled "10 Keys to Turning Around Financially Troubled Ambulatory Surgery Centers: A Case Study Approach." Brent Lambert, MD, FACS, one of the founders of Ambulatory Surgical Centers of America, and Tom Mallon, the CEO of Regent Surgical Health, presented examples of some solutions for ASCs that are struggling financially. Go here for the complete story.

2. Hospital Did Not Have Duty to Disclose Fired Anesthesiologist's Drug Problem, Says Federal Court. A Louisiana hospital did not have a duty to disclose an anesthesiologist's drug problem in a reference to a prospective hospital employer, and therefore cannot be held liable for patient injuries the impaired physician subsequently caused at the new hospital, a federal appeals court has ruled. For more analysis, go here.

3. Five Business Challenges Orthopedic Practices Face. Don Love, the CEO of an orthopedic practice in Roanoke, Va., and Ken Austin, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Ramsey, N.J., share their insights on key business challenges orthopedic physicians are currently facing. Five of the largest challenges facing orthopedic practices include (1) decreasing Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement; (2) decreasing third-party reimbursement; (3) difficulty recruiting physicians and staff; (4) increasing hospital competition and recruitment; and (5) the need to develop ancillary services and revenues. For the complete report, click here.

4. New Sedative-Hypnotic One Step Closer to FDA Approval. Fospropofol disodium injection, an intravenous sedative-hypnotic agent for sedation in adults undergoing diagnostic or therapeutic procedures, is closer to an FDA OK after the agency's Advisory Committee on Anesthetic and Life Support Drugs voted 6 to 3 (with one abstention) in favor of approval, recommending that the drug be used only by appropriately trained healthcare providers. The committee also recommended additional studies be conducted in specific patient populations, including those with a variety of comorbidities, those weighing less than 60 kg and the elderly. Go here for the complete story.

5. B. Braun Launches Upgraded Ambulatory and Pain Management Pump. A new ambulatory electronic infusion system, the Curlin 6000 CMS, has been introduced by B. Braun at the annual meeting of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Made possible through B. Braun's distribution agreement with Curlin Medical, the Curlin 6000 CMS represents reliable, smart infusion technology with multiple therapy applications, says B. Braun. Go here for more.

Spring Group 2nd/4th through July
Earn Up To 13.5 CME or CASC Credits at June Orthopedics and Spine Driven ASC Conference; Fewer Than 75 Spots Remain 

The 6th Annual Orthopedics, Pain Management and Spine Driven ASC Conference: Improving Profits, Legal and Business Issues, will be held June 19 to 21 in Chicago. This is an opportunity for great education and great networking. You can earn up to 13.5 CME and 13.5 CASC credits by attending. There are fewer than 75 attendee registrations available and no exhibit spaces left.

Download the complete program agenda and event brochure here.

Here are just seven of the valuable seminars you can attend if you register:

  1. "The Political Landscape, Healthcare and ASCs," presented by Tucker Carlson, the well-known political commentator on MSNBC.

  2. "Key Clinical Developments That Will Transform Orthopedic Surgery," presented by Dr. Brian Cole, one of the country's most renowned orthopedic surgeons.

  3. "Billing, Coding, Collecting and Contracting for Ortho, Spine and Pain Management Driven ASCs -- A 75-Minute Workshop," presented by Caryl Serbin, president and founder of Surgery Consultants of America and Serbin Surgery Center Billing.

  4. "A Case Study Approach to Building an ASC Around Orthopedics: What Works and What Does," presented by Dr. Brent Lambert, a leading national physician and developer and owner of ASCs and founder of ASCOA.

  5. "Spine Surgery as a Core Driver in Multispecialty ASC," presented by Dr. Jim Lynch, an extremely smart and gifted neurosurgeon.

  6. "6 Keys to Making a Physician Hospital Orthopedic Joint Venture Successful Plus Handling Total Joints in ASCs," presented by Dr. James Caillouette of Orange County Orthopedic Surgery.

  7. The Impact of the New CMS Payment System on Orthopedics and Pain Management," presented by Greg Cuniff, the CFO of National Surgical Care.

Download the complete program agenda and event brochure here. CME, CEU and CASC credits available. Paid subscribers to the Becker's ASC Review can receive a $100 discount. E-mail Rob Kurtz if you are a paid subscriber and would like to take advantage of this special offer. Additional discounts apply when registering two or more attendees. Book your hotel room soon -- the block is almost sold out.

There are four easy ways to register:

  • Online. Register through our secure Web site.

  • Fax. Complete the order form and fax it to (312) 706-2526. Please show ASC Communications c/o a5 as the subject line.

  • Mail. Complete the order form and mail it to ASC Communications; c/o a5 Inc.; 1 N. LaSalle Street, 47th Floor; Chicago IL 60602.

  • Phone. Call (312) 546-6042 to register.
RMC Medston start 0508
Small Hospital Review Logo Majority of Hospitals in Financial Trouble; "Pod" Lab Case Against CMS Dismissed; Medical Debt Can't Determine Care

1. Study Shows Majority of U.S. Hospitals Insolvent or At-Risk. More than half of U.S. hospitals are now technically insolvent or at risk, according to a new Alvarez and Marsal study. The study by Alvarez and Marsal, a leading professional services firm, shows that more than 2,000 of the nations 4,900 acute care hospitals do not make a profit from treating patients; the majority of potentially insolvent hospitals are in urban areas; and capital expenses are hugely under-funded. For the complete story, click here.

2. Federal Judge Dismisses "Pod" Lab Case Against CMS. A U.S. District Court judge has dismissed a case against CMS which had blocked the enforcement of a provision in the Anti-Markup Rule intended to limit the ability of non-pathology physician groups to profit from pathology services performed in so-called "pod" laboratories for lab work. Go here for the rest of the story.

3. In the News: Minn. Hospitals Can't Base Care Decisions on Patients' Medical Debt. The Minnesota Legislature has approved a bill that would prohibit hospitals from using information about a patient's medical debt to decide whether to treat the patient. The governor is expected to sign it, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Read more here.

Nominations Sought for 4 Lists

We are seeking nominations for the following lists that will appear in upcoming publications from ASC Communiations.

1. July/Aug. issue of the Becker's ASC Review: 60 people to know in the ASC business.

2. Sept./Oct. issue of the Becker's ASC Review: 25 physician-leaders to know in the ASC business.

3. Nov./Dec. issue of the Becker's ASC Review: 15 administrators leading the way in adopting health IT to their ASCs.

4. Sept./Oct. issue of the Hospital Review: 20 leaders in the hopsital industry.

To nominate, please e-mail Scott Becker or Stephanie Wasek.

NovaMed (every other week/8 weeks)
Register Now: Orthopedic Coding in ASCs -- An Audio Conference -- June 11; Earn 1.5 CEUs

In this audio conference, ASC coding expert Stephanie Ellis, RN, CPC, of Ellis Medical Consulting will discuss orthopedic coding challenges in ASCs, and will help you to capture the reimbursement your center earns and deserves. If your ASC performs orthopedic surgery or will do so in the near future, you will not want to miss this seminar.

Ms. Ellis will highlight

  • new challenges presented by Final Rule additions and revisions of procedures to the Medicare list of ASC-approved procedures;

  • common coding errors with current procedures, such as chondroplasties performed with other knee procedures and subacromial decompressions performed with open rotator cuff repair;

  • challenges with coding implants;

  • modifier misuse;

  • and other issues.


Date: Wednesday, June 11

Starting time: 11:00 a.m. (Pacific), Noon (Mountain), 1:00 p.m. (Central), 2:00 p.m. (Eastern)

Length: 90 minutes

Credits: 1.5 AAPC-approved CEUs

Cost: $199; or $99 for paid subscribers of Becker's ASC Review (e-mail Rob Kurtz if you are a paid subscriber and would like to take advantage of this special offer).

For more information, go here. To register, go here.

Surgical Notes new for 17x run
Thank You to 10 Great ASC Industry Companies

This week we want to thank and highlight the following advertisers and sponsors who have supported the Becker's ASC Review extensively.

1. Galil Medical. Galil Medical is leading a new era of minimally invasive cryotherapy solutions that enhance patient quality of life. The company's technology, adopted originally from military applications, involves freezing and ablating diseased tissue in a technique referred to as cryotherapy, also referred to as cryoablation and cryosurgery. For more information on Galil Medical, go here.

2. TRY Health Care Solutions. TRY Health provides consulting services to large healthcare systems, group practices, independent physicians and ASCs . Tom Yerden, president of TRY Health, is a recognized leader in the industry with over 25 years of service spanning the development of more than 70 surgery centers and the founding of Aspen Healthcare in 1992. For more information on TRY Health Care Solutions, go here.

3. McKesson Medical-Surgical. McKesson Medical-Surgical, based in Richmond, Va., is a leading distributor of medical supplies and equipment to physician practices, surgery centers, home care and extended care facilities. For more information on McKesson Medical-Surgical, go here.

4. Somerset CPAs. Somerset's healthcare team is comprised of more than 20 dedicated professionals serving clients nationwide, including all types of healthcare organizations -- ancillary service providers, surgery, imaging, infusion and dialysis centers, therapy facilities, other relevant ancillaries and physician groups. For more information on Somerset CPAs, go here.

5. RMC Medstone Capital. MedStone Capital is the new kid on the block with a long-standing history of exceptional performance. Combining the strength of several industry standards like Mike Lipomi, Tim Noakes and the Stanislaus Surgical Hospital of Modesto, Calif., with one of the leading real estate companies in Dallas, RM Crowe, has resulted in a very strong team. For more information on RMC Medstone Capital, go here.

6. Foundation Surgery Affiliates. Foundation Surgery Affiliates is a healthcare management organization specializing in project development, innovative facility design, partner recruitment and facility operations for ASCs, medical office buildings, surgical hospitals and bariatric hospitals and healthplexes. For more information on Foundation Surgery Affiliates, go here

7. Alpine Surgical Equipment. The reputation of the Alpine Surgical Equipment team is well known throughout the ASC industry: This team of professionals has worked on well over 750 surgery centers nationally, and has worked extensively with the industry's leading corporations, surgery center development, equipment planning and consulting firms. For more information on Alpine Surgical Equipment, go here

8. Acclarent. Acclarent is dedicated to developing innovative solutions for ENT specialists and their patients. The company's initial focus has been on achieving the goals of sinus surgery with novel, endoscopic, catheter-based tools known as Balloon Sinuplasty devices. For more information on Acclarent, go here

9. Pacific Surgical Partners. Founded by long-term surgery veteran Don Cook, Pacific Surgical Partners (PSP) was created to own and operate outpatient surgery centers exclusively in southern California, primarily in conjunction with physician partners. For more information on Pacific Surgical Partners, go here

10. The Spring Group. Joe Feldman brings over 35 years of healthcare experience to the recruiting industry. Primarily focused on the ambulatory surgery industry, he and his team work with both corporate, hospital-based and privately-owned centers throughout the United States. For more information on the Spring Group, go here

June 08 audio short
Becker's ASC Review Subscriber Benefits

If you are a Becker's ASC Review paid subscriber, you are entitled to the following new benefits:

  1. Becker's ASC Review delivered to your door.
  2. Subscriber discounts on the cost of audio conference and Webinar registrations.
  3. $100 off registration for both main and pre-conference sessions at the June conference.
  4. $50 off registration for both main and pre-conference sessions at the October conference.
  5. Free copy of the VMG Health Intellimarker benchmarking survey, an extremely valuable guide.

To subscribe to the Becker's ASC Review go to

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