States Get ARRA Funding to Lower ASC HAIs

A nationwide effort to lower health care associated infections (HAIs) in ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) will begin later this month. Twelve states will survey more than 125 local ASCs before Sept. 30, at an estimated cost of $1 million, to identify why there has been an increase in HAIs and what can be done to prevent them, according to a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) July 30 press release.

“We will make sure that providers have good information about ways to prevent serious infections,” said Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “And we will make onsite inspections to ensure that good infection control practices are being followed.”

Past ASC surveys show infection control problems are generally common, ranging from failure to clean equipment between patients, to routine use of flash sterilization of surgical instruments, to re-use of single-dose vials of medication or infusates for multiple patients, according to findings presented at the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee Meeting, held June 15-16, in Atlanta, Ga.

To offset the cost of conducting this year’s surveys, a total of $572,500 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds will be distributed among the 12 participating states as follows:

Ambulatory Surgical Center CASCC


Award Amount















New Jersey


North Carolina








Total for States & DC


An additional $9 million will be available in October for all states to make additional inspections of ASCs, according to CMS. The CDC will also make $40 million available to state public health departments to create or expand state-based HAI prevention and surveillance efforts, and strengthen the public health workforce trained to prevent HAIs.  These funds support activities outlined in HHS’ 2009 Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections.

One Response to “States Get ARRA Funding to Lower ASC HAIs”

  1. Robert E. Markle says:

    Never mind the survey. Send out inspectors with code books. Fine the perpetrators and throw repeat offenders in jail. This is public safety we’re talking about here not some minor mishap.

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