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2011 Public Policy News

AORN Comments on CMS' Conditions of Participation

Publish Date: 12/28/2011

In an effort to have the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) look to future improvements in the Conditions of Participation, AORN submitted comments on December 19 regarding proposed reforms of outdated or unnecessary Hospital Conditions of Participation.

New Jersey Surgical Technologist Bill Headed Back to Governor's Desk

Publish Date: 12/21/2011

In June 2011, the New Jersey legislature passed Assembly bill 3946, an education and certification bill for surgical technologists. In November 2011, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie returned A3946 to the legislature due to concerns that the bill would limit the pool of candidates eligible for employment as a surgical technologist to only those who possess a specific credential.

Joint Commission Drops Term ‘Disruptive Behavior’

Publish Date: 12/7/2011

The Joint Commission’s leadership standard LD 03.01.01, “Leaders create and maintain a culture of safety and quality throughout the hospital,” was implemented in January 2009. Recognizing that behavior that intimidates others and affects morale or staff turnover can be harmful to patient care, the Joint Commission’s intent in introducing LD 03.01.01 was to require a formal process to manage unacceptable behavior in accredited hospitals.

Nurse Appointed Administrator of CMS

Publish Date: 12/7/2011

President Obama has nominated Marilyn Tavenner, MHA BSN RN, to replace Dr. Donald Berwick as the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

ACO Final Rule Recognizes Nursing Leadership Rules

Publish Date: 11/23/2011

On November 2, 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published its much anticipated final rule on the design and implementation of the Medicare Shared Savings Program and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).  The final rules are intended to help hospitals and health care professionals better coordinate care for Medicare patients through ACOs.

New Jersey Governor Conditionally Vetoes Surgical Technologist Bill

Publish Date: 11/15/2011

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie returned a surgical technologist education and certification bill back to the legislature without his signature last week, citing concerns that the bill would limit the pool of candidates eligible for employment as a surgical technologist. 

Florida State Coordinator Attends ANA Advocacy Training

Publish Date: 10/24/11

AORN State Coordinator for the state of Florida, Mary Jane “MJ” Balun, RN CNOR, recently attended the American Nurses Association (ANA) Advocacy Institute in Washington, DC. The ANA Advocacy Institute is designed to equip registered nurses to influence health policy at the local, state, and national levels.

RN Circulator Surveys Reveal Gaps in RN Circulator Use

Publish Date: 10/12/11

This September, AORN emailed 4,700 staff nurses, OR managers, nurse executives and other perioperative nursing professionals a survey on their facility's use of registered nurses as circulators. AORN's goal was to learn more about the circulator position in hospitals and other facilities across the United States.

New York Governor Vetoes Surgical Technologist Bill

Publish Date: 9/28/11

On Friday, September 23, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed Senate bill 4563-A/A.6539-B, a surgical technologist education and certification bill that passed the New York State Senate and State Assembly earlier this summer.

North Carolina Safe Surgery Collaborative

Publish Date: 8/31/11

North Carolina’s Center for Hospital Quality and Patient Safety recently introduced a statewide safe surgery collaborative designed to improve perioperative safety by implementing core, evidence-based interventions within the context of an open and collaborative learning network.

Study Recommendations on Assistants at Surgery

Publish Date: 8/31/11

The American College of Surgeons recently released the 2011 edition of its Physician as Assistants at Surgery study,a joint publication of the American College of Surgeons and 20 other surgical specialty organizations intended to indicate whether an operation may call for the use of a physician as an assistant.

Study Examines California Staffing Mandate

Publish Date: 8/3/11

Health Affairs recently published a study examining nurse staffing ratios in California in comparison to those in similar United States hospitals.

Michigan Passes RN Circulator Data Collection Bill

Publish Date: 7/6/11

On June 21, 2001, Michigan’s governor Rick Snyder signed House bills 4526 and 4325, both budget bills designed to resolve the state’s current fiscal instability.

AORN Supports Sterile Processing Bill in New York; PA & OH Expected Soon

Publish Date: 6/8/11

AORN is supporting the International Association of Healthcare Central Service Materials Management’s (IASCHMM) central sterile supply certification bill in New York this year.

New York RNFA Bill Moving; Montana Bill in Effect July 1

Publish Date: 6/8/11

On July 1, 2011, Montana will become the sixteenth state requiring third party reimbursement for surgical first assistant services performed by a registered nurse first assistant.

IOM Future of Nursing Update: RACs Gaining Momentum; Need Perioperative Voices

Publish Date: 5/25/11

A direct result of the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Nursing report is the formation of state Regional Action Coalitions (RACs) to implement the recommendations in the IOM report at the local, state and regional level.

Staffing Ratio Bills Harming RN as Circulator Efforts

Publish Date: 2/16/11

AORN’s government affairs office is seeing an increase in nurse staffing bills being introduced in the states this year.

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