ASC Conference Goes Virtual, Safety in Mind
The Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA), transitioned to a ‘virtual summit’ in order to hold their annual conference in 2020. Originally scheduled in May, at the Orlando World Center Marriott, the conference had to be pushed back to early July and transferred to an online format to ensure the safety of its attendees.
Like the convention centers that typically host these live events, Surgery Centers have been hit hard this year by the temporary but costly shut down associated with COVID-19. With many states already beginning to see signs of a ‘second wave,’ the need for ASC’s to come together (even online) becomes imperative.
According to the Association website:
"More than 5,800 Medicare-certified ASCs provide care to America’s patients across the country. Despite the large impact the ASC community has on patient access and government savings, much of the public and elected officials do not fully understand the role ASCs play in healthcare.
ASCA’s regulatory and legislative successes are dependent on the advocacy efforts of ASCA members. Every day, policy makers make decisions on issues that directly impact facilities, staff and patients. It is critical that these policymakers understand how their decisions affect their constituents."
ASCs Vital Healthcare Partners
ASCA CEO,William Prentice, penned a letter to Senator’s McConnell and Schumer, along with Representatives Pelosi and McCarthy asking for assurance that “future spikes should not lead to federal or state guidance to postpone elective care again.” (Read the complete letter.)
While COVID-19 developments and guidance will definitely be a hot topic at the conference this year, ASCA will still provide a varied mix of relevant break-out sessions. Session topics range from HR to Finance,Innovation, Infection Prevention, Delivery of Patient Care, Regulatory/Legal Issues and Quality Management.
Keynote speakers selected for the 2020 Virtual Conference are notably relevant considering current events. Elizabeth Smart, an activist and advocate for missing children, will speak from her own experience of overcoming adversity and finding the strength to move forward into an uncertain future.
On day two of the conference, Amelia Rose Earhart, a pilot and news correspondent, will share her thoughts on leadership during crisis.
Elective Surgery Access Dynamic
ASC’s had more than their fair share of adversity and crisis of late. The halt of elective surgeries during quarantine has been financially devastating. Many ASC’s were forced to furlough employees to stay afloat.
In April, 2020, Ambulatory practice volume declined by almost 60%. Although most are starting to bounce back as practices begin to reopen, volume is still down 40% from this time last year. Texas suffered a second wave of adverse effects due in part to a rapid reopening plan which caused the state to re-suspend elective surgeries in 113 counties as of early July according to Becker’s Hospital Review.
Some are hopeful because this pandemic has opened doors to allow emergency reimbursements for surgeries that CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) would not have otherwise permitted. ASC’s were able to contract with hospitals to expand capacity and provide surgeries not typically allowed in their setting.
No doubt this year’s conference is a pivotal opportunity to keep that door propped open. Attendees will have the ability to ask questions during educational sessions, chat and/or set up meetings with exhibitors in ‘virtual booths’ – web pages created by suppliers to provide videos, links and information about their goods and services.
Reliable Pharmaceutical Outsourcing
Fagron Sterile Services US (FSS) is proud to support ambulatory surgery centers across America by delivering a reliable supply of high-quality medications produced at state-of-the-art 503B facilities registered with the DEA and FDA. FSS will be among those suppliers exhibiting virtually, and for the second year in a row, FSS will serve as a sponsor for this year’s conference.
FSS feels strongly about the need to continue support for ASCA and those they represent, especially in such uncertain times. As an experienced supplier of sterile outsourcing services across three decades, FSS offers:
- Ready-to-administer anesthesia syringes
- Ophthalmic presentations
- Pain management solutions
- mitoMYcin, dialysis and other specialty presentations