Physician executives planning to start an ambulatory surgery center can head to New Orleans to pick up some pointers March 12-15 at the annual meeting of the American Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers.
Conference planners also have a program ready on federal proposals to cut reimbursements to ASCs as well as presentations for physicians planning to start an ASC.
"In addition to financial and regulatory issues facing ASCs, this meeting will give emphasis to improving patient care," says AAASC President David Shapiro, M.D., senior vice-president for medical affairs at Nashville-based Surgis, which owns and develops ASCs.
This meeting also will be the first to include the AAASC's new medical directors' council and the first to offer physicians CME credits, organizers say. Doctors can get credits for about a dozen presentations, they say.
One hot topic coming up at the meeting will be a recent proposal to Congress by the federal Medicare Payment Advisory Commission to eliminate a scheduled ASC payment update next year and cut payments to ASCs for certain procedures.
The meeting will kick off with a full day of presentations on starting an ASC, including feasibility studies, architectural design, staffing, licensing and accreditation, and cost overruns.
The remainder of the meeting will address payment problems, adding physician-investors to the ASC, HIPAA implementation, patient safety, information management, fraud and abuse, and collecting co-pays and deductibles from patients.
In addition, there will be featured presentations on customer service and "ethical leadership in everyday life."