Professional Guidance on Reopening Ophthalmic Ambulatory Surgery Centers Released

Date: April 30, 2020

Within the last few days, some states are beginning to allow re-opening of clinics and Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) that were forced to close or perform only emergent care due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. These states are allowing some elective surgeries to be performed but the actual date varies based on the locale.  Professional guidance for ASCs on policies and procedures have recently surfaced from the professional societies.  The Outpatient Ophthalmic Surgery Society (OOSS), the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) combined to put together a “Checklist for Reopening Ophthalmic ASCs” with input from the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association.  The OOSS checklist can be found at this link.

OOSS makes the point that ASCs should only consider reopening if “the safety of patients, staff, and the community can be assured”.  They note that the guidance emphasizes “compliance with the requirements of state and local authorities; patient and staff screening and monitoring; use of PPE following CDC recommendations; augmented disinfection; and appropriate social distancing within the facility for patients and visitors, to name a few.”

This short but comprehensive “yes/no” checklist deals with a number of important issues that ophthalmic ASCs should implement, such as 1) Administration, 2) Clinical Infection and Prevention, 3) Life Safety, 4) Sterilization, and 5) Pharmacy.

We are available and happy to assist you with ASC claims issues, office telemedicine questions, and other topics related to eye care during this public health emergency.  Stay safe.

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