Amblitel News & Events

NEWS & EVENTS

Archive for August, 2013

5 Recent ACO Findings

Added 08.27.13

The relative youth of accountable care organizations make the model ripe for further study and analysis. Are there more Medicare or commercial ACOs? Do physicians regard the model differently based on their employment status? How much savings can ACOs generate for specific conditions? To help answer these questions and more, here are five findings from studies or surveys on ACOs that were covered by Becker's Hospital Review within the past two months, beginning with the most recent. 1. Medicare ACOs now outnumber non-Medicare or commercial contracts... 2. Independent physicians are less likely than their employed peers to believe accountable care will benefit their practice... 3. More physicians became familiar with ACOs within the last year... 4. ACOs can generate medical and drug cost savings in... more...

12 Procedure Groups MedPAC Sees Fit for Equalized Payment Between HOPDs & ASCs

Added 08.27.13

MedPac has deemed 12 common procedure fit for equalized payment rates between ASCs and HOPDs: 1. Level V skin repair 2. Level IV nerve injections 3. Level III nerve injections 4. Level II anterior segment eye procedures 5. Level III anterior segment eye procedures 6. Level II repair and plastic eye procedures 7. Level III repair and plastic eye procedures 8. Level IV repair and plastic eye procedures 9. Corneal and amniotic membrane transplant 10. Level I cataract procedures without IOL insertion 11. Cataract procedures with IOL insertion 12. Laser eye... more...

Mnet Financial Partners with Amblitel to Create Remote Billing Solution for Surgery Centers

Added 08.21.13

Mnet Financial, leading patient collection and payment solutions vendor for the surgical industry, has announced their partnership with Amblitel, industry leader known for increasing surgery center performance through strategic consultation, to offer a complete remote billing solution. This partnership has come about as a response to demand from the medical community for temporary billing assistance during the period of a software conversion or implementation of billing process changes. Many management groups have been pleased to find that developing a centralized billing center can bring an increase in both patient and physician satisfaction while delivering an increase in financial remittances. “Recent trends in the ASC space indicate that leadership within the community continues to develop efficiency strategies to strengthen their business model... more...

Medicare Payment to ASCs: Big Trends & Impact Factors

Added 08.15.13

There were 5,344 Medicare-certified ambulatory surgery centers in the United States in 2011, the most recent year for which MedPAC released data, a jump from 4,033 centers in 2004. Traditionally, Medicare and government payers are among the lowest reimbursing payers for surgery centers, and ASCs are reimbursed currently at a lower rate than hospitals and hospital outpatient departments. Additional anxieties over Medicare payment rates, and its ability to pay, were raised earlier this year with the threat of sequestration, and government shut down continues to loom over Washington today. A report from Provista shows that 50 percent of ASCs were re-examining their expenses in wake of sequestration, but 72 percent of the survey respondents were confident their centers would be able... more...

New ACS NSQIP Surgical Risk Calculator Provides Accurate Surgical Complication Estimates

Added 08.15.13

The new American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) Surgical Risk Calculator is a revolutionary new tool that quickly and easily estimates patient-specific postoperative complication risks for almost all operations, according to research findings appearing online in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. The study will be published in a print edition of the Journal later this year. Surgeons and patients have long been seeking an accurate decision-support tool to estimate patients' risks of complications after surgical procedures. This process is essential for patient-centered care, shared decision making with patients, and true informed consent. Moreover, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services—through the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS)—may soon provide a financial incentive for surgeons... more...

HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule: 15 Things to Know Before Sept. 23 Deadline

Added 08.14.13

By Sept. 23, hospitals and physicians must comply with the HIPAA omnibus final rule, which strengthens patient privacy protections and provides patients with new rights to their protected health information. Here are some highlights from the omnibus final rule healthcare providers and covered entities should be mindful of to ensure compliance by Sept. 23. 1. The final rule expands patient rights by allowing them to ask for a copy of their electronic medical record in electronic form. 2. Under the final rule, when patients pay out of pocket in full, they can instruct their provider to refrain from sharing information about their treatment with their health plan. 3. If a Medicare beneficiary requests a restriction on the disclosure of PHI to Medicare for a... more...

Bonamici Intends to Sign Ambulatory Surgery Center Bill

Added 08.14.13

The bill would keep rate reimbursement raises for ASCs at pace with the rate at which hospital rates increase By: Christen McCurdy August 13, 2013 – Last week U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici told management at an ambulatory surgery center she would most likely sign House Bill 2500, a proposed bill which would revise the updates for Medicare reimbursement rates for ambulatory surgery centers, at the end of a tour of several healthcare facilities in the Portland area. When Northwest Ambulatory Surgery Center first opened in 2005, the difference between what the clinic was paid for a surgery and what a hospital received for the same procedure was about 17 percent, said Kecia Norling, an administrator and clinical director at the clinic, who is... more...

7 Common Reasons for Hospital Transactions

Added 08.14.13

We have observed an increase in the number of transactions between hospitals over the past three years. This increase is driven by a host of factors — most notably the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Observed transactions include outright acquisitions of one hospital by another, as well as joint operating agreements or joint venture structures between previously independent hospitals. Through our direct experience with these transactions and supplemental research, we have compiled the following list of the seven most common drivers of hospital transactions. 1. Financial condition 2. Access to capital 3. Declining and/or changing census 4. Pricing power 5. Management 6. Lack of name recognition 7. Increased patient base Conclusion There are numerous factors driving the increased number of hospital transactions in recent years. Regardless... more...

6 Biggest Threats to ASCs Right Now

Added 08.14.13

Ambulatory surgery centers are not immune to the tumultuous healthcare industry, and every day ASC owners will come up against major threats to maintaining a successful practice. Two ASC industry experts — Luke Lambert, MBA, CFA, CASC, and Joseph Zasa, JD — examine the most impending threats to ASC success and what surgery centers can do to counter these threats. Mr. Lambert is the CEO of Ambulatory Surgical Centers of America, and Mr. Zasa is a managing and founding partner of ASD Management. Here are their six biggest threats to ASCs. 1. Hospital physician employment 2. Payer reimbursements 3. ASC Market saturation 4. Hospital domination 5. Mismanagement 6. Harsh regulations Read more detail on each threat in the article from Becker's ASC Review at: more...

Where Will the Hospital Industry Stand After the Tenet-Vanguard Merger?

Added 08.14.13

One of the most consistent drumbeats heard in the hospital industry over the past several years has been a crescendo of hospital mergers, acquisitions, affiliations and alignment strategies. Simply put, hospitals and health systems are looking to partner with each other to handle healthcare reform, and it's leading to mass consolidation. In the first three weeks of July alone, there were roughly two dozen hospital and health system mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, affiliations or transactions announced or completed. However, no hospital M&A announcement has been bigger this year than when Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. agreed to buy Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanguard Health System in June. Tenet will acquire Vanguard for $21 per share, resulting in $1.8 billion in cash, and will assume Vanguard's $2.5... more...