30 things that happened in November for ASC leaders to know

Here are 30 of the biggest things that happened in November for ASC leaders to know.

ACA repeal may spur major payer withdrawal from exchanges
GOP legislators have continually vowed to repeal the ACA, which may have a significant impact on payer participation in the exchanges in 2018.

DOJ, Anthem-Cigna attorneys make opening arguments in day 1 of antitrust trial
Nov. 21, 2016 marked the first day that the Department of Justice's antitrust case against the pending Anthem-Cigna merger went to trial.

American people want President-elect Donald Trump to prioritize healthcare
A recent Reuters poll found Americans want President-elect Donald Trump to focus on healthcare once he steps into the White House. Of the respondents, 21 percent said they want President-elect Trump to make healthcare his top priority following his inauguration. Sixteen percent said they would like him to focus on jobs and 14 percent want President-elect Trump to prioritize immigration.

Hendrick Surgery Center makes moves to prepare for spring 2017 opening
In lieu of its scheduled spring 2017 opening, Brownwood, Texas-based Hendrick Surgery Center has begun the hiring process. Hendrick Surgery Center is seeking employees to cover every position, including managers, technicians and nurses. The surgery center costs $5.2 million.

Blue Shield of California exec reaffirms commitment to marketplace
San Francisco-based Blue Shield of California's Chief Executive Paul Markovich said he remains dedicating to selling coverage on the state marketplace despite talk about a possible ACA repeal. Blue Shield of California covers almost 30 percent of the state's marketplace enrollees.

Courts siding with FTC over hospital mergers
Throughout the past decade, the Federal Trade Commission has used its antitrust power to stop potential hospital mergers, and it's been winning the war on monopolies. In the 1990s, hospital mergers were fairly common with federal courts rarely siding with against the merger. Throughout the last decade, the antitrust climate changed and merger-busting gained momentum.

Health insurance start-up Oscar Health bleeding money
New York-based Health Insurance startup Oscar Health posted $45 million in lost profits for the third quarter of 2016. The insurance startup which pledged to turn the insurance industry "on its head" is hemorrhaging money. Through the first half of 2016, the startup lost $83 million, and in 2015 it lost $105 million. Despite the losses, Oscar Health is a magnet for investors. In February 2016, the company raised $400 million in funding at a $2.7 billion valuation

UBS unveils new philanthropic portfolio to boost healthcare in neglected communities
The UBS Optimus Foundation introduced "Going Further: a philanthropic health portfolio." The portfolio offers innovative ways to consider financing and delivering transformation healthcare change in the most neglected communities.

Weighing the possibility of nixing the white coat
The medical community is divided as to whether staff's apparel, including white coats, could result in patient infections, as only a small number of studies have shown that apparel could lead to such infections.

Dr. Mark Montoney named CMO of Contessa Health
Nashville, Tenn.-based Contessa Health named Mark Montoney, MD, its next chief medical officer. He was most recently the CMO for Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare.

SCA partners with Surgical Center of Connecticut & River Valley Ambulatory Surgery Center
Deerfield, Ill.-based Surgical Care Affiliates partnered with Surgical Center of Connecticut in Bridgeport and Norwich, Conn.-based River Valley Ambulatory Surgery Center, thereby expanding its presence in the state to six locations. Both surgery centers' physician partners will jointly own the facilities with SCA.

Silver Cross Hospital receives board approval for $11M ASC
The New Lenox (Ill.) Village Board gave Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox approval to build its ASC. Silver Cross Hospital expects the ASC to cost $11 million.

FTC settles challenge to CentraCare Health's acquisition of 40-physician practice
The FTC announced a settlement to the challenge of St. Cloud, Minn.-based CentraCare Health's acquisition of St. Cloud Medical Group, a 40-physician practice.

FDA commissioner urges industry to improve information sharing practices
FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, MD, emphasized the importance of information sharing in the healthcare industry at the American Heart Association's Scientific Session on Nov. 13, 2016. He noted that lack of technology served as a barrier to information sharing back when he first started practicing, but today, "the limiting factor of progress is us."

Medicare releases data on costliest prescription medicines in 2015
Gilead Sciences' hepatitis C treatment Harvoni cost Medicare $7.03 billion last year, making the drug the priciest on Medicare's list. Medicare spent $153 million on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International's diabetes drug Glumetza, up 381 percent from 2014. In 2014, Medicare officials stated the agency's Part D program received $16.3 billion in rebates on brand-name drugs, which constituted 17.5 percent of gross spending.

Monterey Peninsula Surgery Centers opens Minimus Institute
Monterey (Calif.) Peninsula Surgery Centers, a network of outpatient surgery organizations, opened Minimus Institute in Monterey. With the addition of Minimus Institute, Monterey Peninsula Surgery Centers will become a national surgery referral center that offers patients care in a concierge setting. Minimus Institute will offer patients transparent pricing, patient satisfaction scores and outcome information.

Canton-Potsdam Hospital halts ASC plans following regulatory changes
Canton-Potsdam (N.Y.) Hospital is "unlikely" to pursue its plans of building an ASC in a new medical facility following CMS' 2017 OPPS that includes site-neutral payments.

After 3-year legislative battle, Medarva receives COPN to open surgery center
Richmond, Va.-based Medarva Healthcare received its certificate of public need and will create a multispecialty outpatient surgery center. Medarva received approval for its COPN after three years, $300,000 in legal fees and two COPN applications. Legislators received several letters of support on behalf of Medarva. Medarva's new center will be part of its existing 65,965-square-foot facility and will feature two operating

Baltimore's LifeBridge Health acquires 2 surgery centers
LifeBridge Health in Baltimore acquired the Owings Mills, Md.-based SurgiCenter of Baltimore and the Ellicott City (Md.) Ambulatory Surgery Center. The acquired centers will continue to see and accept patients.

American Academy of Pediatrics: 5 recommendations to prepare for adverse event disclosures
Disclosing adverse events to institutions and patients may be a trying, and often stressful, experience for providers. The American Academy of Pediatric gives five recommendations for institutions when an adverse event occurs.

Senators seek $50M refund from Mylan for 'exorbitant rates'
A group of senators are demanding a $50 million refund from Mylan for the company allegedly charging the Department of Justice "exorbitant rates" for EpiPen at retail pharmacies.

Drs. Richard Peek and Douglas Corley to helm Gastroenterology publication
Richard M. Peek Jr., MD, and Douglas A. Corley, MD, will serve as the next editor-in-chief and deputy editor, respectively, of the research publication Gastroenterology. The AGA's flagship publication is in the top 1 percent of biomedical journals.

Datix unveils new software focusing on why medical mistakes occur
Chicago-based Datix, a provider of patient safety software, introduced its Datix Cloud IQ. Datix Cloud IQ is a SaaS-based application helping providers understand why mistakes occurred. The software is designed to assist organizations in institutional learning, eliminating the root-cause issues leading to medical errors.

CMS final rule increases ASC pay 1.9% in 2017
CMS released the final 2017 ASC payment rule with plans to increase payment rates next year. Payments to ASCs will increase 1.9 percent in 2017. The percentage increase is based on the 2.2 percent projected rate of inflation with 0.3 percentage point productivity adjustment which the ACA requires. The increase is larger than the proposed 1.2 percent increase released earlier this year.

Physicians Realty Trust acquires Northwest Michigan Surgery Center
Physicians Realty Trust acquired a new building in late October, purchasing Northwest Michigan Surgery Center in Traverse City. The company issued $19.3 million in shares to the building owners instead of cash. Physicians Realty Trust issued 46 people shares to purchase Northwest Michigan Surgery Center for $29.4 million.

West Wilshire Medical Surgical Center receives award from California Ambulatory Surgery Association
The California Ambulatory Surgery Association awarded one of its first Annual Excellence Awards to the Los Angeles-based West Wilshire Medical Surgical Center. The awards recognize ASCs in California that are "drivers of excellent healthcare, providing opportunities and solutions for healthcare reform."

Minnesota first-day exchange sales slowed by telephone attack
Minnesotans looking to enroll into MNsure, their state's health insurance exchange, couldn't as a telephone attack took the exchange offline for several hours during the first day of enrollment. The health system was "jammed" with automated calls that made it inaccessible to several people looking to enroll. County sites and MNsure were also down but the reason why was unspecified.

Anthem misses Q3 earning projections
Indianapolis-based Anthem failed to meet its third quarter earnings projections. Anthem posted $2.45 quarterly earnings. Projections pegged it for a $2.49.

Truckee Surgery Center Administrator Kate Cooper honored as 'best boss'
The Third Annual Best Boss contest named Kate Cooper, director of Truckee (Calif.) Surgery Center, the "best boss." The contest receives nominations for bosses who inspire, motivate and make a positive impact in their employees' lives. Marilyn Willis, RN, nominated Ms. Cooper, noting she "stands tall and relays our issues to the owners and surgeon. Kate has no ego."

If performance doesn't improve in 2018, Anthem wants out of ACA exchanges
Anthem said it may pull back from the exchanges in 2018 if results don't improve. CEO Joseph Swedish said to Bloomberg, "If we do not see clear evidence of an improving environment and a path towards sustainability in the marketplace, we will likely modify our strategy in 2018. Clearly, 2017 is a critical year as we continue to assess the long-term viability of our exchange footprint."

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