7 things for ASC leaders to know for Monday — Aug. 22, 2016

Here are seven updates:

Anesthesiologist blamed for causing blindness in 5 cataract patients at Massachusetts clinic
A cataract eye surgery center in Massachusetts is the subject of controversy after five patients receiving cataract surgery in May 2014 went blind from the procedure. The surgeries were all performed at Cataract and Laser Center West, in West Springfield, Mass. Specialists who examined the patients alleged that anesthesiologist Tzay Chiu, MD, is responsible for the injuries. The specialists believe Dr. Chiu possibly pierced the patient's eyeballs or retinas with his needles while he was performing an eye block.

E-prescribing gaining traction in healthcare
Electronic prescriptions are trending upwards in healthcare. In 2015, 77 percent of all drug prescriptions were written in a digital format, according to the 2015 National Progress Report of Surescripts. Digital prescriptions only accounted for 67 percent of all prescriptions in 2014 and 58 percent in 2013.

Physicians are concerned about the pending insurance megamegers
The healthcare industry is undergoing consolidation and the insurance industry is no exception. However, as competition dwindles in the market, physicians are concerned how the payer consolidation will detract from quality care, Joseph Valenti, MD, claims.

Healthcare Associates to build 60k-sq-ft ASC, medical building
Irving, Texas-based Healthcare Associates is building a new medical office building, equipped with an ambulatory surgery center. The project will be done in two phases and is expected to begin in the Fall.

Brigham strike, Epic implementation drag Partners' earnings
Partners HealthCare saw revenue increase 7 percent year over year to nearly $3.2 billion in the second quarter of 2016, but the Boston-based system ended the quarter with an operating loss. Partners reported an operating loss of $33 million in the second quarter of 2016, a dramatic drop from the operating gain of nearly $30 million the system recorded in the same period of 2015.
The system took an $8 million hit from spending on strike preparations earlier this summer at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

SCA partners with Surgery Center of Chevy Chase; expands presence in Maryland
Surgical Care Affiliates partnered with Surgery Center of Chevy Chase (Md.). The partnership expands SCA's presence in the state to six locations and 24 additional physicians.

New Hampshire ranks as #1 free state in freedom analyzing project
The Cato Institute's "2016 Freedom in the 50 States project" analyzed the 50 states' policies impact on fiscal, regulatory and personal freedom. New Hampshire was named the freest state.

More healthcare news:
Texas Free Market Surgery launches price transparency, bundled payment platform for Texas ASC: 6 key notes
E-prescribing gaining traction in healthcare: 7 takeaways
New Hampshire ranks as #1 free state — Which states intervene in your life the most?

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