COVID 19: New and Updated Information and Resources
NJAASC has curated authoritative information and a list of resources for our Membership’s reference. We will continue to update this as more information becomes available.


PAST COVID E-BLAST HAVE BEEN ARCHIVED DUE TO SPACE RESTRAINTS AND TO KEEP THINGS CURRENT. 
TO VIEW PREVIOUS E-BLASTS, CLICK HERE
 
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES ELECTIVES COMING FOR ASCS AND HOSPITALS BY END OF THE WEEK – 5/13/20
From Politico: Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday he expects to introduce a plan by the end of the week  for hospitals and other health care facilities to resume elective procedures .

The plan is being developed by Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli in coordination with doctors and hospitals, the governor said during his daily briefing in Trenton.

While several health systems halted elective procedures prior to experiencing a surge in Covid-19 related hospitalizations, and in advance of  Murphy’s executive order  to suspend those surgeries, it also  strained hospital revenues  at a time when they were experiencing severe duress.

The order — which was in line with federal guidance and had already been adopted by some health systems — was designed to preserve health care resources as New Jersey entered the pandemic’s peak.

As Covid-19 hospitalizations decline, more hospitals have been able move away from a  crisis standard of care , indicating a readiness to resume normal operations.

“We're moving slowly and deliberately because any misstep risks further outbreaks,” Murphy said during his briefing. “We want to be quick, but we have to be right.”

NJDOH GUIDANCE FOR DIAGNOSED OR EXPOSED HCP- 5/13/20

EO 141: CONTACT TRACING – 5/13/20

NJAASC 10th ANNUAL ASC CONFERENCE POSTPONED – 5/13/20
NJAASC has been sending out notices of postponement, but we just wanted to make sure that everyone was aware.
As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted events of all kinds to be cancelled or postponed. Unfortunately, our much-anticipated 10 th  Annual NJAASC Ambulatory Surgery Conference (originally slated for June 10 -11,  2020) has also been postponed for the time being. We are considering all options and will keep you apprised of our future plans as soon as we have a better lay of the land about what lies ahead and what is in the best interest of our attendees and vendors.  Please check our web site or our page on LinkedIn for updates. 
 
In the meantime, we remain committed to providing the most authoritative and helpful information and resources to New Jersey’s ASCs -- please continue to follow us on LinkedIn and look to our COVID-19 Updates via email for the latest information on how the industry is being impacted by the pandemic.
 
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me,
 
Jeff Shanton
President, NJAASC

NEW JERSEY RESIDENTS COMFORTABLE WITH HOW GOVERNOR IS MOVING TO RE-OPEN THE STATE – 5/13/20
This is an interesting poll, I was intrigued by the answers and the polling numbers. Quite honestly I expected a much larger number of people pushing to get the state opened up more quickly. 

SENATE PRESIDENT SWEENEY URGES RE-OPENING OF SURGICAL CENTERS – 5/12/20
In an interview, Senate President Sweeney urged the re-opening of select businesses in New Jersey. He specifically mentioned surgical centers.
Again-hold tight- electives are coming!


ASSEMBLY SPEAKER ANNOUNCES HIS OWN ECONOMIC COUNCIL- AND ENDORSES ELECTIVE SURGERY RETURNING -5/12/20
Not to be confused with the Governor’s Council, of which I am a part of.
As I have been telling everyone, electives are coming!
Here is more evidence.

SPEAKER COUGHLIN ANNOUNCES MEMBERS OF HIS COVID-19 PANEL TO
ADVISE ON ECONOMIC RECOVERY STRATEGY
 
Speaker Also Encourages Elective Surgery and Infrastructure
Construction to Begin Again

     (TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin today named the remaining 33 members who will serve on an Economic Advisory Council he recently announced. The new working panel will advise the Speaker and other members of Assembly Leadership on efforts to ensure New Jersey can responsibly recover from the devastating impacts of COVID-19 when the pandemic subsides.

     The private sector panel consists of experts in the fields of government, health care, education, higher education, business, commerce, tourism, social services and more. As previously announced, the advisory panel will be chaired by George R. Zoffinger who has led six different companies in his professional career and is currently President and Chief Executive Officer at Constellation Capital Corp.

     "I am pleased that so many highly regarded and well respected experts in such a vast array of fields have agreed to sit on this very important economic advisory panel," said Coughlin (D-Middlesex). "The names are well known to many New Jerseyans. These members will help the Assembly devise a strategy to ensure New Jersey is prepared to safely and successfully reopen, balancing the needs of public health and the economy. It is time to consider reopening our hospitals for elective surgeries and to begin initial infrastructure construction. We must have a game plan and with the help of these esteemed members, we will."

RWJ MASKING AND EXTENDED USE OF PPE POLICY – 5/12/20
RWJ Barnabas has graciously shared with NJAASC their masking and extended PPE use policies.  

SENATE BILL WOULD PROVIDE WORKERS COMPENSATION COVERAGE FOR ESSENTIAL WORKERS- INCLUDING ASCS - 5/12/20
Attached is a Senate Committee Substitute for S2380 which creates a presumption that COVID-19 infections contracted by essential employees as defined in the bill are work related for the purposes of worker’s comp.

It applies to employees of ambulatory surgery facilities. The bill takes effective immediately and is retroactive to March 9, 2020. It is in place during the public health emergency.

The bill will be considered in the Labor Committee today and by the full Senate on Thursday. No action has been scheduled yet on the identical Assembly bill.

EXECUTIVE ORDER FOR GOVERNORS RESTART COUNCIL – 5/12/20
Please see the EO below and the list of subcommittees and their members.
NJAASC President Jeff Shanton has been named to the Health Care subcommittee.

Today, Governor Murphy signed an  Executive Order  to create the Restart and Recovery Advisory Council to work in coordination with the Restart and Recovery Commission. The Council will focus on the tactics of reopening, while the Commission will focus on strategy. The advisory council will have nine subcommittees listed below:
 
·     Facilities and Construction
·     Government
·     Health care
·     Main Street
·     Manufacturing and Supply Chain
·     Professional Services
·     Social Services and Faith
·     Tourism and Entertainment
·     Transportation and Infrastructure 
 
To see a full list of the subcommittee members,  click here .
 
The Restart and Recovery Advisory Council Co-Chairs will be:
 
·     Dr. Zayika Smith Ellis, Secretary of Higher Education
·     Tim Sullivan, NJ Economic Development Authority
·     Jose Lozano, Choose NJ President and CEO

ELECTIVE PROCEDURES- DON’T LISTEN TO RUMOR, AND DO THE RIGHT THING – 5/11/20
We are all looking forward to resuming some sort of normalcy, which means elective surgery.

NJAASC has been keeping all of you informed as to this occurring- and it will, trust me.

Along with the greater health care coalition NJAASC is part of- and on my own, I can assure you that I/we are on top of this and there is no substance to any rumors of specific dates or anything else of the like that seem to be floating around.
Electives are returning- to both ASC and hospital, most likely this month –‘sooner rather than later’ in the Governor’s own words. I would not steer you wrong.
Until then, the hysteria and rumor mongering needs to cease, it does not do anyone any good. I can be reached, and indeed respond to every e-mail or phone call that comes my way, so there is no need to speculate.

Contrary to the many rumors floating around- there is no set date for the resumption of electives for ASCs or for hospitals. 
I receive e-mails and calls all day long regarding this, with no basis in fact.
No-one, no hospital or anyone else has been given any special treatment or dispensation by the state- and I have seen the deceptive announcements out there that allude to this or downright say it!
EO 109 is still in effect- NO ELECTIVE SURGERY, period.
Per the Governor’s Office- the state has not given anyone the green light to do anything not covered under EO 109, no ASC, no hospital system, no doctor has been given any special approval.
Indeed such notices that allude to this have been forwarded to the Governor’s Office for review and hopefully action taken.

Unfortunately there are bad players out there, who have continued on with business as usual in violation of EO 109, or are gaming the system.
There is absolutely nothing in EO 109 that qualifies doing electives. For instance, if you are testing for COVID and because test is negative that does not mean you can do electives- you would be in violation of EO 109- no electives period! 
I have also heard that doctors are taking their patients to other states to perform elective cases. The Governor by the way is well aware this is happening, and not happy.
Continuing to flaunt EO 109 is bad enough, but it also casts our industry in a bad light, and undermines our ability to get our message across to the Department and Governor’s Office- and listened to.
There is a website that you can use to report any infractions you may know of, it was published in a previous COVID e-blast. 

I would again urge you to view the EO 109 webinar if you have not done so.
I would also encourage you to view the NJAASC recommended guidelines for emergency procedures, and strongly advise use of the NJAASC developed Confirmation of Non-Elective Form.

As always, NJAASC is here for you and will continue to provide up to the minute news and information regarding the COVID crisis in New Jersey, specific to ASCs.
We are your resource, so do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.
And again, at the request of the Department of Health- please come to NJAASC. Per NJDOH we are the point of contact for all ASCs and the Department.

Thank you,
Jeff Shanton
President, NJAASC

NJAASC PRESIDENT JEFF SHANTON NAMED TO GOVERNORS COUNCIL – 5/11/20
NJAASC President Jeff Shanton has been named to the Health Care subcommittee of the Governor’s Economic Restart and Recovery Advisory Council 

UV REPROCESSING OF N95 MASKS - 5/11/20
A lot of hospitals are using UV technology. From what I have been told by many managers, some staff are having some reactions to hydrogen peroxide. 

There is a company out there called Battelle that processes N95 masks via UV technology. Some hospitals have there own UV technology (Xenon) and processing them. See attached .
Questions? Contact Jeff Shanton at  jshanton@jssurgctr.com