More money means more problems for ASCs

By: November 18th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

On the heels of previous funding for CMS surveys of ambulatory surgery centers (ASC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the availability of $9 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which will go towards state survey agencies in 43 states.

But unlike most stimulus checks, this money could have non-accredited ASCs feeling a bit nervous.

This money will affect roughly one-third of non-accredited ASCs in the United States. More than 1,300 of the 3,800 non-accredited ASCs will see a state surveyor at their doorstep in the next 12 months, with the focus on HAI prevention. State surveyors will utilize the same recently developed CMS infection control survey tool developed by the CDC, according to the press release.

“Because of the Recovery Act, millions of patients who go to stand-alone surgical centers will have greater assurance that they won’t come home with a new infection,”  Sebelius said in the press release.

Escalated infection prevention surveillance has been a major pain point for ASCs since May, when CMS released new Conditions for Coverage. These regulations included specific requirements like appointing an accountable individual, and developing a quality improvement program.

For more guidance on complying with infection control requirements for ASCs, read Libby Chinnes’ previous post. You can also visit the Tools page to download a sample infection risk assessment for ASCs from “The Infection Prevention Handbook,” recently published specifically to help new infection preventionists build an effective IC program.


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