ASCA News Digest (April 21, 2020)

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ASCA HIGHLIGHTS

Out of concern for the health and safety of all attendees amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the ASCA 2020 Conference & Expo is transitioning to a virtual event.

The ASCA 2020 Virtual Conference & Expo, scheduled for July 9–10, will offer the same top-quality education, networking and resources as ASCA’s in-person events—all from the comfort of your home or office. If you registered for ASCA 2020 in Orlando, you have automatically been registered for this interactive virtual event.

Visit the ASCA 2020 website to learn more and register. Additional details, including an updated agenda, will be available soon.
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ASCA members can now access the first episodes of a new ASCA podcast series developed to help ASCs navigate the challenges of the current COVID-19 operating environment. Listen to these short, informal programs through ASCA’s COVID-19 Resource Center.
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Healthcare providers can now attest that they wish to keep the grants the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) began distributing last Friday. This grant fund is part of the $100 billion in relief included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 that was signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020.
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Healthcare workers nationwide are facing shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical equipment needed to treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit ASCA's COVID-19 Resource Center to find out how ASCs across the country are coming together to help increase supplies.
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Designated ASCA voting members are encouraged to vote for the members of the ASCA Board of Directors. The candidates selected to serve on the ASCA Board will also serve on the ASCA Foundation Board. Learn more about the candidates and cast your ballot by Thursday, April 30.
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In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent demand for certain medications, the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) updated its list of extended use drugs on April 3. The updated list now includes 569 drugs that may be used beyond the manufacturer’s labeled expiration date. Read this Digital Debut article to learn more on the protocols ASCs need to put in place to use these medications safely and avoid citations.
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As ASCA announced on April 10, the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) began distributing $30 billion in grants to healthcare providers, including ASCs. This grant fund is part of the $100 billion in relief included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 that was signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020.

ASCA contacted HHS staff to confirm that ASCs and other providers were eligible for the funds even if they were not directly serving COVID-19 patients.
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INDUSTRY NEWS

CMS (04/19/20)
The United States is experiencing an unprecedented public health emergency from the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare facilities in some areas are stretched to their limits of capacity, and surge areas have been needed to augment care for patients with COVID-19.
CMS (04/19/20)
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Fierce Healthcare (04/17/20) Tina Reed
Texas, Oklahoma and Alaska are among the first states to begin reopening their economies, including allowing elective surgeries to resume, following the release of new guidance from the White House this week. Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued three executive orders, including an order that loosens restrictions on surgeries put in place in March.
Fierce Healthcare (04/17/20) Tina Reed
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The Hill (04/16/20) Jessie Hellmann
A commonly prescribed antibiotic used to treat sexually transmitted infections and other conditions is facing a shortage after President Trump promoted it as a potential coronavirus treatment. Demand for azithromycin tablets — better known by its brand name Z-Pack — is soaring as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in the U.S.
The Hill (04/16/20) Jessie Hellmann
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NPR (04/15/20) Blake Farmer
Nearly 9,300 U.S. health care workers contracted COVID-19, and 27 have died. A majority of those who tested positive (55 percent) think they were exposed while at work.
NPR (04/15/20) Blake Farmer
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Joint Commission Ambulatory Buzz blog (04/15/20) Liz Even
In addition to my role as a Joint Commission associate director of standards interpretation focused on ambulatory care, I still work as an emergency department nurse at a large, academic Level-One trauma center and have been picking up additional shifts at my hospital during this COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve spent 13 of my 15 years as a nurse in the emergency department.
Joint Commission Ambulatory Buzz blog (04/15/20) Liz Even
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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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