What is an ASC?

Ambulatory Surgery Centers—known as ASCs—are modern health care facilities focused on providing same-day surgical care, including diagnostic and preventive procedures.

ASCs have transformed the outpatient experience for millions of Americans by providing them with a more convenient alternative to hospital-based outpatient procedures—and done so with a strong track record of quality care and positive patient outcomes. Click here to learn more about the quality of care that ASCs provide.

For more information read the following reports:

Ambulatory Surgery Centers: A Positive Trend in Health Care

An Analysis of Recent Growth of Ambulatory Surgical Centers

Click here to view a video on “What is an ASC”

Kudos to our member, Massachusetts Avenue Surgery Center, who recently hosted health care professionals from Eurasia!  Please read the article below posted by our national association, ASCA.

ASCA Introduces Eurasian Health Professionals to ASCs
ASCA, today, hosted 20 mid- to senior-level professionals from eight Eurasian countries, including Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Tajikistan and Russia, in its Alexandria office. ASCA Board Member Arnaldo Valedon, MD, and ASCA staff provided an introduction to ASCs and answered questions about the ASC model of care. Afterward, the group toured the Massachusetts Avenue Surgery Center in Bethesda, Maryland—a three-operating room/one-procedure room, multi-specialty ASC that performs approximately 4,000 cases each year.

I was fortunate enough to be a part of  a Medical Mission Trip to San Mateo, Guatemala in February with a Group called Helps, International, specifically the Michigan team (although there were people from all over the country).  There were about 115+ people (see attached picture) that were involved including Surgeons, Anesthesiologists and CRNAs, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, a dentist, pharmacists,  & everyday people who were involved in food preparation, scheduling for surgery, stove building.  We also had some translators come as part of the Helps team as well as locals from Guatemala including a group of lovely teenagers from high school to college.

There is a crew at the base of Helps in Guatemala City and they bring all of the heavy equipment like the OR beds, recovery beds, clinic tables, shelving,  IV poles, autoclaves, anesthesia machines, OR tables, & the ever important coffee makers to the chosen sight (done by the Guatemala HELPS rep as well as the Guatemalan government) .  Therefore they turn a basically empty building into a triage, dental office, pharmacy, clinic, OR, and recovery with a short stay unit!

The team from the USA brings all of the kitchen & medical supplies including prescription drugs, surgical instruments, dressings, drapes everything.  The kitchen team prepares all of the meals so that there is no concern for contamination and trust me they hold you to a rigorous hand sanitation process before entering the “mess hall!”  The stove team visits the homes that have chosen to get stoves in their homes (they pay about $60 for $300 worth of materials).  These families are so grateful as they are cooking on an open fire in their house (which are just wood and metal put precariously together sometimes).  So the stove team puts a stove on the inside and outside of the houses with a vent.

On this trip we performed 131 surgeries: strabismus surgery to mostly children and some adults (the Eye Team was where I participated as a 1st assist to the surgeon Dr. John Avallone), general surgery including open choles and lots of hernia repairs, plastics in children and adults (mostly cleft palates). One dentist performed approximately 67 procedures and the clinic saw over 930 patients. The Stove Team placed over 60 stoves.

This is just part of what HELPS does in Guatemala, please visit: if you are ever interested in participating in something like this.  To see the movie and more photos from my trip just visit the “Michigan Helps Medical Team” page on Facebook.  Since I’m in the OR for most of the trip, there are so many more pictures that really tell the story you can see on Facebook. This was all in about 3 days as this trip was cut short by two days due to Volcano Fuego delaying the landing of two thirds of our team. Melinda Clay Surgery Center of Greater Annapolis

The FDA wants to raise awareness among healthcare professionals, including those working in reprocessing units in healthcare facilities, that the complex design of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) endoscopes (also called duodenoscopes) may impede effective reprocessing. Reprocessing is a detailed, multistep process to clean and disinfect or sterilize reusable devices. Recent medical publications and adverse event reports link multidrug-resistant bacterial infections in patients who have undergone ERCP with reprocessed duodenoscopes, even when manufacturer reprocessing instructions are followed correctly. Meticulously cleaning duodenoscopes prior to high-level disinfection should reduce the risk of transmitting infection, but may not entirely eliminate it.
For more information and recommendations, please click


Hello, My name is Kate Corriveau and I am reaching out to you on behalf of the Washington DC Metro APIC Chapter 16.  In case you are not familiar with APIC, we are the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology a nationwide professional healthcare group. As marketing chair, I am looking for ways to reach your Ambulatory Surgery sectors in the Maryland and Northern Virginia area. Our goal is to increase awareness both for the provider and consumers about infection prevention across all continuums of care.. I am attaching a flier with all the information and links for the purpose of sharing with your contacts . I personally invite you or members of your teams to join us at one of our regional bi-monthly meetings. Our next meeting is on May 20 2014.  Can you please confirm receipt of this and let me know if there is someone else more appropriate to direct this to. I appreciate your response and consideration of our mission to reach out to the Ambulatory Surgery Association.

MedlineLogo                      Click here to view our flyer

Kate Corriveau
Infection Prevention Sales
Medline Industries Inc

CMS Releases Surveyor Memo Regarding Immediate Use Steam Sterilization

Last Friday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the attached surveyor memo updating its policy on immediate use steam sterilization (IUSS). This memo discusses its decision to abandon the use of the term “flash” sterilization and based on the recommendations from nationally recognized infection prevention organizations replace it with the term IUSS. The memo also updates information regarding nationally recognized infection control guidelines and professionally acceptable standards of practice with respect to IUSS.

The State Operations Manual has not yet been updated to reflect this change, but MASA will alert members to the updated version as soon as it becomes available.

Click here to view

How Would You Respond to an Armed Intruder?

We’d just finished a bomb threat drill when one of my staff asked a good question: How would we handle a shooting situation? Our center didn’t have a policy or emergency plan for such an event, but in light of the recent rash of armed intruders harming and killing innocent people in public places, we decided we needed one.

Plus, our surgery center specializes in spine and pain procedures. We see a lot of pain patients, most of whom are repeat patients. The nature of our business and the types of drugs we keep on hand made us feel that we may be more vulnerable to an armed attack than most surgical facilities. Then there’s the nature of the economy. With higher deductible plans forcing patients to pay upfront, it’s no secret that surgical facilities collect cash from patients. Here’s what we did.

  • Create a policy. You’ll find useful information for creating your policy at the Department of Homeland Security website.
  • Meet with your local police department. My management team and I asked our local police department to tour our center and meet with us. The officers gave us great tips for our exit strategies, our “safe haven” areas and how to better secure different areas of our facility. They reminded us that armed intruders do not always attack with guns; they can also show up with knives, baseball bats and other harmful objects. The officers suggested we watch a 6-minute YouTube video called “RUN HIDE FIGHT Surviving an Active Shooter” (, in which actors role-play a shooting in an office building setting.
  • Put together a drill. We then sat down and began to put together an annual plan/drill that would work best for our facility. Our drill consisted of walking through several different scenarios — intruder in building hallway, intruder in waiting room, intruder in PACU area. This was followed by an open discussion with staff, which was difficult and uncomfortable to have. No one wants to think about the possibility of such a terrible event occurring in their workplace. But as uncomfortable and stressful as it may be, it is imperative to take the time now to plan and train your staff.
  • Safeguard your facility. We added new locks to several doors throughout the center to create the “safe haven” areas. We installed several digital touch-code locking mechanisms that would prevent any unauthorized visitors from entering the business office or PACU area from our waiting room area. We also installed a “panic button” at our front desk that, when pushed, sends an alarm notification to our local police department. We are currently researching different kinds of protective glass for our front reception area.

Police officers warned us that during these types of situations, no one can predict how any one person will react. Some staff may be calm under this kind of situation and others may panic. Management can only provide staff with several options and choices for their protection and safety. We all hope that this type of event never occurs. It’s always best to be prepared, however. We will be practicing this drill each year from now on.

— Jennifer A. Collins, CMOM, CASC
Ms. Collins ( the administrator of Parkway Surgery Center in Hagerstown, Maryland

Reprinted with permission from Outpatient Surgery Magazine

HHS Confirms Billions of Dollars of Medicare Cost Savings Tied to ASCs

ASCA Cautions that Data Also Reveals Reimbursement Issues

ALEXANDRIA, VA, April 17, 2014 — In a report released today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that outpatient surgical procedures performed in ambulatory surgery centers have saved Medicare more than $1 billion in each of the last several years—and have the potential for even greater savings in the future.

As a result of the cost-savings that ASCs offer, the report concludes, “…Medicare saved almost $7 billion and beneficiaries saved an additional $2 billion during CYs 2007 through 2011. Also, Medicare and beneficiaries could save an additional $12 billion and $3 billion, respectively, during CYs 2012 through 2017.” Those estimates support similar findings made last year by researchers at the University of California-Berkeley Nicholas C. Petris Center on Health Care Markets and Consumer Welfare.

Responding to the OIG’s findings, Ambulatory Surgery Center Association Chief Executive Officer William Prentice said, “Ambulatory surgery centers can save Medicare and its beneficiaries billions more than we currently do, but policymakers need to be mindful of how we maintain our high quality. ASC reimbursement under Medicare needs improvement, and any plan to adjust reimbursements to providers or shift volume to take advantage of the high quality and efficient care in ASCs must take that into consideration.”

The full OIG report “Medicare and Beneficiaries Could Save Billions If CMS Reduces Hospital Outpatient Department Payment Rates for Ambulatory Surgical Center-Approved Procedures to Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Rates” is available here. The results of the University of California–Berkeley research are available here.

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 Medicare 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. For more about ASCA, go to

1012 Cameron St, Alexandria VA 22314
Phone: 703.836.8808 Fax: 703.549.0976

The Board of Ambulatory Surgery Certification (BASC) has approved several modifications to the procedures for obtaining and reporting required continuing education (Administrator Education Units).  These modifications are outlined below:

Required Continuing Education (Administrator Education Units) - Policy effective August 8, 2013

The certificant will need to complete and submit Administrator Education Units (AEUs) electronically at least once every three years.

The certificant will need to maintain a minimum of 9 AEUs in each of the five content areas during the 3- year recertification period.  (9 AEUs X 5 content areas= 45 AEUs in the 3-year recertification period).

Even though the certificant is only required to electronically submit AEUs once, BASC recommends the certificant attempt to obtain 15 AEUs per year.

Certificants will continue to be able to document AEU’s as received at their convenience, but all 45 AEUs with the required amount per content area, as stated above, must be submitted prior to the end of their 3-year recertification cycle.

For certificants who are reaching the end of their 3-year cycle on December 31, 2013, the requirement to maintain a minimum of 9 AEUs in each content area is waived; however, you are still required to maintain 5 AEUs in each of the five content areas.  The requirement to maintain 9 AEUs in each of the 5 content areas will begin in your next 3-year cycle.

The certificant will continue to pay the annual fee each year during the renewal period from October 1st - December 31st.

Any questions regarding these changes to the CASC credential should be submitted to BASC at 703.836.4871 or

Kudos to the following centers who have committed to participating in AHRQ’s Safety Program for Ambulatory Surgery, a national collaborative program. MASA is a Consortium Lead for Cohort 2.

  • Ambulatory Endoscopy Center of Maryland
  • Annapolis Surgery Center
  • Arundel Ambulatory Surgery Center
  • Chesapeake Eye Surgery Center
  • Columbia Urological Surgery Center
  • Dulaney Eye Institute
  • Harford Lower Extremity Specialists ASC
  • Leonardtown Surgery Center
  • Maryland Center for Digestive Health
  • Maryland Surgeons Center of Columbia
  • Robinwood Surgery Center
  • SurgCenter of Glen Burnie
  • The Surgery Center of Easton
  • Timonium Surgery Center
  • Harford Endoscopy Center

S.SiegelDr. Sanford J. Siegel: Leading Chesapeake Urology’s Commitment to Give Back to Its Community

Chesapeake Urology Associates is the largest urology practice in Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region, and one of the leading urology practices in the nation.  Its physicians and other caregivers offer patients in Maryland and from other parts of the country the most advanced urologic care available today, including a broad program for clinical trials.   Chesapeake Urology is led by President & CEO, Dr. Sanford J. Siegel.

Chesapeake Urology Serves Patients in 17 Medical Offices and 15 Ambulatory Surgical Centers
Chesapeake Urology serves patients in 17 medical offices and 15 Summit ambulatory surgical centers that are staffed with more than 450 caregivers, including 55 physicians -- 49 urologists, 4 radiation oncologists, a urogynecologist and a uropathologist.  Three of the group’s ambulatory surgical centers are Class C operating rooms, and each ASC is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc.   The Summit surgical centers are staffed by almost 60 registered nurses who are led by Stacey Zemencik, RN, Director of Nursing.  Surgeries and procedures performed include prostate biopsy, brachytherapy for prostate cancer, orchiectomy, cystoscopy, lithotripsy, circumcision, minimally invasive treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), vasectomy, hydrocelectomy , spermatocelectomy,  varicoceletomy, penile prosthesis, urethral slings and vasectomy reversals.  Dr. Brad Lerner serves as the Clinical Director of the Summit Ambulatory Surgical Centers.

Giving Back to the Community – One of Chesapeake Urology’s Core Values
Chesapeake Urology was founded in 2006 through the merger of three Baltimore-based urology practices with the vision to become the nation’s leading urologic group.  This would be achieved through a commitment to providing accessible, high quality, cost effective care, a superior patient experience and community involvement.  In our interactions with each patient, each employee upholds the following core values of Chesapeake Urology:  Excellence, Compassionate Care, Respect, Teamwork, Service with Pride, Ethics and Community Involvement.  It is Chesapeake Urology’s core value of community involvement that has been the driving force of Chesapeake Urology’s commitment to give back to the community it serves.  In 2007, Dr. Siegel, President & CEO of Chesapeake Urology was approached by fellow physician, Dr. P. Sean Van Zijl, with the idea of hosting a road race to create awareness of prostate cancer and to collect funds to combat the disease.  A goal quickly evolved to become the leading men’s health initiative similar to Susan G. Komen and its platform for breast cancer.

ZERO Prostate Cancer Challenge Sponsored by Urology Groups across the Country
In 2007, the Great Prostate Cancer Challenge was founded by Chesapeake Urology Associates by hosting a 5K road race.  Over 1,200 people turned out for the event hosted on the campus of St. Joseph’s Medical Center and the funds were donated to the American Urological Association to fund a research scholar.  Since then Dr. Siegel has spearheaded the event to grow locally and nationally.  Speaking at the annual meetings of the Large Urology Group Practice Association (LUGPA), Dr. Siegel single-handedly convinced other urology group practices to host similar run/walk events to promote an awareness of prostate cancer.  He also developed a partnership with ZERO-The End of Prostate Cancer to become the official beneficiary and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the nonprofit organization.  In 2013, the Race is taking place in 36 cities across the country with the majority hosted and supported by urology groups.  Since its inception, the Race has been rebranded as the ZERO Prostate Cancer Run in all hosting cities to better represent the brand nationwide.  To date, $3.5 million has been raised nationwide with $1.5 million collected in the Baltimore region.

Chesapeake Urology takes great pride as the founder of this event.  Dr. Siegel and his staff take responsibility for organizing, fundraising and volunteering at the event that is currently held at the Towson University, Johnny Unitas Stadium and draws 1,500 participants and approximately 2,500 people in total attendance. With the success of the road race and the enthusiasm it generates internally for the organization, employees have contributed to fundraising by volunteering to develop and organize additional events including a bull roast, restaurant days, chocolate sales and a battle of the bands.

A large portion of the funds raised for prostate cancer are channeled back into the Baltimore community to help combat health disparities in the community through a series of prostate cancer screenings held in conjunction with African-American churches throughout the Baltimore Metro area.  Each year, employees also voluntarily contribute their time to staff between 10 and 12 free prostate cancer screenings to serve the underprivileged communities in the Baltimore region.

Due to genetics, African-American men are twice as likely to develop prostate cancer.  This group also tends to be underinsured and often undervalues the need to see a physician regularly.  Dr. Siegel has worked very diligently to develop relationships and form partnerships with African-American churches to host prostate cancer screenings on location at about 12 churches on an annual basis.  The screenings are coordinated by Chesapeake Urology staff in conjunction with ZERO-The End of Prostate Cancer, who provides the mobile RV unit where the screenings are conducted.  To provide additional health resources to the prostate cancer screenings, the Chesapeake Urology staff works with other local community organizations to attend the screenings for additional health resources.  Screenings for blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis along with information on foster/adoption services, breast cancer and Alzheimer’s are often available during the prostate cancer screening.

Dr. Siegel personally visits the majority of the churches on the screening date or the Sunday prior to the screening to speak to the congregation on the importance of getting screened.  Chesapeake Urology physicians and employees for a total of 12-15 employees volunteer their time and talents at each screening to perform the screening, assist men with application process, and to educate men on prostate cancer awareness. Since 2007, this partnership has provided 6,000 free prostate cancer screenings to those that may have not been screened otherwise.

A Well-Rounded Community Program that is Supported by All Chesapeake Urology Employees
Chesapeake Urology physicians, patient navigators and recovery coaches also regularly volunteer their services as speakers in the Baltimore community making presentations on an average three evenings a month.  Seminars take place weekday evenings in the Baltimore/Metro area and include presentations for men and women on many urologic disease states.  Chesapeake Urology also has a presence at many of the health fairs in the community including the Baltimore County Baby Boomer Expo, Howard County Womenfest, Carroll County Health and Wholeness Fair, Charlestown Retirement Community, and the Harford County Healthy Living Fair to educate attendees and to answer questions pertaining to urology.

Chesapeake Urology was founded in 2006 with a vision, mission and core values, which include community involvement.  This is a philosophy that is communicated to all who are seeking employment with the organization.  The dedication and commitment to the community has proven successful with an employee retention rate of 92 percent, which far exceeds the national average of retention in the health care industry.

While prostate cancer awareness and fundraising is the fundamental component of our community support, the employees of Chesapeake Urology also support an annual American Red Cross blood drive, collect food for Bea Gaddy and host holiday toy drives to benefit Guino’s Helping Hands.  Employees recently collected 2,000 books for a community library for the Parks Height community at the request of Dr. Siegel, who serves on the board of the Park Heights Community Health Alliance.


Maryland Ambulatory Surgery Association
PO Box 5859
Pikesville, MD 21282
Attention:  Andrea M. Hyatt, CASC