ASGE also rejects Kaiser Health News story alleging lack of safety at ASCs

The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy rebuked a story by Kaiser Health News and USA Today, stressing how millions of procedures have been safely performed in an ASC or hospital setting.

Here's what you should know.

1. The news organizations conducted investigative reporting attempting to document the number of deaths and track quality at surgery centers. Reporters examined autopsy records, legal filings as well as state and Medicaid inspection records. They conducted several interviews with physicians, health policy experts and patients. They referred to the reporting as the most extensive examination of these records to date finding 260 patients died at surgery centers since 2013. They spoke to the surviving family members of many of these patients and described the events surrounding the deaths in detail.

2. The ASGE stated its opinion on behalf of its 15,000-plus members. Endoscopic procedures are nonsurgical and can be safely performed in an ASC or a hospital setting.

3. Despite where they're performed, high-quality safety standards must be followed to ensure patient safety. Adverse events from colonoscopy and other endoscopic procedures are rare.

4. According to a statement, "It is important to remember that millions of procedures, many of them life saving, are performed safely each year in the ambulatory care setting."

5. ASGE advocates for patient safety regardless of the setting. They concluded that patients should feel safe about asking where a procedure will be performed, if alternate sites of service are available and what measures are in place in case of an adverse event.

To read ASCA's rebuttal to the story, click here.

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