To help prevent serious infections resulting from services performed in ambulatory surgical centers, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) will use the funds provided in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“ARRA”) to implement the nationwide application of a new infection control survey tool developed in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and a case tracer methodology that tracks a patient’s care from admission to discharge. Additionally, CMS will use the ARRA funds to survey ambulatory surgical centers using this survey application at the rate of approximately once every three years during the national pilot program.
The particular focus on ambulatory surgical centers for this funding was chosen because the available infection control tool was developed for ambulatory surgical centers and because of the likely continuing infection control deficiencies in ambulatory surgical center settings.
The primary use of this money will be to pay for the expansion of ambulatory surgical center surveys (both in quality, time and number) using the new infection control tool and case tracer methodology. The funds will allow states to hire additional surveyors (one to four per state dependent upon ambulatory surgical center growth), which will increase a state’s capacity to maintain expected levels of ambulatory surgical center inspections while building greater capacity to use the improved survey tool nationwide.
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