28 things for ASC leaders to know

Here are 28 things to know:

1, Cigna Health and Life Insurance filed a multi-million lawsuit against 11 Indiana ASCs for allegedly using a "fee forgiveness" model to bring in out-of-network patients. The 11 ASCs involved in the lawsuit have requested more time to respond.

2. The Senate supported the Electronic Health Fairness Act of 2015. The legislation protects physicians practicing in an ASC from possible penalties under the Medicare meaningful use program until a certified electronic health record technology is available for ASCs.

3. A group of employers, unions and insurers have formed an alliance in an effort to persuade Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act's "Cadillac" tax. The tax has a 40 percent federal excise tax on a group of healthcare premiums exceeding $10,200 for single coverage and $27,500 for family coverage. The tax will go into effect in 2018.

4. In the recent GOP debates, Republican candidates discussed their varying views on the ideal healthcare system. If elected president, Donald Trump stated an ideal healthcare system would consist of a private system without "the artificial lines around every state."

5. The Department of Defense confirmed that hackers attacked the Pentagon's Joint Staff unclassified system. Officials believe the hackers are linked to a Russian hacking group based out of Moscow and obtained access to the email system around July 25.

6. Healthfirst, a New York-based payer, encountered a data breach impacting the health information of nearly 5,300 members. Healthfirst stated no Social Security numbers or credit card information have been compromised.

7. TASCET created the 'Unique Patient Identifier' in an effort to protect patients from data breaches.

8.  CMS projects the United States will spend $5.4 trillion on health spending by 2024.

9. U.S. healthcare acquisitions have reached $356 billion this year, which is a record high for the healthcare sector.

10. The New Jersey Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers elected seven new board of director members on June 17 at the organization's quarterly meeting in Atlantic City. The new board members include:

•    Sharon Gelardi of The Gastro-Surgi Center of New Jersey
•    Michael Graziano of Clifton Surgery Center
•    Linda Wadnik Kollar of Surgi Care of Central New Jersey
•    Jeffrey Shanton of Journal Square Surgical Center
•    Meg Stagliano of Seashore Surgical Institute
•    Joan Cassidy of Premier Health Associates Ambulatory Surgery Center
•    Sharon DeMato of Endo Surgi Center of Union

AmSurg's Andrew Weiss was elected president of the New Jersey Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers. He presently serves as the administrator of The Endo Center at Voorhees in Township, N.J.

11. The FDA approved a temporary balloon device to treat obesity. The ReShape Integrated Dual Balloon System was developed to facilitate weight loss in adult patients.

12. Yelp and ProPublica are partnering up to bring research and CMS data from 4,600 hospitals, 15,000 nursing homes and 6,300 dialysis centers to Yelp's review pages.

13. UnitedHealthcare granted $1.2 million to nearly 40 Virginia physicians receiving the 2014 PATH Excellence in Patient Services Awards.

14. Humana renewed its contract with Hospital Corporations of America's hospitals. Humana and HCA-affiliated Florida hospitals reached a two-year agreement, enabling commercial and Medicaid members, Humana Medicare and CarePlus Health Plans Medicare members to receive in-network care at HCA hospitals.

15. Tenet reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2015 following the closing of the United Surgical Partners and Aspen Healthcare acquisitions. Tenet reported an adjusted EBITDA of $568 million for the second quarter, a 23.5 percent increase from $460 million in the second quarter of 2014.

16. Surgical Care Affiliates reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2015. SCA reported $253.7 million in net operating value, up 21.5 percent from the second quarter of 2014. SCA's operating net income reached $60.9 million. Barclay analysts increased Surgical Care Affiliates price target from $42.00 to $45.00. SCA stock presently has an average rating of "Hold."

17. AmSurg acquired a Bay Area Anesthesia in Tampa, Fla., expanding the company's anesthesia service. The anesthesia group has three locations and two ASCs, with the two ASCs now jointly owned by AmSurg and BayCare.

18. Modernizing Medicine signed a definitive agreement to acquire the gastroenterology EHR company gMed.

19 The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention plans to spend $110 million to aid states in tracking and preventing diseases.

20. A Colorado adult died from the plague in Pueblo County. This is the first case of someone in Pueblo County dying from the plague.

21. Researchers at Vanderbilt University and the National University of Singapore have identified the structure of an antibody that could potentially be a treatment for dengue virus.

22. UC Health Longmont stated it will proceed with the construction of a new ambulatory center. The cost of the center is estimated to be $125 million.

23. The University of Miami is opening a $150 million ambulatory surgery center, which will house urgent care, men's health, women's health, outpatient surgery, diagnostic imaging, physical therapy and radiation oncology services.

24. The FDA approved the hepatitis drug Technivie from AbbVie. The drug is used to treat adult HCV patients with genotype 4.

25. Researchers have discovered defective vaccines lead to more powerful viruses, which they project will add fuel to the fire concerning the option to not vaccinate children.

26. Dignity Health Saint Francis Memorial Hospital opened the Saint Francis Orthopedic Institute. The center will combine services of the hospital's Total Joint Center and the San Francisco Spine Institute.

27. Novartis Foundation, a Switzerland-based healthcare solutions company, named four new members to its board of trustees. The board welcomes Joerg Reinhardt, PhD, Professor Piot, Rebecca Weintraub, MD, and Rainer Boehm.

28. Birmingham Outpatient center filed a form D for $460,804 in equity financing.

More on surgery centers:
The obesity epidemic & rising healthcare costs — 8 notes
NorthBay Healthcare acquires the Surgery Center at NorthBay VacaValley: 5 things to know
AmSurg acquires Bay Area Anesthesia: 3 key points

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