ASCA's William Prentice responds to NYT's Joan Rivers piece, defends patient safety at ASCs: 5 notes

William Prentice, CEO of Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, wrote a short rejoinder to The New York Times in response to their coverage of the settlementt between Joan Rivers' family and Yorkville Endoscopy.

Here are five notes:

1. In May, The New York Times announced Joan River's family reached a settlement with Yorkville Endoscopy in New York City, the site of the botched procedure that led to the comedian's death in 2014.

2. In the article, the Times stated "the case highlighted the lax oversight at outpatient surgical centers, and that they would be working to advance legislation in Albany to ensure that these clinics operate under the same minimum safety standards as hospitals do."

3. Mr. Prentice wrote a letter to the editor in which he noted ASCs are in fact subject to the same federal and state oversight as hospitals and the "the doctors and nurses who work in these centers have the same education, training and credentials as those who perform surgery in hospitals."

4. Additionally, he notes while Ms. Rivers' death was a tragic incident, it did not occur because surgeons performed the procedure at an ASC, but was a result of human error.

5. The physicians named in the lawsuit in 2015 accepted responsibility for Ms. Rivers' death.

"Bill Prentice is a straight shooter and an incredibly gifted leader. He does a tremendous job for ASCA. He is right to defend ASCs here as, in total, they deliver exceptional care at low costs," says Scott Becker, JD, partner at McGuireWoods and publisher of Becker's Healthcare.

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