30 things for ASC leaders to know for October

Here are 30 things for healthcare leaders to note from the past month:

Compass Surgical Partners opens Florida ASC alongside Martin Health System, local physicians

Compass Surgical Partners teamed up with Stuart, Fla.-based Martin Health System and local physicians to open the Port Lucie, Fla.-based Tradition Surgery Center. Compass Surgical Partners will operate the ASC.

Tenet CEO Trevor Fetter steps down

Trevor Fetter stepped down from his position as CEO and resigned as director of Tenet Healthcare, effective Oct. 23.The company's board of directors named Tenet Executive Chairman Ronald Rittenmeyer CEO.

Hacker group Dark Overlord breaches patient information at London plastic surgery clinic

A hacker group, Dark Overlord, is allegedly responsible for breaching patient information at London Bridge Plastic Surgery, a plastic surgery clinic. London Bridge Plastic Surgery confirmed the breach in a statement. The clinic said it is not sure what information the hackers compromised at this point in time. The group said it obtained information of patient names and other sensitive information.

AGA Institute promotes Dr. Douglas Corley to co-editor-in-chief

The American Gastroenterological Association Institute Governing Board promoted Douglas Corley, MD, from deputy editor-in-chief to co-editor-in-chief of Gastroenterology. Richard Peek, MD, and Dr. Corley served as editor-in-chief and deputy-editor-in-chief, respectively, since July 2016.

Dermatology & Plastic Surgery of Arizona relocating to building with surgery center

Tucson-based Dermatology & Plastic Surgeons of Arizona is moving to a new location with a surgery center in Sierra Vista, Ariz. The group is moving to accommodate growing services lines.

Arizona hospital gains approval for $45M expansion

The Show Low City Council and Industrial Development Authority granted approval for Show Low, Ariz.-based Summit Health Regional Medical Center to move forward with a $45 million expansion project that will include a medical office building and ASC.

MM&M honors Dr. Richard Wender with outstanding contribution to healthcare award

MM&M bestowed its platinum award for outstanding contributions to healthcare on Richard Wender, MD. Dr. Wender is the American Cancer Society's chief cancer control officer. He served the organization for the last 21 years. He was the first primary care physician to be elected as the organization's president, and he became its first chief cancer control officer in 2013.

Anesthesiologist, former ASC board member Sen. Tim Melson seeks re-election

Alabama Sen. Tim Melson, MD, R-Florence, is seeking re-election to the Alabama Senate. When he ran for the state senate three years ago, Sen. Melson said he strived to bring more jobs and economic development to the region. He is seeking re-election to finish the work he started to meet this goal. An anesthesiologist by training, Sen. Melson was a board of directors member for Florence (Ala.) Surgery Center from 1995 to 2008.

Florida ASC director Dr. Johnny Benjamin charged with felony opioid trafficking, robbery

Indian River County officials charged 51-year-old orthopedic spine surgeon Johnny Benjamin, MD, with felony fentanyl trafficking, robbery and grand theft. Dr. Benjamin practices out of Vero Beach, Fla.-based Pro Spine Center, a 5,000-square-foot ASC. His hearing is scheduled for Oct. 20.

Surgical Care Affiliates invests in Florida ASC

Surgical Care Affiliates made an equity investment in Brandon (Fla.) Ambulatory Surgery Center. Built in 2005, BASC includes six operating rooms, 20 pre-and postoperative beds and a large onsite waiting area.

Georgia Supreme Court rules against ASC owners; upholds state's CON rule

Hugo Ribot Jr., MD, and Malcolm Barfield, DO, co-owners of Cartersville-based The Georgia Advanced Surgery Center for Women, filed a suit against the Georgia Department of Community Health after officials denied their certificate-of-need  application to add a second OR to the ASC. The Georgia Supreme Court ruled against,The Georgia Advanced Surgery Center for Women owners and opted to uphold the state's CON legislation.

USPI joint ventures with Santa Barbara Surgery Center

United Surgical Partners International entered into a partnership with Santa Barbara (Calif.) Surgery Center Oct. 1. Local physicians and USPI jointly own the ASC.

Trump administration ends cost-sharing subsidy payments to insurance companies

The Trump administration is discontinuing cost-sharing reduction payments to health insurance companies. The ACA created the subsidies to expand coverage to low-income Americans on the exchanges by paying insurers for covering this cohort. The Congressional Budget Office said these payments totaled an estimated $7 billion this year.

Aetna's new spinal laminotomy/laminectomy policy updates modifier -59 instructions

Aetna issued a coverage policy update for laminotomy with arthrodesis procedures and continues to consider additional edits for upcoming policy revision. Aetna will no longer allow modifier – 59 to override the incidental denial of codes 63030, 63042, 63047 or 63048 when billed in conjunction with code 22632.

FDA microbiologists testify during trial on 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak

Various FDA microbiologists testified during the trial of Barry Cadden, former pharmacist and owner of Framingham, Mass.-based New England Compounding Center, which is now closed, for his involvement in deaths related to a 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak.

Colorado ophthalmology group buys, renames ASC to Insight Surgery Center

Parker, Colo.-based InSight Vision Group purchased Lone Tree, Colo.-based Renewal Surgery Center. As per the deal's terms, the center will be renamed Insight Surgery Center.

Regent Surgical Health promotes Bob Ryan to COO

Regent Surgical Health named Bob Ryan COO. Mr. Ryan joined Regent in 2016 as vice president of operations for the northeast. He arrived with 25-plus years of experience working with physician partnerships in multisite healthcare facilities and managing joint venture ASC partnerships.

Hospital surgery center scrutinized for increased case load — board considers CON review

The Green Mountain Care Board is debating whether Morristown, Vt.-based Copley Hospital is in violation of its certificate of need. The board issued a CON in February 2016 for the hospital to replace its inpatient surgery center and modify its outpatient surgery center. However, the board is debating whether the hospital is violating its CON after the center began taking in more revenue than what was anticipated.

Tennessee suspect pleads guilty to scam resulting in $1.3M losses for Mountain Empire Surgery Center

Charles Turner pled guilty to a conspiracy charge related to his involvement in a scam that allegedly cost Johnson City, Tenn.-based Mountain Empire Surgery Center $1.3 million. Mr. Turner allegedly worked with Donald Kevin Collins on a scam in which the pair created a fake medical supply company, Turner Distributors. Prosecutors say the men fooled the surgery center into paying them $1.3 million-plus for equipment the men never delivered to the ASC in 2009.

Lahey Health lays off 75 employees as ASC visits plummet 4.5%

To truncate expenses, Burlington, Mass.-based Lahey Health is laying off nearly 75 employees. During the six-month period ending March 31, the health system suffered a series of losses. Emergency visits plummeted 0.9 percent and ASC visits fell 4.5 percent.

Idaho hospital builds facility with ASC inspired by Mayo Clinic

Blackfoot, Idaho-based Bingham Memorial Hospital broke ground on a facility with a surgery center in Idaho Falls, Idaho. In addition to the ASC, the facility will house outpatient clinics, medical offices and a catheterization lab. Bingham Memorial was inspired by the Mayo Clinic in its design.

MedBridge creates senior management team

Medbridge — an ASC development, management, consulting and revenue cycle sources team — created a new senior management team by reshuffling management roles.

University Medical opens ASC to see patients following Las Vegas mass shooting

Las Vegas-based University Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center, saw an influx of wounded patients after gunman Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old Nevada resident, opened fire at a country concert Oct. 1. Space was limited following the shooting, with 90 patients entering the center's doors within the first few hours. To accommodate the incoming patients, the trauma center opened its ASC as well as a recovery area and a preoperative area.

Massachusetts medical center removing GI endoscopy unit from ASC

Pittsfield, Mass.-based Berkshire Medical Center is moving its endoscopy unit from Pittsfield-based Crane Center for Ambulatory Surgery into the main hospital. The unit will have several treatment rooms and will offer patients gastrointestinal procedures, colonoscopies and other endoscopic procedures.

Sentara closing medical center, ASC in Kitty Hawk

Norfolk, Va.-based Sentara Healthcare is closing its Regional Medical Center and the Kitty Hawk ASC, both in Kitty Hawk, N.C. Sentara cited the facilities' conditions as a core reason for the closings.

Envision expanding physician services, selling non-core assets

Nasdaq reports Envision Healthcare is in the midst of expanding its core physician service business, while selling off non-core assets.

New data says 54% of GI industry burnt out

The American Gastrointestinal Association Institute Education and Training Committee surveyed 600 gastroenterologists to collect their thoughts on burnout. The survey, published in AGA Perspectives, determined 54 percent of gastroenterologists identified as burnt out.

CRH Medical gains traction in ASC space through Texas GI anesthesia practice acquisition

CRH Medical Corp. bought San Antonio-based Alamo, a GI anesthesia practice. Alamo provides anesthesia services to surgery centers throughout San Antonio.

Physicians split on single-versus multi-payer system

Slightly more physicians prefer a single-payer healthcare system compared to a multiple-payer system. Forty-eight percent of those polled favor a single-payer system with 26.2 percent strongly supporting a multi-payer system.

Surgeons increasingly performing arthroscopic procedures in ASCs

A 360 Market Update report found the arthroscopic devices market is booming due to several drivers. One trend taking hold is surgeons increasingly performing arthroscopic procedures in ASCs. Between 2017 and 2021, the arthroscopic devices market is slated to increase at a 6.35 percent compound annual growth rate.

More articles on improving performance:
7 GI leaders to know for October
Health services deals exceed $17.4B in Q3: 6 key points
St. John's University to honor Dr. John Hajjar with Spirit of Service award

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