7 things for ASC leaders to know for Thursday — Sept. 22, 2016

Here are seven updates:

Cigna defends $48M merger with Anthem
As the Anthem-Cigna antitrust case continues, Cigna defended the potential merger saying the $48 billion deal would provide Americans increased access to affordable healthcare. Both Cigna and Anthem said federal attorneys are using out-of-context quotes from internal documents to create a misleading image.

Medicare spends $87.9M on EpiPen users in 2014, up 1,000%+ in 7 years
Between 2007 and 2014, Medicare spending on the EpiPen increased 1,151 percent. Medicare spent $7 million on EpiPen in 2007 for 79,980 users in 2007, with that figure increasing to $87.9 million in 2014.

Novant Health receives CON approval for $9.8M Kernesville ASC
North Carolina-based Novant Health received certificate-of-need approval to build its ambulatory surgery center in Kernersville, N.C. The surgery center costs nearly $9.8 million and hopes to be operational in April 2018. In the plan, Novant Health proposed moving two operating rooms from Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Forsyth Medical Center to Kernersville Outpatient Surgery.

Physicians give insight into Hillary Clinton's health records & what the records are missing
Hillary Clinton's personal physician Lisa Bardack, MD, released an update of a July 2015 letter, featuring two new medical conditions, including a sinus and ear infection and pneumonia. Physicians not linked to Ms. Clinton claim Dr. Bardack's letters do not include essential information, such as Ms. Clinton's height and weight. They also argue the letters should include a more detailed history of Ms. Clinton's blood clots and her 2012 concussion.

Colonoscopies inaccurate when determining surgical site for cancer cases
A study found colonoscopies do not accurately determine the proper surgical location for nearly 33 percent of all colon cancer cases. Although colonoscopy is a valuable tool to screen and diagnose colorectal cancer, its effectiveness for localization or surveillance of tumors is being challenged by co-author Jennifer Nayor, MD, of the division of gastroenterology, hepatology and endoscopy at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, both located in Boston.

Northfield Hospital & Clinics considers ASC location
Farmington, Minn.-based Northfield Hospital & Clinics is considering building its new ambulatory surgery center in Lakeville, Minn. On Sept. 13, NH&C CEO Steve Underdahl presented updates to a Northfield City Council about the surgery center, noting the project is in its preliminary stages.

Aetna CEO responds to senators' letter, says claims are 'unfounded'
A group of senators sent a letter to Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini asking for an explanation as to why the payer exited many Affordable Care Act exchanges. In his response to the senators, Mr. Bertolini wrote the senators made, "several unfounded accusations about Aetna's intentions as they relate to the public healthcare exchanges."

More healthcare news:
5 things to know about the GI endoscopic market
After Anthem responds to antitrust case, Cigna follows suit: 4 things you need to know
6 areas of focus for ASCs to improve efficiency & increase the bottom line

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