FDA Reports IV Solution Shortage

The FDA has announced a shortage situation for intravenous (IV) solutions, particularly 0.9% sodium chloride injection (saline). The shortage has been triggered by a range of factors including a reported increased demand by hospitals, potentially related to the flu season. The shortage affects product from the three primary manufacturers, Baxter Healthcare, B.Braun Medical, and Hospira. ASCs should monitor the FDA website and contact the manufacturers and GPO for up to date information.

Texas Workers' Compensation 2014 Education Sessions

The Texas Department of Insurance division of Workers' Compensation is hosting state-wide education sessions to provide information related to paper billing form changes.

Workers' Compensation Conversion Factor Update

The Texas Department of Insurance division of Workers' Compensation has updated the conversion factors for services provided in 2014. The update covers services provided in a physician office and ASC facility setting.

Medicare cost savings tied to ambulatory surgery centers

An analysis by researchers at the University of California Berkeley Nicholas C. Petris Center on Health Care Markets and Consumer Welfare finds that ambulatory surgery centers provide billions of dollars in savings to the Medicare program and its beneficiaries. Berkeley’s researchers found that surgery centers saved Medicare $7.5 billion over the four-year period from 2008 to 2011. Over the next decade, surgery centers have the potential to save Medicare an additional $57.6 billion.

QualityNet Reporting and HIPAA Final Rule Deadlines

The deadline for ASCs to report the two web-based quality measures through the QualityNet website was August 23 and the HIPAA Omnibus final rule deadline is September 23. Medicare certified surgery centers are required to acknowledge their use of a safe surgery checklist and report specialty-specific surgical volume. The HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule includes significant changes that expand patient privacy rights and strengthen the ability of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to enforce HIPAA privacy and security protections.

FDA recalls more compounded medications

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to expand its list of recalled medications to include sterile product from Specialty Compounding and NuVision Pharmacy. FDA recalls are continuously updated and posted on the MedWatch Safety Alerts for Human Medical Products webpage.

Legislation supporting ASCs filed in U.S. Congress

Two bills supporting the ASC industry have been filed in Congress. The Ambulatory Surgery Center Quality and Access Act of 2013 has been filed in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. H.R.2500 is being sponsored by Devin Nunes (R-CA) and its Senate companion bill, S.1137 is being sponsored by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR).

TDI workers' compensation conferences conferences

The Texas Department of Insurance will host two workers'compensation educational conferences in Austin on September 12-13 and Dallas on October 21-22.

QualityNet web based reporting deadline extended to August 23

The deadline for reporting the two web based quality measures has been extended to August 23. Medicare ASCs must acknowledge that they have been using a safe surgery checklist and must also report specialty-specific procedure volume.

New Texas Department of Insurance Out-of-Network Rules

TDI has issued new rules effective July 1, 2013 requiring physicians to notify a patient that they are being referred to an out-of-network facility and to document the notification.

HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule

Health care providers must be in compliance with the HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule by September 23, 2013.

FDA announces Propofol drug shortage resolved.

The Food and Drug Administration has removed Propofol from its list of drug shortages.

Texas Department of Insurance Division of Workers Compensation hosts 2013 educational conferences

TDI is hosting two educational conferences in Austin on September 12 -13 and Dallas on October 21 - 22.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announces Phase II of the National Action Plan to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections for Ambulatory Surgery Center.

The United State Department of Health & Human Services has updated their national plan to prevent health care associated infections. Phase I started with hospitals and Phase II expands the program to include ambulatory surgery centers and other providers.

Main Street Family Pharmacy issues voluntary recall of all sterile compounded products

The Main Street Family Pharmacy issued a voluntary nation-wide recall of all lots of all sterile compounded product with a use-by date prior to November 20, 2013.

Medicare releases hospital-specific charge data for outpatient procedures

In an ongoing effort to increase provider transparency for consumers, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released hospital outpatient charge data.

Medicare releases hospital-specific inpatient charge data

Medicare has released hospital inpatient charge data for the 100 most commonly billed discharges from more than 3,000 U.S. hospitals.