Brighter Days for Ambulatory Surgery Centers with Innovative Breast Care

Ambulatory surgery centers face plenty of financial (some might even say “existential”) challenges. Among these are a tightening reimbursement environment, competition from hospital systems, and high health insurance deductibles.

Cross in OR - XL-2

Dr. Michael Cross is establishing an international reputation for innovations in breast cancer surgery.

Nonetheless, breast cancer care is emerging as a bright spot for ASCs, including two centers we talked with recently.

In a large New York City surgery center, for example, breast care helps lead the way. In an Arkansas center, transparent pricing and use of a relatively new surgical marker called BioZorb are part of the story.

First, though, let’s talk about those challenges.

“The changes in healthcare have been accelerated with passage of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, the expansion of Medicaid programs, an economy that is improving at a slower than normal rate, and stagnant increases in wages,” Laura Dyrda wrote recently in Becker’s ASC Review, “Reimbursement is in flux for many surgical specialties,” and high-deductible Continue reading

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School of Oncoplastic Surgery Shows the Way to Better Breast Cancer Care

Dr. Gail Lebovic

Dr. Gail Lebovic founded the School of Oncoplastic Surgery

Among the many improvements in the care of women who have breast cancer, one of the most promising is oncoplastic surgery.

This approach combines methods to remove cancer with reconstructive techniques to insure complete tumor control. At same time it achieves better aesthetic outcomes.

This month’s upcoming School of Oncoplastic Surgery will help surgeons develop new skills they can use when performing breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy) on patients with breast cancer. The three-day course will be held Jan. 22-24, 2016 in Dallas.

The 2016 version of the school is sponsored by the National Consortium of Breast Centers, the Senologic International Society, and the Postgraduate Institute for Medicine.

The course provides a spectrum of skills for attendees. Through a sculpture lab, anatomy lab and interaction with live models, surgeons learn essential tools with hands-on experiences. Panel discussions and case presentations also allow surgeons to openly discuss challenges they face in their practices, and to learn various ways to address complex clinical situations in cancer care.

The founder and leader of the school is Dr. Gail Lebovic. She’s a past president of the American Society of Breast Disease, recipient of several distinguished awards and the inventor of multiple successful medical technologies in women’s healthcare.

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Tigerlily Foundation Twitter Chat

Please join us and our friends at the Tigerlily Foundation for a Twitter chat on Wednesday, Oct, 21, 2015 at 9 PM Eastern time.

The hashtag for the Twitter chat is #ybcsempowered, shorthand for “Young Breast Cancer Survivors Empowered.”

Twitter Chat 2015-10-21 FINAL


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Team Spirit: A Vascular Access Team Is Placing CVCs and Arterial Lines – And Why That Matters

InConnie Girgenti an earlier post, we detailed the advantages that both hospitals and patients gain when non-physician vascular access specialists (VAS’s) are allowed to place central venous catheters (CVCs) and arterial lines. Now a recently published article describes how a vascular access team at a large community hospital in Illinois expanded its scope of practice to encompass these lines.

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New White Paper: More Options to Reduce CAUTIs

Bladder wall damage caused by a Foley catheter that can lead to a CAUTI

Bladder wall damage caused by a Foley catheter that can lead to a CAUTI

We’ve posted previously about the dangers of catheter-related bloodstream infections and the option of using safer technology to prevent them. With the emergence of a new, safer device for urinary catheterization, it’s time to apply the same logic to catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs).

The association between CAUTIs and the common use of Foley catheters is outlined in this new multimedia white paper. For results of a national survey of infection preventionists about CAUTIs, click here.

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The Affordable Care Act and Vascular Access

How the ACA’s Pay-For-Performance Programs Target Catheter-Related Bloodstream Infections

body-veinsThe mainstream media has primarily covered the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as the ACA or Obamacare) for how it affects health insurance. But as healthcare insiders, readers of this blog know there’s much more to this groundbreaking piece of legislation — including its provisions aimed at upping healthcare quality and lowering healthcare costs. Many of those provisions affect the practice of vascular access because catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs) have both quality and cost implications.

Healthcare providers should be taking a close look at these sections of the law because they can affect everything from reimbursements to materials management. Vascular access specialists (VAS’s) should know the provisions, too, because the ACA targets vascular access outcomes.

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Study Shows Chlorhexidine-Impregnated PICC Eliminated Bloodstream Infections and Reduced Thrombosis

Teleflex Good Shepherd fotoA study published in the Fall 2014 issue of the Journal of the Association for Vascular Access (JAVA) showed that a chlorhexidine-impregnated peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) eliminated central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) during the two-year study period (July 2011-July 2013). In addition, only one incidence of thrombosis occurred during the study period – a non-occlusive thrombus associated with device insertion. When the study ended, the good results continued: No CLABSIs or episodes of thrombosis were associated with the catheter between the end of the study and the study’s publication.

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