From: Scott Becker <>
Subject: [Becker's ASC E-Weekly] House Appropriations Bill Does Not Contain Physician-Ownership Ban; Litigation Against ASCs Is Increasing -- Becker Disagrees With Plaintiffs Attorneys; Question and Answer: Best Ways to Retain, Reward Staff
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June 19, 2008
Latest News & Analysis

1. Prognosis Possibly Clearing: House Version of Appropriations Bill Does Not Include Prohibition on Physician Ownership. Click Here button

2. Senate Blocks Bill That Proposed to Enact 1.1 Percent Pay Increase (Instead of 10.6 Percent Decrease) for Physicians. Click Here button

3. Healthcare Costs Are Unsustainable and "Place Unprecedented, Growing and Long-Lasting Stress" on Government, Says Acting Comptroller General. Click Here button

4. As Surgeries Shift From Hospitals to ASCs, Litigation Against ASCs Is on the Upswing; Scott Becker, JD, CPA, Strongly Disagrees with Comments of Plaintiffs Lawyers in Article. Click Here button

5. MGMA Asks CMS to Take "Time-Out" With Growing Complexity of Stark Regulations. Click Here button

6. AMA Releases First Report Card on Insurers, Focusing on Timeliness, Transparency and Accuracy of Claims Processing. Click Here button

7. ASC Communications Launches the Hospital Review. See a sample issue; Affiliated Credit Services is its first founding sponsor. Click Here button

8. Joint Commission Suspends Medical Staff Standard Implementation Date, Approves More Work to Revise MS.1.20. Click Here button

9. Pa. Insurer Merger Talks Take Unexpected Turn, Uncover Adviser Payments. Click Here button

10. Southwest-Colo. Surgical Hospital Seeks MDs. Click Here button

11. The Hospital Review Has Named 24 Hospital Leaders to Know. Click Here button

12. Record Numbers Attend Orthopedic, Pain Management and Spine Driven ASC Conference. Click Here button

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Save the Dates: Three Upcoming Audio Conferences

We have three excellent audio conferences scheduled for the upcoming months.

First, on July 24, we have an audio conference on ASC mergers and acquisitions featuring Sami Abbasi, CEO of National Surgical Care; Jon O'Sullivan, principal of VMG Health; and Tom Yerden, founder of TRY Health Care Solutions. For full program information, click here.

Second, on Aug. 6, we have an audio conference that will cover ASC benchmarking and case-costing. Presenting are two of the best in the business -- Susan Kizirian, RN, BSN, MBA, and Ann Geier, RN, MS, CNOR, CASC -- who are each senior-level people at ASCOA. More information will be posted at soon.

Third, on Sept. 25, we will have an audio conference that will discuss physician/hospital integration efforts such as the reemergence of employment models and of other models. David Burik, the leader of Navigant Consulting's healthcare practice; Jim Unland, CEO of Health Capital Group; and Scott Becker, JD, CPA, will speak. Please visit our upcoming audio conferences, where further information will be posted as it becomes available.

For information on audio conferences, including the program we just had that featured the outstanding Stephanie Ellis, RN, CPC, on orthopedic coding in ASCs, please e-mail Rob Kurtz.

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Three Strategies That Work for Retaining and Rewarding Staff

Q: What is your best suggestion for retaining great staff? What do you do to recognize staff members who have been with your facility five years? Ten years?

-- submitted by Marcy Sasso of ASC of Union (N.J.) County

Featured answer:

We do a few things at our two surgery centers to maintain and reward staff.

First and foremost, we provide a friendly fair work environment. We do not have lots of layers of management and all managers must have an open-door policy. Employee concerns are addressed immediately and all taken seriously. This way, the issue is gone before it becomes a problem.

Our clinical staff are all bonused a percent of their salary at the beginning of December each year. The higher their average hours worked per week, the higher the percentage that is applied. Before this policy, we had too many staff people working when they felt like it and trouble staffing the really busy days. Now everyone wants to work more hours because their bonus multiple goes up.

At five years our employees receive a check and an extra week of paid time off. They appreciate this and, as an eight-year-old company, we have almost half of our 75 employees at five years or more!

-- Cindy Ragsdale, COO, Pyramid Peak Corporation (MSO for Newport Coast Surgery Center and Laguna Niguel Surgery Center), Newport Beach, Calif.

For the rest of the answers, go here. To submit a question, e-mail Rob Kurtz. Be sure to include your name, title and business name. For answers to the previous question, click here.

Schedule Surgery June 08
ASC Review Seeks Nominations for Leader Lists

We are seeking nominations for the following lists:

1. 25 Physician Leaders in Ambulatory Surgery Centers
2. 25 Women Leaders in Ambulatory Surgery Centers
3. 10 Great Administrators Who Lead IT Implementation in Ambulatory Surgery Centers

Please e-mail Scott Becker with nominations.

Coming Up in Becker's ASC E-Weekly

Don't miss the next Benchmarking Statistic of the Week, and a Q&A with ASC Association Executive Director Kathy Bryant, JD.

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Contact us toll-free: (800) 417-2035

Thank You to 10 Great Companies

1. Affiliated Credit Services. Affiliated Credit Services, led by Tyler Marsh, is a collection agency and accounts receivable management company. The company is also the first founding sponsor of the Hospital Review. Read more about Affiliated Credit Services.

2. VMG Health. VMG Health performs hundreds of ASC valuations each year and maintains the most comprehensive database on ASC financial benchmarking statistics. The company is the first senior sponsor of the Orthopedics, Pain Management and Spine Driven ASC Conference. Read more about VMG.

3. Source Medical. Source Medical is a leading provider of outpatient information solutions and services, collectively serving ASCs, rehabilitation clinics and diagnostic imaging centers. Learn more about Source Medical.

4. CTQ Solutions. CTQ Solutions is the leading satisfaction survey and benchmarking firm in outpatient healthcare. Learn more about CTQ Solutions.

5. Anesthesia Healthcare Partners. AHP provides hospitals, ASCs and office-based practices with a variety of anesthesia management solutions. Learn more about AHP.

6. Mednet. Mednet has created a standalone inventory management application that works with your existing management application, or with its soon-to-be-released Online Ambulatory Surgical Information Systems. Read more about Mednet.

7. Eveia Health Consulting & Management. Founded by I. Naya Kehayes, MPH, Eveia Health Consulting & Management is comprised of a team of seasoned professionals who are experts in reimbursement management, managed care contracting, and business management with a specialization in ASCs and surgical practices. Learn more about Eveia.

8. Blue Chip Surgical Partners. Founded by ASC veteran Jeff Leland, Blue Chip Surgical has several highly profitable, physician-led centers in operation around the company and a number of projects in development. Read more about Blue Chip.

9. Alpine Surgical Equipment. Alpine Surgical provides its clients with a wide array of both new and refurbished medical equipment for the entire ASC, including OR, pre- and post-op areas, by working closely with many of the leading medical equipment manufacturers and specialty refurbishing companies nationwide. Learn more about Alpine.

10. QSE Technologies. QSE Technologies is a premiere IT systems integrator, managing all aspects of IT infrastructure design, configuration, installation and ongoing tech support, for new and existing ASCs. Read more about QSE.

Upcoming ASC Events
ASC Transactions: Successful Strategies for Mergers, Acquisitions, Divestitures and Restructuring
July 24, 2008
Audio Conference

ASC Benchmarking and Case-Costing
Aug. 6, 2006
Audio Conference

Physician/Hospital Integration Efforts
Sept. 25, 2006
Audio Conference

15th Improving Profitability, and Business, Strategic, Clinical and Legal Issues for ASCs
Oct. 23 to 25, 2008

For a complete list of upcoming events, click here
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