September 2020 Newsletter                      Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our profile on LinkedInView our videos on YouTube 
In September, we often look forward to the opening of schools for the Fall semester, and anticipate the amazing foliage show that follows. This year is different.  We worry about schools opening, and the impact on our children and our country. Our Front line continues to fight Covid-19 and its ramifications, and the death toll keeps climbing. "Mask Up America!"  is a constant refrain as we fight this invisible threat, while we deal with hurricanes two at a time.  Let's take a breath and know that this too shall pass, even when it seems like it won't.  Let's embrace the compassion and kindness that we see everyday and  take one day at a time.
This months newsletter focuses on proposed Stark changes and the success associated with the Anesthesia checklist that has made anesthesia machine events extremely rare. Read on for additional information on these important topics, and remember always to be thankful for the blessings we share, especially in times of challenge.
Stark Law Changes
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued rules in the Federal Register to implement Stark Law, including a 2001 "Phase I" final rule, a 2004 "Phase II" interim final rule, and a 2007 "Phase III" final rule.The Stark Law was part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. Referred to as Stark I, this prohibited a physician referring a Medicare patient to a clinical laboratory if the physician or his/her family member has a financial interest in that laboratory (self-referral). It was codified in the United States Code, Title 42, Section 1395nn, "Limitation on certain physician referrals". Read More. 
About the Authors -

James Ballard is an Associate Consultant with over 30 years of experience responsible for assessing healthcare organizations' readiness for licensing, accreditation and regulatory compliance. He has worked in a variety of healthcare positions and his experiences range from Surgical Technologist, EMT, Combat Medicine to a Federally Certified Healthcare Surveyor (Hospital, Critical Access, Transplant, Ambulatory Survey Centers and Long-Term Care), to Director positions over Compliance, Quality, Infection Prevention, Safety, Risk Management, Employee Health, and  

Anesthesia Machine Checks

To provide safe and reliable anesthesia to all patients undergoing surgery it is important to make sure that the anesthesia machine used is working properly. Anesthesia outcome claims have decreased over the past two decades to less than 1% of claims according to the American Society of Anesthesiology (ASAHQ), with the most recent data publicized by ASAHQ which states: "While the overall mortality rate held steady between 2010 and 2013 at .03 percent, or 3 deaths per 10,000 surgeries or procedures involving anesthesia, the percentage of adverse events related to anesthesia decreased from 11.8 percent to 4.8 percent of procedures during that time period. The most common minor complication was postoperative nausea and vomiting (35.53 percent), while the most common major complication was medication error (11.71 percent)." Thus, demonstrating that performing anesthesia machine checks daily and before each procedure had virtually eliminated machine events. Read More .
About the Author - 

Denise Smith, RN,MS,CLNC is an Associate Consultant with Courtemanche & Associates.  Denise has more than 40 years of experience and expertise in Infection Prevention, Sterile Processing, Legal Nurse Consulting, Quality and Resource Management, Clinical Education, and a variety of acute inpatient and outpatient care settings.Clinically, Denise is a licensed Registered Nurse with an extensive background in Infection Prevention and Control for perioperative settings, Sterile Processing and Quality Management.
Read more about Denise and our team. 

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