None at this time.

12/13/2017

MPSC Recruiting ASC's to Participate in Clean Collaborative-Phase 2

Last year the Maryland Patient Safety Center launched Phase I of a collaborative called the Clean Collaborative, the explored best practices in surface decontamination. Several Maryland ASCs participated in this collaborative. MPSC had much success in Phase I and as a result have added a second phase for improving surface contamination and the spread of infection in healthcare settings.

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11/17/2017

2018 OPPS/ASC Final Rule- Changes to the Quality Reporting Requirements

The Calendar Year (CY) 2018 OPPS/ASC Final Rule is now published, with several changes in the ASC Quality Reporting Program. Listed below are a few of the highlights.

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11/03/2017

CMS Releases Final Payment Rule for 2018

As reported yesterday by ASCA, CMS released its 2018 final payment rule for ASCs and hospital outpatient departments (HOPDs). Both ASCs and HOPDs will receive lower increases than were proposed in July. On average, ASC payment rates will increase by 1.2 percent in 2018. This increase is based on a projected rate of inflation of 1.7 percent minus a 0.5 percentage point productivity adjustment required by the Affordable Care Act. HOPDs will receive a 1.35 percent increase, based on a 2.7 percent market basket update minus a 0.6 percent adjustment for economy-wide productivity and a 0.75 percentage point adjustment required by statute. Rates for various specialties and individual codes can vary greatly.

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10/31/2017

Request for Formal Public Comment Period on Proposed State Health Plan Chapter for General Surgical Services

The Maryland Health Commission is now accepting comments on the proposed changes to the State Health Plan involving the CON process for Ambulatory Surgery Centers. Please submit comments on proposed COMAR 10.24.11, the State Health Plan for Facilities and Services: General Surgical Services, by 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 28, 2017. Comments may be mailed to the attention of Eileen Fleck, Chief, Acute Care Policy and Planning, Maryland Health Care Commission, 4160 Patterson Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21215, emailed to Eileen.Fleck@maryland.gov, or faxed to Ms. Fleck at (410) 358-1311. Please click on the link below to access the proposed changes.

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10/24/2017

Maryland Health Care Commission Launches “Wear the Cost,” A First In The Nation Campaign to Increase Transparency and Consumer Engagement on Health Care Costs

The Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) today launched a groundbreaking initiative that will shed light on cost and quality differences among Maryland hospitals—information that, until now, has been largely unavailable, particularly in such a consumer friendly form. The initiative, “Wear the Cost,” aims to begin a statewide conversation about disparities in pricing and quality with the ultimate goal of improving health care affordability for Maryland residents. At the center of this initiative is “WearTheCost.org,” a platform for educating consumers about cost and quality disparities across Maryland, and ultimately enabling them to become more savvy shoppers of health care.

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10/20/2017

Advice Regarding IV Fluid Shortages

The FDA has already raised the red flag about potential drug shortages in the U.S. due to damaged production plants for almost 50 pharmaceutical companies that have facilities in Puerto Rico. Several organizations are offering advice to help health care facilities deal with the shortages of IV Fluids resulting from Hurricane Maria.

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10/03/2017

Discussion Tackles Lack of Opioid Education in Outpatient Treatment

Last week a group of ASC Administrators and nurses met to discuss the difficulties of dealing with patient pain following surgery. It began as a discussion about educating staff members at outpatient medical facilities--where patients are treated but not admitted for overnight stays --about the difficulties of prescription opioids.

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09/26/2017

Baxter Facilities Impacted by Hurricane Maria

Baxter is continuing it's recovery from the impact of Hurricane Maria to its Caribbean manufacturing and distribution facilities.

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09/25/2017

CMS Emergency Preparedness Interpretive Guidelines for Surveyors

CMS published its Emergency Preparedness Interpretive Guidelines for surveyors. Surveyors will begin siting non-compliance with these requirements beginning November 16, 2017.

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09/07/2017

ASCA Submits Comments on CMS Proposed Payment Rule

ASCA submitted its formal comments in response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) 2018 proposed payment rule, which, among other payment policies, proposes the reimbursement rates for the coming year.

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07/28/2017

CMS Requires Annual Testing of Smoke and Fire Doors

CMS adopted the 2012 edition of the NFPA Life Safety Code, which includes requirements for the maintenance, inspection, and testing of fire doors and smoke doors in certain certified healthcare facilities, including ASCs. Please click on attached link for a PDF of the memo.

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05/15/2017

Maryland ASCs Participate in National Advocacy Day in D.C.

MASA President Andrea Hyatt, CASC along with Melinda Clay R.N., Tina DiMarino R.N. and Angela Robinson, R.N.; participated in National Advocacy Day on Capital Hill. The group spent time meeting with State Legislators to educate them on the two bills introduced by ASCA. The relationships MASA builds with our local and federal officials are vital to the continuing success of the ASC industry. Please click on the attached links to read about the proposed legislation.

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04/25/2017

ASC cataract patients with unplanned anterior vitrectomy down in Q4

Fewer ASC cataract patients had unplanned anterior vitrectomies in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to past quarters, according to ASC Quality Collaboration data.

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03/31/2017

Maryland Governor Declares State of Emergency Over Opioid Crisis

Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in Maryland due to the state's opioid-addiction epidemic. Gov. Hogan committed an extra $50 million over the next five years to bolster state enforcement, prevention and treatment services.

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03/16/2017

Final Rule Issued to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

OSHA Updates Its Regulations

In 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a proposed rule to improve the tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses through the electronic collection of establishment-specific injury and illness data. After receiving comments on the proposal, OSHA issued the final rule that became effective January 1, 2017 (Occupational Safety and Health Administration 29 CFR Part 1904).

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03/14/2017

Joint Commission ASC Survey Changes for 2017

10 Things to Know -- Published by AORN

In late November, The Joint Commission announced it was making adjustments to its ASC survey process effective January 2017. If your ASC is accredited by The Joint Commission, it is important to understand the changes made, including whether they apply to your ASC. If your ASC is accredited by another organization, it is worthwhile to understand these changes as your accrediting body may be implementing similar changes soon. Here are 10 things to know about The Joint Commission's ASC survey changes.

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03/07/2017

ASCA Introduces Eurasian Health Professionals to ASCs

Kudos to our member, Massachusetts Avenue Surgery Center, who recently hosted health care professionals from Eurasia! Please read the article below posted by our national association, ASCA.

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01/09/2017

Final Rule Issued to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

OSHA Releases Final Rule

In 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a proposed rule to improve the tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses through the electronic collection of establishment-specific injury and illness data. After receiving comments on the proposal, OSHA issued the final rule that became effective January 1, 2017 (Occupational Safety and Health Administration 29 CFR Part 1904).

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12/01/2016

APIC Position Paper 2016

Safe Injection Practices

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