AS I SEE IT Learn the lingo of the new technol-

ogy. Understanding the technology and the clinical documentation can help you protect your ASC against wasted expense. If you are not entirely ready to

buy the new technology, it is better not to let it in. Too many times, a simple replacement of basic surgical equipment turns into an opportunity for a vendor to sell the latest “high definition, digital, laser” gizmo. Once your doctors trial today’s fad, it can be difficult to go back to the base technology that was working fine before a new toy that raises expenses for everyone but offers little actual benefit to patients arrived on the scene.

The tasks placed on today’s ASC administrator are exponentially more sophisticated than just 10 years ago. The increased number and complexity of Medicare’s Conditions for Coverage; intricacies of physician arrangements; human resources litigation and the squeeze of managing finances with lower reimbursement requires an administrator who is an expert in all things surgical and has the business acumen of an investment banker.

8 Role of the ASC Administrator

is drastically more complex than its predecessor.

Opportunity: CASC (Certified Admin- istrator Surgery Center) certification has now become a “must have” and the industry standard for demonstrating competency in ASC administration. If you do not have your CASC credential, ASCA offers a CASC review course, and the Board of Ambulatory Surgery Certification (BASC) offers an exam ( that is part of the qualification process. Physician leaders should also be trained and should attend ASCA’s physician education programs.

9 ICD-10 Barring another congressional

delay, the 10th revision of the Inter- national Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) is expected to become effec- tive this year. The new system of coding


Opportunity: Ensure that your coders are properly trained and certified on ICD-10. Dual-code all claims for both ICD-9 and ICD-10 to ensure accuracy and system functionality. If you outsource coding, be careful to do proper due diligence to ensure that those coders are prepared. Ensure your physicians understand the new information they will need to provide and that they are prepared to do so. Consider accumulating cash or establish lines of credit to hedge against unexpected delays in claims processing.

10 Legislative and Regulatory Environment

ASCA has spent many years developing a positive relationship with our federal lawmakers and regulators, and we are nearing a tipping point in favor of the ASC industry. Due to these efforts, many of the people influencing public policy for the ASC industry have a better understanding of our industry and the value proposition we offer. Our message of safe, quality, cost-

effective outpatient surgery is being told at the highest levels of Congress and to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). All three of our legislative priorities are gaining widespread acceptance. Given the bipartisan support that ASCs enjoy today, 2015 could be the year we break through on many of our efforts.

Opportunity: Attend one of the two Washington, DC, fly-ins organized by ASCA and visit your state’s congressional representatives. A visit from one of their own constituents makes a big difference. If you can solicit one of your physicians to join you, even better! In addition, invite your federal and state lawmak- ers to visit your ASC. And please get involved with ASCAPAC. PAC dollars are the “mother’s milk” of politics. Through ASCAPAC, you can support elected officials who support ASCs and policies that advance surgical care.

Terry Bohlke, CASC, is the vice president of operations at National Surgical Healthcare in Atwater, California, and the president of ASCA’s Board of Directors. Write him at

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