August is National ASC Month
For more than forty years, ASCs have provided high-quality, cost-efficient surgical care for millions of Americans. In that time, ASCs have transformed the outpatient experience by offering a convenient and personalized alternative to the hospital outpatient surgical setting.
For the last decade, ASCs have promoted awareness of these contributions by opening their doors to their communities and hosting National ASC Month events. By hosting an event in your community, you can educate key policy and decision makers about the benefits of ASCs and encourage public awareness of your ASC. Effective events include inviting your elected officials to tour your surgery center and hosting an open house to provide more information to patients.
Letter from the President
Dear Friends and colleagues,
It is an honor and privilege to serve you for this coming year. I truly appreciate your vote of trust.
I will not spare any effort in serving this society and advancing its cause, but I cannot do it alone. While I’m very fortunate and grateful to be surrounded by experienced leaders who have never declined helping when asked, I invite ALL of you to take part in SAMBA. Ask questions, volunteer, propose ideas, initiatives, and plans. Speak up, express your support and encouragement if you like the programs and services offered, and by all means, if you don’t, express concern and propose alternatives. Be part of the solution.
JFK once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country?” I say “Ask what you can do for the SAMBA.” Yes, the task is huge and the challenges are great, but do not let your heart be troubled. We have been very successful for >30 years, and we have what it takes to keep it that way. We have a strong membership. I’m very encouraged by the overwhelming response I received from my “call to serve” e-mail. Our leaders are full of energy and enthusiasm. We have always had great management companies and structure and we are financially strong.
Together, you and I can help SAMBA to stay strong, we can further help it grow, and blossom.
Thank you for your continued support, I look forward to working with you serving our SAMBA.
Basem Abdelmalak, MD, FASA
SAMBA President 2019-2020
SAMBA Management Services Transition
Over the past couple of months, SAMBA leadership has been transitioning association management services to Wellington, based in the Kansas City metro area.
As of June 1, the SAMBA Executive Office headquarters will be relocated:
Society for Ambulatory Anesthesia
7304 W 130th Street, Suite 370
Overland Park, KS 66213
Please be sure that firstname.lastname@example.org is an approved email sender to receive all association correspondence. (NOTE: This transition is effective June 1, 2019.)
In the coming days and weeks, we look forward to providing you with:
- Regular email communication with updates on SAMBA activity and initiatives
- A rebuilt website complete with educational content and a robust member’s only platform
We are also working with the team to implement:
- Organizational infrastructure
- Short-term objectives and goals for committees including ongoing support to ensure continuity
- A new strategic plan for long-term growth and development
We look forward to working with the SAMBA community to grow and forge ahead. Thank you for being a member of SAMBA!
SAMBA responds to KHN/USA Today Second Article on Patient Safety in ASCs
In response to the article “Surgery centers don’t have to report deaths in 17 States”, published by USA Today in conjunction with Kaiser Health News on August 9, 2018.
Society for Ambulatory Anesthesia statement to patients:
Similar to Hospitals, Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) in the United States are safe, efficient and well-organized facilities that must comply with a wide range of laws, rules, and regulations. Most ASCs are certified by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This means that the facility meets a comprehensive set of standards established by the US Department of Health & Human Services and the CMS to ensure patient safety and top-quality care. In addition, most ASCs are either required or go through a voluntary accreditation process by organizations such as the Joint Commission (JC), the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Healthcare (AAAHC), and the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF) on a regular basis.
ASCs routinely submit to inspections by the Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA). Such inspections ensure that national safety standards are met. This confirms that patients are cared for in an environment that adheres to patient safety and infection prevention programs. Centers that are accredited and/or CMS-certified are required to maintain clinical staff who are qualified, competent, and certified in Advanced Cardiopulmonary Life Support (ACLS) to rescue adults or Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) to rescue children from medical emergencies. Skilled anesthesia care providers that often work in these ASCs, and members of the Society for Ambulatory Anesthesia (SAMBA) are keenly aware that complications and severe adverse events do happen in all locations: Hospitals, and ASCs albeit at a very low frequency in ASCs. These facilities are prepared to address complications as soon as they occur. When such severe adverse events occur, ASCs in the U.S. are required to report these adverse events to state authorities in the majority of the states. It is expected that eventually such reporting will be mandated in all the states. SAMBA favors transparency in this regard in order to minimize recurrences of adverse events to minimize patient risk.
Failing to inform readers of these crucial facts, and providing no comparisons to other sites of care, creates a misleading view of ASCs and could cause patients to make misguided judgments about where to seek medical care. ASCs provide excellent care to patients that do not need hospitalization for their procedures and have excellent safety records. CMS continues to evaluate quality measures that are meaningful to patient care, and the information is collected, analyzed and published to ensure transparency and adherence to the desired quality of care. Collaboratively and periodically, new quality measures that focus on intraoperative and post-operative care are developed and implemented.
SAMBA would like to inform readers of these facts so that patients may make informed decisions for their diagnostic and procedural cares that they need to seek.