art-for-column_hipaa-workbook-cover-231x300True to its mission of providing resources that assist ASCs in delivering the high-quality, cost-effective ambulatory surgery they provide, in the first half of this year, ASCA has released two new tools designed specifically for ASCs and introduced important upgrades in another.

Clinical and Operational Benchmarking

The tool we upgraded is ASCA Benchmarking, our popular clinical and operational benchmarking program that we introduced as an entirely online program almost three years ago. Last year, more than 1,000 ASCs subscribed to this program. ASCs that subscribe receive valuable data reports that allow them to quickly compare data from their own facility with national and specialty performance statistics on clinical outcomes, staff indicators, billing performance and more.

Enhancements introduced this year include dynamic filtering capabilities that allow users to customize their online reports to focus on the data they find most meaningful, real-time data review that helps users ensure the accuracy of the data they provide and MS Word and PowerPoint reports that are easy to print and share.

You don’t have to be an ASCA member to participate in this program, but you do have to represent an ASC since data reports from hospital outpatient departments and other entities are not included. The final reports are available only to participants. ASCA members participate at a deep discount. For more information or to purchase a subscription, go to www.ascassociation.org/benchmarking or call 703-836-8808.

HIPAA Workbook for ASCs

The first of the two new tools ASCA released this year is something that many in the ASC community have been asking for: a HIPAA Workbook for ASCs. ASCA developed this useful resource specifically to help ASCs comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Along with an in-depth review of all of the requirements associated with that rule, the book contains downloadable and customizable forms and worksheets that make designing, evaluating and strengthening an ASC’s compliance program easier.

This workbook is available for free to all ASCs enrolled as facility or corporate members of ASCA. Nonmember ASCs can purchase it for $399. A Spanish translation of the HIPAA Sample Privacy Notice, or Privacy Form B, that the workbook contains is also available to all for an additional $25. As talk about increasing HIPAA compliance audits begins to turn into reality this year, this workbook becomes an even more valuable resource for all ASCs.

“What Is an ASC?” Video

The other new tool ASCA released this year is part of a broader effort that ASCA has undertaken to provide ASCs with more resources and information that they can use to educate the public about the many benefits that ASCs offer. To help reach that goal, ASCA produced a video that, in under two minutes, clearly and concisely answers the question “What Is an ASC?” As it does, the video also answers some of the most common questions that patients and others who are interested in learning more about having surgery in an ASC ask. To view “What Is an ASC?” now, visit www.advancingsurgicalcare.com/whatisanasc.

This video is available free on ASCA’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/theASCAssociation, to all ASCs that would like to post it, or a connection to it, on their website.

Next Steps

If you are interested in any of the resources mentioned above but are unable to find what you need using the contact information provided, please call Mykal Cox, Assistant Director of Membership Engagement, at 703-636-0623 for assistance. By year’s end, ASCA is set to release even more new resources that ASCs can use to improve their internal operations and the services they provide to their patients. If you are interested in learning about those as they are released, please make sure that we have your email address by subscribing to our weekly ASCA News Digest e-newsletter at www.ascassociation.org/NewsDigest.

As always, if you have comments on these resources or ideas about other tools and information you would like ASCA to provide, please let us know by calling ASCA at 703-836-8808 or sending an email to asc@ascassociation.org.