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OIG Report Finds States Failing to Survey ASCs for Quality, Safety

The Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) writes that while two-thirds of ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) in the U.S. are supposed to be surveyed for quality and safety issues by their state health agency, according to Medicare rules, a large number of states appear to not be doing so. According to the report released last week from the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG), it found that 15 states failed to meet Medicare’s highest priority benchmark, to survey at least 25% of their ASCs every year, although seven of those 15 came within one survey of meeting their quota. The OIG found that in fiscal year 2017, more than half of the states — 28 — did not meet Medicare’s second priority requirement that those states survey all their ASCs at least within the prior six years. And some of those lapses were among high-population states, like New Jersey and North Carolina, which left up to 10% of their ASCs unsurveyed since prior to 2013. Some of those failed states are among the largest: California, Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, nine of the 10 most populous states. Eleven states failed to meet both priority requirements and three — with a total of 213 ASC facilities within them — Hawaii, Nevada and New Jersey — failing to meet either requirement by large margins, the report said.

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