35 things for ASC leaders to know for March

Here are 35 updates from the last month.

San Antonio anesthesiologist Dr. Casey Drawert killed in murder-suicide
The husband of anesthesiologist Casey Drawert, MD, killed her in a murder-suicide. Police found the shooter, David Thomas Ross, and Dr. Drawert dead in their home on March 13.

Obama administration to rate health insurance plans by network size
After facing numerous consumer complaints, the Obama administration passed new rules allowing the administration to rate health insurance plans based on their network's size. Although the rules allow payers to sell health plans with narrow provider networks, consumers will be able to see the value of the plans as the government will attach a label listing the breadth of the network for each plan HealthCare.gov sells.

Disciplinary action against physicians varies by state
Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan researchers found disciplinary action against physicians differs by state. Delaware has the highest punishment rate and Massachusetts has the lowest.

SCA, HealthEast partner on Maplewood Surgery Center merger
SCA is partnering with St. Paul, Minn.-based HealthEast on a merger of HealthEast's Midway Surgery Center and Maplewood Surgery Center. The partnership went into effect March 1, 2016.

SCA partners with Merritt Island Surgery Center
Surgical Care Affiliates partnered with Merritt Island (Fla.) Surgery Center's physician partners. Through the partnership, SCA will operate three locations in Florida's central east coast and will align the company with 13 additional physicians.

Forest Park Medical Center co-founder Dr. Richard Toussaint guilty of $10M fraud scheme
U.S. District Judge Reed C. O'Connor convicted anesthesiologist and co-founder of Dallas-based Forest Park Medical Center system Richard F. Toussaint Jr., MD, of committing a $10 million healthcare fraud scheme. Dr. Toussaint was found guilty on seven counts of fraud.

Genesis Health System has 4 wrong-site surgeries in 40 days
TV-6 investigators found a letter in which Genesis Health System, which has hospitals in Iowa and Illinois, told staff members four wrong-site surgeries occurred at the health system's hospitals within 40 days. The health system attributes the errors to hospital staff failing to conduct time outs.

Medical Facilities Corp. names Britt Reynolds CEO
Equipped with 28 years of experience in hospital and health services management, Mr. Reynolds will work to build on the company's existing business and seek new opportunities in the U.S. market. Mr. Reynolds will assume his role on June 1, 2016.

Medical Facilities Corp. revenue hits $90M in Q4
Medical Facilities Corp. had consolidated facility service revenue from continuing operations reaching $89.8 million for the quarter, up 8.9 percent from the same period the year prior. For the quarter, consolidated facility service revenue from continuing operations reached $308.8 million in 2015, up 3.8 percent from $297.4 million in 2014.

Surgery Partners proposes $400M senior notes offering
Surgery Partners' Surgery Center Holdings proposed a $400 million aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes due 2021. Each Surgery Center Holdings' domestic wholly owned subsidiary will guarantee the notes under its senior secured credit facilities.

Surgery Partners net revenue hits $960M in 2015
Surgery Partners' net revenues for the fourth quarter reached $263.3 million, up 46.5 percent from the same period in 2014. For the full year, net revenues increased 138 percent hitting $959.9 million, up from $403.3 million for 2014.

AmSurg's Columbus Eye Surgery Center celebrates 20 years
AmSurg Partners Robin Beran, MD, Richard Orlando, MD, and now retired Robert A. Bruce, MD, all celebrated the ASC, which they founded 20 years ago.

Westchester Medical Center plans $230M medical pavilion with ASC
Valhalla, N.Y.-based Westchester Medical Center plans to build a $230 million Ambulatory Care Pavilion. The 280,000-square-foot facility has 185,000 square feet allotted for ambulatory care space.

DuPage Medical Group acquires Midwest ENT Consultants
Chicago-based DuPage Medical Group completed its acquisition of Midwest ENT Consultants. Through the acquisition, DMG will bring in eight board-certified specialists in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery as well as four physician assistants and seven audiologists.

Northeast Missouri Surgery Center elects Dr. Bhagirath Katbamna board president
Board-certified in internal medicine and a diplomate in gastroenterology, Bhagirath Katbamna, MD, will serve as Northeast Missouri Surgery Center's board president. He has served on the board since 2009.

Coastal Orthopedics performs 100th outpatient joint replacement
Florida-based Coastal Orthopedics Sports Medicine and Pain Management's Alan Valadie, MD, performed the center's 100th outpatient joint replacement. The practice began offering outpatient total joint replacements in 2013.

Florida House approves free-market healthcare reform proposals
Florida House passed various free-market healthcare reform proposals, which aim to cut regulations to incite competition, lower costs and increase healthcare access. One proposal enables the creation of new recovery centers able to care for patients for up to 72 hours post-surgery. The bill extended the time patients can recover at an ASC for up to 24 hours.

CMS proposes new Medicare drug payment models
On March 8, CMS said it would test new payment models to improve how Medicare Part B pays for prescription drugs to incent physicians to select the most effective treatments for patients and to reduce Medicare spending. CMS has proposed changing the add-on payment to 2.5 percent plus a flat fee payment of $16.80 per drug per day.

CMS finalizes changes to ACA marketplace
CMS released a final rule featuring standards for health insurers selling coverage through the Affordable Care Act exchanges in 2017. The standards address areas such as surprise bills, network transparency, risk-adjustment, standardized options, patient safety and annual open enrollment period.

CMS finalizes its annual Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters
CMS recalibrated the risk adjustment formula for the quality health plan payment parameters using recent data. The new formula includes separate growth rates for traditional drugs, specialty drugs and medical/surgical expenditures.

Opioid prescriptions for common outpatient surgeries on the rise
Physicians are prescribing more opioid painkillers than ever before to patients undergoing common surgeries such as carpal tunnel repair, laparoscopic gall bladder removal, some minimally invasive knee surgeries and hernia repair. Between 2004 and 2014, the amount of opioid medication dispensed to patients after surgery also increased markedly.

CDC issues 2016 recommendations for prescribing opioids for chronic pain
The CDC issued primary care clinicians updated guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain patients. Per the recommendations, opioids like OxyCotin and Percocet should not be the first line of defense to treat chronic pain.

SSM Health opens $10M outpatient center
St. Louis-based SSM Health, a Catholic, nonprofit health system, opened a $10.4 million outpatient clinic in Wentzville, Mo. The 22,000-square-foot facility will offer primary and specialty services.

Novant Health expands Kernersville ASC in North Carolina
Novant Health is seeking to expand the Kernersville (N.C.) Outpatient Surgery ambulatory surgery center, which will cost the health system $9.8 million. The project requires moving two Novant operating rooms from a facility in Winston-Salem to the Kernersville facility.

Surgery Center of Beverly Hills performs charitable cases for children
Special Surgical Center of Beverly Hills (Calif.) and nonprofit Mending Kids are partnering to provide free surgeries for children. Special Surgical Center of Beverly Hills will perform the surgeries for children whose families can't afford the procedures.

TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital plans to build $9.1M ASC  
TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital in Bowling Green, Ky., is building a 13,000-square-foot surgery center in Warren County, Ky. The center costs $9.1 million.

Sutter Health to own majority of Stanislaus Surgical Hospital
Sacramento-based Sutter Health recently signed an agreement to become the majority owner of Modesto, Calif.-based Stanislaus Surgical Hospital. The deal is effective April 1.

Mercy Health Youngstown in Ohio to break ground on new ASC
Mercy Health Youngstown (Ohio) will break ground on a new outpatient ambulatory facility next to Howland Surgery Center. The $14.5 million facility will focus on orthopedics, physical medicine and ENT.

Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU to open $200M outpatient pavilion
On March 21, Children's Hospital of Richmond (Va.) at VCU will open its new Children's Pavilion, dedicated to outpatient services. The 15-story pavilion costs $200 million.

Hendrick Medical Center, physicians to construct Hendrick Surgery Center.
Abilene, Texas-based Hendrick Medical Center and Abilene and Brownwood (Texas) physicians are creating a joint venture outpatient surgery center in Brownwood. Hendrick Surgery Center physicians will provide otolaryngology, gastroenterology, orthopedics, podiatry, urology, gynecology, ophthalmology, pain management and plastic surgery services.

Physician ranked as highest paid job
Last year, physicians earned a median base salary of $180,000, followed by lawyers with a median base salary of $144,500, based on Glassdoor's 2015 list for highest paying jobs. The physician job market had 2,064 openings in 2015.

The Joint Commission updates 10 most-reported sentinel events
The Joint Commission reviewed 936 sentinel events in 2015. The most frequently reported sentinel events are as follows:
1. Unintended retention of a foreign body: 116
2. Wrong-patient, wrong-site or wrong-procedure: 111
3. Fall: 95
4. Suicide: 95
5. Delay in treatment: 76
6. Operative/postoperative complication: 76
7. Other unanticipated event: 56
8. Perinatal death/injury: 42
9. Medication error: 41
10. Fire: 23

The Joint Commission releases its 2016 Ambulatory Care National Patient Safety Goals
The Joint Commission released the 2016 Ambulatory Care National Patient Safety Goals, which focuses on various aspects of patient safety. One goal includes medical professionals labeling all medication prior to the procedure, including those in syringes and cups.

1,200 RNs at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles begin walkout
Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center registered nurses are starting a seven-day strike on March 15 as they push for their first contract as union members.

NY legislation would allow physician collective bargaining
The New York legislature is considering collective bargaining legislation that would give physicians leverage when negotiating payer contracts. So far, the legislation passed the New York Senate and has been sent to the Assembly and the Governor for approval.

More healthcare news:
Emails show Olympus hiked duodenoscope prices post deadly CRE outbreak, GI Dynamics names Scott Schorer CEO — 8 GI company key notes
The value of an apology — 5 points on what patients want after a medical error
EMU Health acquires Queens Surgical Center — 4 things to know

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