100 things for ASC leaders to know in 2014

Never a dull moment. Here are 100 news updates for ambulatory surgery center leaders to know about the industry in 2014 thus far.

ASC company news

1. AmSurg shares rise in value after Sheridan deal announcement.
Raymond James analyst John Ransom set AmSurg's price target at $60 and upgraded his recommendation to buy. The upgrade was made closely following AmSurg's announcement of intention to acquire Sheridan Healthcare for $2.35 billion

2. AmSurg completes Sheridan acquisition.
AmSurg announced in May intent to acquire anesthesia provider Sheridan for $2.35 billion. Now, the company has officially completed the transaction.

3. AmSurg reports Q1 earnings.
AmSurg net earnings from continuing operations attributable to common shareholders were $17.5 million in the first quarter of 2014. The company reportedly operated 242 centers at the end of the quarter.

4. Hospital Corporation of America expects $35.5B in 2014 revenue.
Hospital Corporation of America reaffirmed its guidance ranges for 2014, which included revenue of $35.5 billion and adjusted EBITDA of $6.6 billion on the low ends. As of March 31, HCA operated 115 ambulatory surgery centers.

5. Hospital Corporation of America Q2 revenue rises 9%.
Hospital Corporation of America expects revenues from the second quarter of this year will be $9.23 billion, up 9 percent from $8.45 billion in the second quarter of last year.

6. Foundation Healthcare revenue jumps 18% in Q1.
Foundation Healthcare reported $22.1 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2014, up 18 percent from $18.7 million in the first quarter of 2013.

7. Medical Facilities Corporation reports Q1 financial results.
Medical Facilities Corporation reported $72.9 million in first quarter 2014 revenue, which is consistent with revenue reported in the first quarter of 2013.

8. Northstar Healthcare reports Q1, Q2 financial results.
Northstar Healthcare reported first quarter 2014 net patient service revenue of $121.1 million, up 194.1 percent from $4.1 million in the first quarter of 2013. For its second quarter, the company reported $15.1 million in estimated revenue.

9. Nueterra creates new approach to patient satisfaction.
Nueterra launched a new program to improve patient satisfaction scores at its surgery centers. Riddle Surgical Center is one of the first centers to take on the pilot program, which involves observation of patient and staff interaction and listening exercise to improve communication.

10. Outpatient stocks have an edge.
In a post from a Zacks Investment Research blog, the firm is supporting outpatient facility stock. The post also promoted AmSurg as a stock with a "good Zacks rank," potential to grow in the current healthcare environment and as a "good addition" to your portfolio.

11. Regent Surgical Health opens new joint venture ASC.
Regent Surgical Health, a group of physicians and Providence Health & Services opened a joint venture ASC on the Providence Portland (Ore.) Medical Center campus.

12. SCA reports Q1 financial results.
For the first quarter of 2014, Surgical Care Affiliates reported that total net operating revenues, excluding facilities in which the company does not own a controlling interest, increased 2.1 percent from $192 million to $196 million.

13. Physicians, SCA to open Greater Long Beach Endoscopy Center.
Developers broke ground on the 90,000-square-foot Douglas Park Medical Office Park in Long Beach, Calif. One of the new medical office buildings will be occupied by physicians of Long Beach Gastroenterology. The physicians will operate the Greater Long Beach Endoscopy Center, affiliated with Surgical Care Affiliates.

14. Physicians Endoscopy to open North Carolina center.
Physicians Endoscopy and a group of five gastroenterologists will open the Greater Gaston Center in Gastonia, N.C., this year. The center is finally opening after the North Carolina Court of Appeals denied CaroMont Health's effort to object to the project.

15. Physicians Endoscopy opens New York endoscopy center.
Physicians Endoscopy and five physicians opened Island Digestive Health Center in West Islip, N.Y.

16. Surgery Partners to acquire Symbion for $792M.
Surgery Partners will acquire Symbion for $792 million. Symbion is currently owned by private equity firm Crestview Partners. After the close of the deal, Surgery Partners will operate 100 facilities in 27 states.

17. Surgery Center Holdings' debt-to-EBITDA ratio to rise post-Symbion acquisition.
Moody's Investors Service expects Surgery Center Holding's debt-to-EBITDA ratio to rise eight-fold following its $792 million acquisition of Symbion. Moody's also reports the company has no capital left from H.I.G.'s initial investment, following Symbion's acquisition and two dividend recaps.

18. Moody's, S&P offer mixed outlook for Surgery Partners.
The $792 million Surgery Partners and Symbion deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. Standard & Poor's Ratings Service gave the company a stable outlook, but mentioned the risk of integration on such a large scale. Moody's Investors Services gave Surgery Partners a 'B3' rating. Moody's attributed its rating to the company's high level of debt, but offered a positive outlook on the company's place in a growing industry.

19. Symbion reports $133.9M in Q1 revenue.
Symbion released its first quarter 2014 financial results. The company reported $133.97 million in revenue compared to $130.38 million in the first quarter of 2013. Operating income was $21.34 million, up 3.8 percent from $20.56 million in the first quarter of 2013.

20. USPI reports Q1 financial results.
United Surgical Partners International reported consolidated net revenues of $145.3 million for the first quarter of 2014, compared to $145.1 million during the same period in 2013. The company acquired two facilities in the first quarter.

21. Mercy Medical Center, USPI acquire ownership in Siouxland Surgery Center.
Mercy Medical Center Sioux City and United Surgical Partners International have partnered to acquire a majority interest in Siouxland Surgery Center in Dakota Dunes (S.D.). The new partnership is designed to meet the needs of a growing community.

22. USPI acquires majority interest in Somerset ASC.
In April, United Surgical Partners International acquired a 55 percent interest in Somerset Ambulatory Surgery Center in Somerville, N.J. SASC is a multispecialty, two-operating room surgery center with more than 20 physician owners.

General healthcare news

23. 6% of Americans enrolled in ACOs.
Research from Leavitt Partners estimates that 6 percent of Americans are enrolled in an accountable care organization. ACO participation varies widely across the country. For example, 27 percent of Oregon's population is in an ACO, while Alabama has less than 2 percent of its population in an ACO.

24. 10% of Americans have proficient level of health literacy.
Only about one in 10 people in the United States have a proficient level of health literacy, meaning they can understand and use health-related information in daily activities, according to Kaiser Health News report.

25. 19% of 2015 private health insurance spending to go towards outpatient services.
A PwC Health Research Institute report projects that 19 percent of total private health insurance spending will go towards outpatient services. The top spending groups, inpatient services and professional services, claim 31 percent each.

26. 54% of insured consumers confused by medical bills.
A recent survey by TransUnion Healthcare has found the majority (54 percent) of insured consumers are either sometimes or always confused by their medical bills. The survey found 63 percent of survey respondents want to know the full cost of care, including their insurance company's portion, while 35 percent said they only cared about their direct medical costs.

27. California cities lead country in cost of primary care.
A Castlight study illuminates the wide range of primary care costs across the United States. San Francisco and Sacramento are the most expensive cities for primary care, a primary care costs $251 and $219, respectively.

28. Colorectal cancer rate drops 30%.
A recent study published in the journal Cancer found that the rate of colorectal cancer among Americans 50 and older has fallen 30 percent in the last decade. The percentage of Americans up-to-date on recommended colorectal cancer screening increased from 55 to 65 percent during the past ten years. Americans 65 and older have shown a 7 percent drop in colon cancer rates from 2008 to 2010.

29. CBO: national healthcare spending to increase to 22% of GDP by 2038.
The Congressional Budget Office's 2013 long-term budget outlook report predicts that national healthcare spending will increase to 22 percent of the gross domestic product by 2038 under current law.

30. EHR market to be worth $17B by 2017.
The electronic health record market, worth $10.6 billion in 2012, is expected to be valued at $17 billion by 2017, according to a GlobalData report.

31. Healthcare industry adds 34k jobs in May.
The healthcare industry added 34,000 jobs last month, twice its average monthly growth for the prior 12 months. Of these new jobs, 23,000 were added in ambulatory settings. The nation's total employment rose by 217,000 jobs in May.

32. Healthcare M&A spending rises 152% in Q2.
Healthcare merger and acquisition spending rose to $135.2 billion in the second quarter of this year, a 152 percent increase from the same period in 2013.

33. Healthcare spending grows 9.9% in first quarter.
Healthcare spending grew 9.9 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2014, according to data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
34. Practice management system market to reach $247M by 2018.
The global practice management system market is expected to reach a value of $247.1 million by 2018, according to a Research and Markets report. The physician segment of the market is the largest and fastest growing market sector.

35. Study reveals procedure times 25% quicker in ASCs than hospitals.
ASC procedures take an average of 31.8 fewer minutes than hospital procedures, with a 25 percent average time reduction between the surgery locations. Outcomes in hospitals and surgery centers were comparable, but surgical costs were between $400 and $1,000 lower for ASC cases.

36. U.S. leads world in health spending per capita.
In 2012, the United States spent $8,745 in health expenditure per capita. Norway came in second with $6,140 per capita in healthcare spending. Belgium was the last of the top 10 spenders with $4,419 per capita.

Healthcare reform update

37. 10.3M people gained insurance coverage under PPACA.
Approximately 10.3 million American adults gained health insurance coverage between January 2012 and June 2014, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers found a significant decline in the uninsured rate among nonelderly adults during the PPACA exchanges' first open enrollment period.

38. Administration to overhaul HealthCare.gov.
The Obama administration is in the process of making a number of changes to HealthCare.gov. The changes are being made to ensure that the problems that affected the exchange website during the fall will not reoccur during the next enrollment period. HealthCare.gov will also being using Amazon's cloud computing services.

39. HHS to spend $1.4B on HealthCare.gov.
Due to its botched rollout and continued glitches, HHS expects to spend $1.4 billion on HealthCare.gov this year. The government is working to overhaul HealthCare.gov.

40. Uninsured rate drops 5 percent.
The uninsured rate for adults dropped from 20 percent in September 2013 to 15 percent in June. This drop accounts for an estimated 9.5 million fewer uninsured adults.

41. Uninsured rate remains at record low in May.
The U.S. uninsured rate held steady at a record low of 13.4 percent in May, according to a recent Gallup poll. The uninsured population could also continue to shrink if more states opt to expand their Medicaid programs.

42. Texas leads U.S. in insured rate post-PPACA.
Texas has the highest uninsured rate at 24.81 percent in the wake of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Mississippi follows closely behind with an uninsured rate of 21.46 percent. Massachusetts has the lowest rate at 1.2 percent.

43. Uninsured rate hits lowest level since 2008.
The U.S. uninsured rate decreased to 15.6 percent in the first quarter of this year. This is the lowest level since 2008.

44. PPACA to increase number of medical malpractice claims.
A new study released by the RAND Corporation has found the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will increase the number of medical malpractice claims.

45. 272 ACOs in America.
CMS named the original 32 Pioneer accountable care organizations in December 2011. In July 2013, nine Pioneers left the program. But, the number of both government and commercial ACOs continues to grow. There are now 272 ACOs in the country. 

46. ACOs overlook surgeons.
A new study has found Medicare's early ACOs have put little emphasis on surgical care. Instead, ACOs have focused on chronic conditions, readmissions and emergency department use.

47. CBO: PPACA still to generate $124B in savings.
In response to an inquiry from Congress, the Congressional Budget Office has reiterated its March 2010 projection that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will reduce federal budget deficits by a total of $124 billion from 2010 to 2019 and by approximately one-half of 1 percent of gross domestic product during the following decade.

48. Exchange plan members could face hefty premium increases next year.
Consumers enrolled in exchange plans who receive federal assistance to reduce their monthly premiums may face substantial premium increases unless they switch insurance plans in 2015.


49. CMS breaks silence, sets ICD-10 transition date for Oct. 1, 2015.
A CMS spokesperson issued a statement on ICD-10. "HHS expects to release an interim final rule in the near future that will include a new compliance date that would require the use of ICD-10 beginning Oct. 1, 2015. The rule will also require HIPAA covered entities to continue to use ICD-9-CM through Sept. 30, 2015."

50. CMS cancels July ICD-10 testing.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services cancelled the ICD-10 testing scheduled for July 21 to 25 due to the implementation delay. Additional opportunities for end-to-end testing will be available in 2015, according to the agency.

51. CMS accepts majority of claims submitted during March ICD-10 testing week.
In March, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services conducted an ICD-10 testing week. Approximately 2,600 participating testers submitted more than 127,000 claims with ICD-10 codes to the Medicare Fee-for-Service claims system. Overall, CMS accepted 89 percent of claims. Some regions reported acceptance rates as high as 99 percent.

52. CMS suggests providers begin ICD-10 front-end testing in October.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recommends providers, suppliers, billing companies and clearinghouses to begin ICD-10 front-end testing in October. Medicare is scheduled to update its systems Oct. 6. All stakeholders are able to submit acknowledgement test claims at anytime, but CMS advices waiting until after the systems updates.

53. CMS extends partial ICD-10 code freeze.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has extended the partial ICD-10 code freeze until October 2016. The code freeze will allow no major revisions until October 2016 but will allow the addition of new diagnoses and technologies as needed. After the code freeze ends, normal revisions will begin again.

54. Another ICD-10 delay could cost $6.6B.
The American Health Information and Management Association estimates that another one-year delay in ICD-10 implementation would cost the healthcare industry an additional $1 billion to $6.6 billion.

Leadership moves

55. ASCA elects new board of directors officers.
The Ambulatory Surgery Center Association elected Terry Bohlke, CASC, vice president of National Surgical Hospitals, president of the board. Other new offices include:

•    Rebecca R. Craig, RN, CASC, CEO of Harmony Surgery Center and Peak Surgical Management in Fort Collins, Colo.: vice president
•    Judy Harless, MBA, CASC, administrator of SMI Surgery Center in San Diego: secretary
•    Clifford G. Adlerz, president and COO of Symbion: treasurer

56. AAAHC CEO to retire.
After 18 years with the association, John E. Burke, PhD, president and CEO of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, announced he will retire in June 2015.

57. AAAASF welcomes new CEO, COO.
The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities has appointed James Pavletich, MHA, CAE, as CEO and Theresa Griffin-Rossi, CAE, as COO.

58. Ann Geier to serve as ASCA's AAAHC liaison.
The Ambulatory Surgery Center Association Foundation as selected SourceMedical Solutions Vice President-Clinical Informatics Ann Geier as its liaison to the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

59. AGA Institute names Dr. John Allen president.
The American Gastroenterological Association announced John I. Allen, MD, MBA, AGAF, as its new AGA Institute president. Dr. Allen began his term at the conclusion of Digestive Disease Week.

60. Physicians Endoscopy names CDO.
Physicians Endoscopy named Rodger Baca as chief development officer. Mr. Baca previously served as a vice president of acquisitions and development at Ambulatory Surgical Centers of America.

61. Kathleen Sebelius to step down as HHS secretary.
Last week, Kathleen Sebelius resigned as HHS secretary. Her resignation came less than two weeks after the end of the first open enrollment period for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exchanges. Sylvia Mathews Burwell has taken over the role.

62. Tom Tassone named AAAHC director of health plans.
The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care appointed Tom Tassone as director of health plans. In this role, Mr. Tassone is responsible for expanding Qualified Health Plans accreditation.

Price transparency and bundled payment news  

63. Price transparency initiatives could cut $100B in health spending.
Increased healthcare price transparency could potentially play a considerable role in payment reform and help contain costs, according to an analysis released by the nonprofit West Health Policy Center. If policy makers implemented a number of price transparency interventions they could reduce healthcare spending by $100 billion.

64. 4 ASCs add pricing data to PricingHealthcare.com.
The Orthopedic Surgery Center of Orange County in Los Angeles; Monticello Surgery Center in Charlottesville, Va.; the Surgery Centers of ENT Institute in Atlanta; and St. George (Utah) Surgical Center have listed pricing data on the website PricingHealthcare.com in June.

65. Jeff Blankinship launches price transparency platform.
Jeff Blankinship, president of Surgical Notes and Surgery Center Network, founded I Need a Surgery. INS is a direct-to-consumer surgical solution and educational platform designed to bring price transparency to the field of surgery.

66. MEDARVA Stony Point Surgery Centers posts prices online.
MEDARVA Stony Point Surgery Center in Richmond, Va., posted the out-of-pocket costs for its top 25 to 30 surgical procedures on its website. Online pricing is available in multiple specialties.

67. Bedford ASC, Harvard-Pilgrim Healthcare launch bundled payments pilot program.
The bundled payments program between Bedford Ambulatory Surgical Center and health plan Harvard-Pilgrim Healthcare include routine colonoscopy. The bundled rate includes fees for the surgeon, anesthesiologist and all other clinicians. The program, available to Harvard-Pilgrim Healthcare customers, includes more than one bundled fee. The fees are based on patient risk factors.

68. Bundled payments save $33M in cancer care.
In October 2009, researchers launched a study of bundled payments in five medical oncology groups. Through the alternative to fee-for-service payment model, the total cost of care for patients with three different types of cancer was reduced by $33 million.

Payment news

69. CMS proposed payment changes would bump ASC payments up 1.2 percent.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed 2015 payment changes for ASCs and hospital outpatient departments. The proposed changes would raise ASC payment by 1.2 percent in calendar year 2015. HOPD rates would rise by 2.1 percent.

70. CMS proposed payment changes do not eliminate colonoscopy cost-sharing.
The proposed rule would redefine colorectal cancer screening colonoscopy to include anesthesia. As a result, Medicare Part B deductible and coinsurance will be waived for anesthesia services charged separately. The GI societies appreciate this move towards eliminating barriers to colorectal cancer screening, but they express disappointment that CMS has not made the same move to eliminate coinsurance for colonoscopy including polyp removal.

71. ASCA successfully negotiates with CMS over proposed payments.
The Ambulatory Surgery Center Association reported that the CMS 2015 proposed payment schedule for ASCs includes several points it successfully negotiated. ASCA successfully negotiated for issues such as the addition of 10 new spine procedures added to the list of 2015 payable procedures.

72. California Division of Workers' Comp proposes ASC fee schedule changes.
The California Division of Worker's Compensation suggested changes to the ambulatory surgery center and hospital outpatient department fee schedule, which would eliminate alternative payment methodology. The California Ambulatory Surgery Association opposes the changes and filed formal comments with the DWC.

73. Study recommends no change in workers' comp fees for California ASCs.
A recent study examining outpatient surgical fees for California's worker's compensation recommends no change in the fees. The study, required by the state's 2012 workers' compensation reform law, did not provide support for allowing any procedures from the "inpatient only" list to be performed in the outpatient setting, except perhaps certain types of spinal fusion.

74. Delaware initiates workers' compensation changes.
Delaware enacted House Bill 373, which is designed to control the state's level of workers' compensation premiums. The bill includes a 33 percent reduction in medical costs to the workers' compensation system, absolute caps on all workers' compensation procedures beginning Jan. 1, 2017 and increased independence for the Ratepayer Advocate. A new ASC and hospital fee schedule will be put into effect Jan. 31, 2015.

75. New Hampshire considers taxing ASCs.
After a ruling declared New Hampshire's Medicaid Enhancement Tax — a state tax on hospitals — unconstitutional, the state's House reviewed three amendments to the tax, one of which includes the taxation of ambulatory surgery centers. The proposed amendment, from republican Rep. David Hess, would broaden the tax on hospitals to include ASCs and ambulance services but would lower the tax rate by 10 percent.

76. Report links ASCs to potential Medicare savings.
A report in the American Journal of Gastroenterology examined the growth of ambulatory surgery centers in the United States in relation to lowered Medicare payments. The study reported that continued ASC growth could reduce Medicare spending since reimbursement is lower than in other settings.

77. 10 new spine procedures proposed for ASC payable list.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the 2015 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment System Policy Changes and Payment Rates earlier this month, and they include 10 new spine procedures.

Physician corner

78. 21% of physicians across all specialties employed by hospitals.
Overall, 21 percent of physicians in all specialties are employed by a hospital. The number of primary care physicians employed by a hospital rose from 10 percent in 2013 to 20 percent in 2014.

79. 24% of physicians considering selling their practice.
Nearly one-fourth, 24 percent, of physicians report considering the sale of their practice, according to The Second Annual Practice Profitability Index: 2014 Edition. Twelve percent of physicians are actively seeking to sell their practice and 11 percent already have, according to the report.

80. 76% of physicians who experienced decreased income plan to leave private practice.
Three quarters of physicians, 76 percent, who had an income decrease in the last year said they would not remain in private practice because overhead costs were too high, according to a Jackson Healthcare report. On the other hand, of those physicians who experienced an increase in pay 91 percent say they will be practicing medicine this year.

81. AMA policy addresses physician shortage.
The American Medical Association voted to support innovative education models to address physician shortages in undersupplied specialties and underserved areas. The new policy encourages the federal and state government, as well as private payers, to satisfactorily fund graduate medical education and increase the number of available GME slots.

82. Hospital acquisition of physician practices down.
In 2011, hospitals and health systems accounted for more than half of all physician practice acquisition deals. In 2013, they accounted for just 14 percent. Physician practice management companies are stepping up to account for a large amount of practice acquisitions.

83. January 31: deadline for physicians to change Medicare participation.
Physicians have until Jan. 31, 2014, the end of the open enrollment period, to decide whether or not to participate in the Medicare program. The open enrollment period was extended due to the delay of the physician fee schedule.

84. Physicians generate $1.6 trillion in economic benefits.
In 2012, the more than 720,000 physicians in the United States generated $1.6 trillion in direct and indirect economic benefits, according to the American Medical Association.

85. U.S. to be short 90k physicians by 2020.
According to projections by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the nation will be short more than 90,000 total physicians by 2020 and 130,000 physicians by 2025.

Regulatory and legislative updates

86. 9 legislators sign on to ASC Quality & Access Act.
More than 80 Ambulatory Surgery Center Association members attended the ASCA 2014 Capitol Fly-In event to advocate for the ASC industry. After the event, nine new co-sponsors were added to the ASC Quality & Access Act.

87. ASC Quality Reporting Program now includes cataract and endoscopy measurement tools.
The Ambulatory Surgical Center Quality Reporting Program now offers a Cataract Data Collection Tool and Endoscopy Tool Flow Charts. These tools are designed to assist with ASC-9, ASC-10 and ASC-11 quality measure data collection.

88. CMS delays ASC-11 implementation.
CMS delayed the new quality reporting measure ASC-11, "Cataracts: Improvement in Patient's Visual Function within 90 Days Following Cataract Surgery" until Jan. 1, 2015. This delay does not impact ASC-9 or ASC-10 for endoscopy/polyp surveillance.

89. CMS launches certification number look-up tool.
CMS is making available a tool to assist ambulatory surgery centers in locating their CMS certification number to complete the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network registration process. CMS is requiring ASCs to submit data for the ASC-8: Influenza Vaccination Coverage among Healthcare Personnel measure under the ASC Quality Reporting Program.

90. CMS now requires accrediting agencies to report ASC infection control breaches.
CMS mandated that any infection control breaches indentified during Medicare Deemed Status Surveys must be reported by the state survey agency or accreditation organization to the appropriate state authorities.

91. CMS: Physician Compare adds quality data.
For the first time, CMS-run website Physician Compare has added group-level quality data for physician group practices and accountable care organizations in its database. The database includes quality data reported by 66 group practices and 141 ACOs thus far.

92. CMS proposes new emergency preparedness requirements.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed expanded emergency preparedness requirements for providers, including ambulatory surgery centers.

93. CMS ruling: ASCs no longer require radiologists.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services no longer requires ambulatory surgery centers to have a radiologist on their medical staff. CMS removed the Conditions for Coverage provision in a new rule that was released in the pre-published final form titled "Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Regulatory Provisions to Promote Program Efficiency, Transparency and Burden Reduction."

94. Florida Senate kills bill proposing 72-hour stays at ASCs.
The Florida House supported a bill that would allow state ASCs to keep patients for up to three days after a procedure, but the state Senate killed the bill. The Florida Hospital Association strongly opposed the bill.

95. New Hampshire bill would allow 48-hour stays at ASCs.
The New Hampshire Ambulatory Surgery Association expressed support for SB 250, which would allow ASCs the ability to keep patients for 48 hours. The current state law requires patients to discharge or transfer patients at 24 hours.

96. Oklahoma and Idaho consider price transparency bills for ASCs.
Oklahoma is considering the passage of The Oklahoma Health Care Cost Reduction and Transparency Act of 2014 (HB 2400), which would require ASCs in the state to submit pricing to the state health department for the 100 most common diagnostic and surgical procedures. The Idaho House is considering HB 497, which would create a state pricing database of the 50 most common procedures performed at ASCs and hospitals.

97. Oklahoma rejects bill that would add ASCs to state health plans.
A bill offering Oklahoma state employees coverage for surgeries at ambulatory surgery centers has died in the state's Senate Appropriations Committee.

98. President Obama signs into law ICD-10 delay, SGR patch.
President Barack Obama signed into law the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (HR 4302). The law provides a one-year sustainable growth rate patch and delays ICD-10 implementation until Oct. 1, 2015.

99. South Carolina CON law remains in place.
Despite Governor Nikki Haley's veto of the certificate of need program's funds and the Department of Health and Environmental Control request to revisit its ruling, the Supreme Court stood firm by its ruling that requires the state to continue operating its CON program. The DHEC expects to begin accepting applications again in mid-July.

100. CMS renews Joint Commission's deeming authority.
CMS announced it has renewed the approval of The Joint Commission's deeming authority for the accreditation of facilities that want to participate in the Medicare program.

More Articles on ASC Issues:
Narrow networks: ASC industry boon or bane?
New physician buy-in: 4 trends for joint venture ASCs
6 must-reads for ASC turnaround success

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