ASCA News Digest (April 14, 2020)

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ASCA HIGHLIGHTS

ASCA continues to work with the White House and various federal agencies to ensure that ASCs can fully support COVID-19 response efforts across the country. Last week, ASCA sent letters to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the US Department of the Treasury, the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and members of Congress to help ASCs get what they need during this time.
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On April 10, the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced how it will allocate $30 billion in grants to Medicare providers, including ambulatory surgery centers. These grants are part of the $100 billion in relief funds included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 that was signed by President Donald Trump on March 27, 2020.

The $30 billion is being distributed immediately—with payments arriving via direct deposit beginning April 10, 2020—to eligible providers.
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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, data submission for the 2020 Culture of Safety Survey has been postponed to later in the year. This electronic survey—introduced this year—helps you evaluate how well your ASC’s organizational culture supports patient safety. Stay tuned for updates on when the survey will open.
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Many ASCs are finding that good team members are increasingly difficult to come by. Read this ASC Focus article to learn how to hire candidates who fit your facility and how to offer fair compensation and professional development opportunities.
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided new guidance to state survey agency directors for processing attestation statements from ASCs temporarily enrolling as hospitals during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). CMS waivers adopted under the 1135 emergency waiver authority create additional flexibilities to allow enrolled ASCs to temporarily enroll as hospitals and provide hospital services to help address the urgent need to increase hospital capacity to take care of patients.
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INDUSTRY NEWS

WUSF News (04/09/20) Stephanie Colombini
As Florida prepares for a surge in COVID-19 cases the state is reaching out to ambulatory surgery centers for possible help. The state's emergency operations center sent surveys to these facilities asking about resources and capacity to support an increased demand for medical care due to the virus.
WUSF News (04/09/20) Stephanie Colombini
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FDA Safety Communication (04/10/20)
The FDA continues to recommend that hospitals and endoscopy facilities transition to innovative duodenoscope designs to help improve cleaning and reduce contamination between patients, including designs with disposable caps or distal ends. When using these innovative duodenoscopes, remember to follow the manufacturer's instructions for the assembly of the caps and distal ends.
FDA Safety Communication (04/10/20)
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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (03/30/20)
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is responsible for ensuring the health and safety of patients receiving care, treatment and services in healthcare facilities from the spread of infectious disease, including being committed to taking critical steps to ensure America's healthcare facilities can respond to the threat of COVID-19. This memorandum responds to questions we have received and provides important guidance for outpatient settings other than hospital outpatient departments, specifically ASCs, CMHCs, CORFs, OPTs, and RHCs/FQHCs(herein referred to as healthcare facilities) in addressing the COVID-19 outbreak and minimizing transmission to other individuals.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (03/30/20)
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News-Medical.net (04/06/2020)
Researchers from Stanford University's department of surgery (Stanford, Calif.) have created an algorithm that aims to protect operating room team members who perform urgent and emergency operations from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and rationally conserve the personal protective equipment (PPE) they wear. This best practice guideline is published as an "article in press" on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons website ahead of print.
News-Medical.net (04/06/2020)
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Business Wire (04/07/20)
UnitedHealth Group, through UnitedHealthcare and Optum, has announced it is taking steps immediately to accelerate payments and other financial support to health care providers in the U.S. to help address the short-term financial pressure caused by the COVID-19 emergency. "We are grateful to the health care providers and their teams who are on the front lines battling COVID-19," said UnitedHealth Group Chief Executive Officer David S. Wichmann.
Business Wire (04/07/20)
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ASCA AFFILIATE LEADERS

News summaries © copyright 2020 SmithBucklin

About ASCA

Mission: The Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA) is the national membership association that represents ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) and provides advocacy and resources to assist ASCs in delivering high-quality, cost-effective ambulatory surgery to all the patients they serve.

About Us: At ASCA, we are eager to help you become better acquainted with our nation's ASCs and the people who own and operate them. We are also eager to help you develop policies on ASC-related issues. If you have questions, please contact us. We'll put you in touch with the experts and, if you like, arrange for you to visit an ASC in your area.

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