7 things for ASC leaders to know for Thursday — Feb. 2, 2017

Here are seven updates from the past month to note.

Healthcare employment increases by 43k in December; Ambulatory services constitutes 70% of growth
December 2016 saw an uptick in the number of employed Americans, with the healthcare sector hiring thousands of new employees last month. Healthcare employment increased by 43,000. Of this figure, ambulatory services constituted more than 30,000 people and hospitals accounted for more than 11,000.

Medicaid spending totals $575.9B in 2016
HHS released its 2016 Actuarial Report which found Medicare expenditures totaled $575.9 billion in 2016. In 2016, average Medicaid enrollment hit 72.2 million, a 3.1 percent jump. Of this figure, the majority of growth came from newly eligible adults.

Judge Neil Gorsuch is Trump's pick for Supreme Court justice
In a slew of recent orders, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge in Colorado, to fill the Supreme Court position vacated by Justice Antonin Scalia last year. At 49 years old, Judge Gorsuch would be the youngest judge to take a position on the Supreme Court since Judge Clarence Thomas' confirmation more than two decades ago in 1991.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago obtains CON approval for surgery center
Chicago-based Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital is building a new facility that will provide outpatient services in Northbrook, Ill. The surgery center is 26,000 square feet and will house four operating rooms.

AAAHC's new toolkit combats the rise of superbugs
The Skokie, Ill.-based Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care created a new toolkit to enhance antibiotic stewardship programs around combating superbugs. AAAHC designed the toolkit to evaluate existing stewardship policies and practices to help organizations ensure good patient outcomes.

St. Mary's Hospital opens orthopedic-driven ASC
Centralia, Ill.-based St. Mary's Hospital held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of its orthopedic surgery center. Craig Beyer, MD, will join the surgery center in an effort to expand medical services in the region.

Physicians Endoscopy acquires minority interest in The Endoscopy Center at St. Mary
Jamison, Pa.-based Physicians Endoscopy is partnering with St. Mary Medical Center, the Gastroenterology Group PA and Center for Colon and Rectal Health physicians, all based in Langhorne, Pa., to acquire a minority interest in Langhorne-based The Endoscopy Center at St. Mary. The GI-focused ASC has four operating rooms.

More articles on healthcare:
GOP Senate committee members send Dr. Tom Price HHS nomination to floor after 'suspending' rules — 5 notes
Aetna may completely withdraw from exchanges due to ACA uncertainty: 5 things to know
Survey: Group purchasing organizations yielded up to $864B in healthcare savings over 10 years

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