Medicare Quality Reporting Program Shows Universal Safe Surgery Checklist Use

Medicare Quality Reporting Program Shows Universal Safe Surgery Checklist Use

WASHINGTON, DC, October 8, 2015 — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released data on the Ambulatory Surgery Center Quality Reporting (ASCQR) Program’s Safe Surgery Checklist Use (ASC-6) today. The data, collected in 2012 and made public today on, shows that 99 percent of all Medicare-certified ASCs use a Safe Surgery Checklist in their facility.

ASCA Chief Executive Officer William Prentice congratulated the industry on this achievement. “A safe surgery checklist is an essential tool in maintaining a culture of safety in the operating room,” he said. “We are pleased that CMS can confirm almost universal use of this safety tool in ASCs across the country."

For ASC-6, ASCs are required to report the use of a safe surgery checklist for all patients, not just those covered by Medicare. The safe surgery checklist must indicate that ASCs have implemented safe surgery practices during each of the three critical perioperative periods: prior to administering anesthesia, prior to skin incision and during closure of incision, and prior to patient leaving the operating room.

In 2006, the ASC community began encouraging CMS to establish a uniform quality reporting system that would allow ASCs to publicly demonstrate their performance on quality measures. CMS listened and implemented a quality reporting program for ASCs that began on October 1, 2012. Since then, ASCA has strongly encouraged the reporting of this data to beneficiaries and the public.

“The ASC community has long supported a national quality reporting program of this kind and deserves a great deal of credit for leading the way in these efforts and contributing to the program’s success,” Prentice said. “We thank the CMS staff who have worked with us to educate ASCs about this important program. As the health care marketplace, patients, policy makers, insurers and others continue to place increasing emphasis on the quality of care that patients receive, rather than on the quantity of that care, the importance of measuring and reporting quality data grows exponentially.”


About ASCs: ASCs are an integral part of the health care system, providing critical access to surgical and diagnostic care, including preventive services. As essential providers of surgical and cancer screening services, ASCs perform more than 40 percent of Medicare colonoscopies. Learn more about this critical life-saving procedure here.

About the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA): ASCA is working to raise awareness of the important role that ASCs play in the US health care system and the high-quality, cost-effective care that ASCs provide. To learn more, go to