November/December Issue of Becker's ASC Review

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17 Statistics an ASC Should Look at Every Month; 39 ASC Women Leaders to Know; Benchmarking, Healthcare Information Technology and the Changing Nature of ASCs; 10 Legal Issues Facing ASCs; The Elements of an ASC Turnaround; 6 Ways to Increase GI Profitability; 5 Best Practices for the Correct Coding and Billing of GI Procedures; Extending ASC Lifespans: 4 Rules of Thumb for Mature Centers; 7 Great ASC Turnarounds; 9 Best Practices to Grow and Distinguish ENT in Your ASC; 5 Tips for FESS Coding; 5 Trends, Developments and Challenges Affecting ENT; 4 ASC IT Leaders to Know; Effective Use of Information Technology to Optimize Financial Performance; 12 IT Companies to Know; 5 Things You Should Know About EMR in ASCs; Kathy Bryant's Year in Review; 4 Steps to Bring an ASC to 100 Percent Capacity; 11 Leaks to Plug in Your Billing Department to Ensure Total Reimbursement; Use These 10 Benchmarks and 10 Best Practices to Improve Your Billing and Collections Efficiency

September 2008

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Issue Articles

17 Statistics an ASC Should Look at Every Month
Here are 17 statistics industry experts recommend that you gather and review monthly.
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39 ASC Women Leaders to Know

Peggy Alteri, RN BSN, MPS, CASC. Peggy Alteri is the administrator and CEO of Holdings, the owner/operator of two freestanding surgery centers in Syracuse, N.Y. She is also president of her own consulting firm, MMAE, which specializes in ambulatory surgery development and accreditation. As president of the New York State Association for the past 13 years, Ms. Alteri has worked with the Department of Health in the development of regulatory requirements and standards for ASCs throughout the state. She is also a surveyor for the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. Ms. Alteri's previous experience includes the position of vice president for clinical services, overseeing all of the clinical services at a 225 bed acute-care facility.

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Benchmarking, Healthcare Information Technology and the Changing Nature of ASCs

Here are nine thoughts on benchmarking, healthcare IT and the changing nature of ASCs.

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10 Legal Issues Facing ASCs
From a regulatory and legal perspective, 2008 has been a year marked by increased scrutiny of physician-ownership relationships in the healthcare area. In the surgery center area, the closest impacts in the regulatory and legislative area related to physician ownership are outlawing “under-arrangement” types of transactions; outlawing “per-click” relationships; including pain management in the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) work plan for 2008; and implementing a requirement that ownership of physician-owned hospitals be disclosed to patients.
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The Elements of an ASC Turnaround
While what you are about to read may seem unbelievable, this is a true story. And it may be one of the best illustrations of how following fundamental business principles is critical to effectively operating an ASC — and of the penalties paid if they are not followed properly.
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6 Ways to Increase GI Profitability
It’s no secret that times are tough for GI, between the Medicare reimbursement cuts and the seemingly never-ending payment squeeze applied by third-party payors. But the specialty as a whole remains profitable; in fact, you can do more than simply maintain the profits of this high-volume, fastturnover service line. By implementing the six methods described here, you may even be able to increase GI profitability.
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5 Best Practices for the Correct Coding and Billing of GI Procedures
Here are five best practices to help you overcome some challenges GI coding and ensure your ASC is properly reimbursed for the procedures your surgeons perform.
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Extending ASC Lifespans: 4 Rules of Thumb for Mature Centers
A highly respected surgeon once told me, with absolute certainty, that it is impossible for any ASC business to exist longer than a dozen years. While I disagree with this view, it is shared by many stakeholders in our industry, thanks to a combination of regulatory factors, demographics and a few ineffective management practices that have become standard operating procedure for many ASCs.
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7 Great ASC Turnarounds

1. A Florida ASC (name withheld). The No. 1 lesson of ASC turnarounds is to have patience and persistence.

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9 Best Practices to Grow and Distinguish ENT in Your ASC

Here are nine best practices to help you increase ENT case volume, attract new physicians and make your ASC the most desirable setting for your ENT patients and physicians.

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5 Tips for FESS Coding
With eight sinuses, six turbinates and two separate nasal cavities to consider, coding for nasal and sinus endoscopies can be quite a complicated undertaking. Here are five tips to help you code your functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) procedures accurately.
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5 Trends, Developments and Challenges Affecting ENT

ENT has long been a staple specialty for ASCs. For surgery centers to continue finding success and growth with ENT, it is important to remain informed about the issues that could contribute to or limit success. Here are five trends, developments and challenges in ENT facing ASCs today.

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4 ASC IT Leaders to Know
Brent Ashby. The opening of Audubon ASC at St. Francis in Colorado Springs, Colo., in Sept. 2008 presented Brent Ashby, administrator of the facility, with a challenge. The ASC, a second joint-venture between local physicians and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, became necessary when Audubon Surgery Center, eight miles away, started reaching capacity. Mr. Ashby, who is also administrator of Audubon Surgery Center, wanted to be able to monitor both facilities regardless of which he was working in, otherwise he would be forced to travel between sites to check on operations.
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Effective Use of Information Technology to Optimize Financial Performance

Healthcare leadership can use information technology to significantly improve operational, clinical and financial performance. There are several prerequisites for transforming screens and data into actionable decision-making business intelligence — steps that, not taken, will prevent your IT investment from reaching its potential (for more on this, see “Essential Steps Before You Can Reap IT’s Rewards” on p. 43).

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12 IT Companies to Know

1. Surgical Notes. A preeminent nationwide provider of medical transcription, coding and other related value-added information technology services for the ASC market, Surgical Notes provides transcription, coding and practice management solutions to over 420 surgery centers and 6,300 physicians in over 40 states. Surgical Notes has introduced two new products and services in 2008: the VMR Express, an electronic medical forms generator and document imaging solution and, an online, secure, interactive, personal health record portal for the general public to compile and organize all healthcare-related data.

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5 Things You Should Know About EMR in ASCs

Feeling confused by the electronic medical records options for ASCs? Overwhelmed by the wealth of sometimes-contradictory information and opinions? Based on 20-plus years’ experience in healthcare and information technology, I’m going to share what I’ve learned — and, more to the point, what you need to know — about EMR implementation in ASCs.

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Kathy Bryant's Year in Review

Two big changes confronted ASCs on Jan. 1, 2008. Medicare began paying ASCs based on a new payment system that varied greatly from its predecessor, and the new ASC Association, formed through the merger of the two previous national ASC associations, began advocating for ASCs in Washington, D.C., and in forums across the country. As 2008 draws to a close, a review of the year is warranted.

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4 Steps to Bring an ASC to 100 Percent Capacity

While there are many potential pitfalls inherent in ASC operations, at the end of the day, what really matters is whether your center has a large enough case volume. Without the cases, all other topics become moot. This article will examine four ways to ramp up case volume, your ASC’s driving force.

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11 Leaks to Plug in Your Billing Department to Ensure Total Reimbursement
Most offices leave from 5 to 42 percent of their potential reimbursement on the table because they either lack proper processes, are understaffed, their staff is not adequately trained or appropriately incented, or the office has not invested in appropriate technologies. This is money that you have already worked for and should have earned but that insurance companies are keeping from you.
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Use These 10 Benchmarks and 10 Best Practices to Improve Your Billing and Collections Efficiency
Efficient billing and collections is critical to the success and profitability of your center, and any efforts you make to improve efficiency can help you better capture money you earn and avoid your leaving money on the table. To help with your efforts, we give you 10 benchmarks to target for your operations and then offer 10 best practices to make meeting these benchmarks a reality.
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