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April 2021
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Access OR Manager Conference sessions by December 31

For the first time in its history, the annual OR Manager Conference was held virtually September 30 to October 2. Many things were different this year, but the robust educational content and advanced technology were the same as in previous years. In a post-conference survey, more than 60% of respondents…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
November 17, 2020
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Using advanced analytics to maximize OR utilization

Wasted room capacity is a major problem in hospital surgery departments. In most facilities, OR utilization hovers around 60%. Practically speaking, that means between one-quarter and one-third of expensive OR time is going to waste. Inefficiency at this scale is clearly a financial problem. As hospitals struggle to absorb volume…

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By: OR Manager
November 17, 2020
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Shifts in case mix bode well for future of outpatient surgery

Before COVID-19 emerged as the biggest disruptor of 2020, many ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) had been growing volume and receiving Medicare reimbursements for an increasing number of procedures. Stopping elective procedures in the spring was a significant setback, especially for smaller, independent facilities, notes a Global Healthcare Advisors (GHA) brief,…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
November 17, 2020
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Joint Commission modifies Environment of Care survey process

Editor's Note The Joint Commission announced November 11 that it has modified its Environment of Care (EC) survey process for ambulatory surgery centers (those deemed and/or assigned life safety code surveyors), critical access hospitals, and hospitals, effective January 1, 2021. The change eliminates the 1-hour, sit-down discussion with members of…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 12, 2020
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Medicare to cover monoclonal antibody COVID-19 treatments

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on November 10 announced that Medicare will cover out-of-pocket costs for monoclonal antibody drugs for COVID-19 during the public health emergency. The agency’s coverage includes Eli Lilly’s bamlanivimab, which recently received an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 12, 2020
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ECRI: More than half of disposable gowns tested don’t meet protection standards

Editor's Note A new analysis by ECRI shows that 52% of the disposable isolation gowns it tested failed to meet standard levels of protection, putting healthcare workers at risk of exposure to bloodborne or other pathogens as well as COVID-19. ECRI announced November 10 that it has issued a high-priority…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 10, 2020
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CMS: How to prepare for COVID-19 vaccine

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on November 5 released a set of toolkits and enrollment actions to take to administer the COVID-19 vaccine when it’s available. Many Medicare-enrolled providers don’t have to take any actions until the vaccine is available. Some Medicare-enrolled providers must also…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 5, 2020
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CMS penalizes 2,545 hospitals for high readmissions

Editor's Note The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will penalize and reduce a year’s worth of payments to nearly half of the nation’s hospitals because of 30-day readmission rates, the November 2 Kaiser Health News reports. The penalties are part of the ninth year of the Hospital Readmissions…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 3, 2020
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Effect of elective surgery cancellation on ICU capacity in New York State

Editor's Note Suspension of elective surgical procedures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in New York State had only a minor effect on ICU capacity, this study finds. State authorities suspended all elective surgical procedures in mid-March 2020 to increase hospital and ICU bed capacity. However, the effect of canceling…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 2, 2020
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Eight hospitals postponing elective surgery in response to COVID-19 resurgence

Editor's Note Hospitals nationwide are beginning once again to suspend elective surgical procedures in response to an increase in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, the October 30 Becker’s Hospital Review reports. The following eight hospitals are postponing or canceling surgical procedures to free up bed capacity, ensure staffing, or to make sure…

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By: Judy Mathias
November 2, 2020
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