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This Just In
OSD Staff
Publish Date: November 17, 2007   |  Tags:   News

Anesthesiologist Accused of Reusing Syringes
ASC Offers Free Hepatitis and HIV Tests to 2,500 Patients
A prominent anesthesiologist who co-founded a hospital in Bloomington, Ind., has been accused of using multi-dose syringes during surgery, creating an infection scare among 2,500 patients of an outpatient surgery center.

The Bloomington Surgery Center is offering free HIV and hepatitis tests to patients treated by Kumar Tiwari, MD, between February 2004 and May 2006. Dr. Tiwari is well known in Bloomington, where in 2006 he co-founded the Monroe Hospital, built on Tiwari Boulevard, named after the doctor.

Dr. Tiwari allegedly used multi-dose syringes to administer anesthesia, changing only the needle between patients. In 2006, a nurse reported Dr. Tiwari's practice to the surgery center's owner, Daniel Grossman, MD, who is also a co-founder of Monroe Hospital. Dr. Grossman told Dr. Tiwari that he could no longer practice at the surgery center and then hired an independent infectious disease expert to investigate and report to the Indiana State Health Department.

Douglas Webb, MD, FIDSA, FSHEA, FACP, investigated nearly 2,000 cases involving Dr. Tiwari and found two unrelated cases of hepatitis C acquired after surgery. "To date we haven't really found any cases linked to the anesthesiologist," he says.

Regardless, the facility plans to contact as many as 2,500 patients. A letter from Dr. Webb describing the situation and offering testing has been sent to patients and primary care physicians who referred patients to the center as far back as 1997.

In September Dr. Tiwari and Dr. Grossman resigned from the board of directors of Monroe Hospital and sold their interests to another investor in the hospital, according to the Bloomington Herald-Times. Dr. Tiwari continues to practice in Bloomington at the Pain Management Center of Southern Indiana. The Indiana Medical Licensing Board renewed his license in July but also asked for an investigation by the state attorney general, according to a news report by an Indianapolis television station, WTHR. Dr. Tiwari was not available to comment for this article.

— Kent Steinriede

Outpatient Surgery Launches Redesigned Web Site

Outpatient Surgery Magazine has launched its newly redesigned Web site: www.outpatientsurgery.net. The new online resource for surgical decision-makers sports a beautiful new contemporary look while giving readers great features designed to make their online experiences both fun and productive.

Key features include:

  • Extensive archives. Readers can quickly and easily access, browse and search through thousands of articles from the magazine's eight years of expert reporting.
  • News alerts. If you choose to receive news alerts, you'll be notified via e-mail whenever breaking stories are posted to the Web site.
  • Article categories. All articles on the site have been indexed to one or more general subject areas. Readers can simply click on various topics to browse articles pertaining to a particular area of interest.
  • Favorite topic. Choose a favorite category from a pull-down menu to immediately see the latest articles on that topic whenever you visit the site.
  • Enhanced E-Mall. The renovated Outpatient Surgery Magazine E-Mall is the place for readers to get connected with product and service providers offering solutions to pressing problems. The new "information cart" lets readers easily "shop" for information and samples from the magazine's sponsors.
  • Continuing education. You can keep up with your professional certification requirements by taking one of the magazine's continuing education courses and receiving credits right online.
  • More coming soon. Cool new features will be added in the near future, including reader blogs, "Ask the Expert" forums and more.

Says Stan Herrin, publisher of Outpatient Surgery Magazine, "I'm really pleased to announce the launch of this great new tool for our readers. The redesigned Web site is a terrific resource for surgery center leaders to find the information they need quickly, easily and in a fun setting. We're looking forward to continuing to build on this great platform and to offer more interactive features for our readers. I welcome all of our readers to visit us on the new site and give us their feedback so that we can incorporate it into our future enhancements."

Registration on the site is free and Outpatient Surgery Magazine has a strict privacy policy: the e-mail addresses and other personal information gathered on the site are never shared with third parties.

Chat With the CEO
Can Surgical Care Affiliates Rise From HealthSouth's Ashes?

It's going to take a lot more than a name change to shake the HealthSouth hangover, says Surgical Care Affiliates (nee HealthSouth) president and CEO Michael Snow, who stopped by Outpatient Surgery Magazine's editorial offices last month to share his plans to return one of the country's largest providers of surgical services to prominence.

"When you get into business with physicians, there's a high level of trust involved," says Mr. Snow, 52. "That trust was violated in a very personal way. It takes a lot to win back that trust. We have to prove that we're not just another company in different clothing."

Still, one of Mr. Snow's first orders of business after being named SCA's commander in July was to lose the HealthSouth name, which he says reminded too many of accounting scandals, Medicare fraud, SEC investigations and investor lawsuits. HealthSouth sold its surgery division to private equity investor Texas Pacific Group for $945 million in March. The HealthSouth name remains for the inpatient rehabilitation and diagnostic imaging division.

"We have to get out from under the HealthSouth name," says Mr. Snow. "We still have some of those lingering effects. If we make a mistake, it'll be amplified because of our history.

Facility Managers Applaud the Creation of ASCA
Amen and it's about time. That's what surgery center managers are saying about last month's AAASC-FASA merger and the creation of a unified group representing the ambulatory surgery industry, according to an online survey of our readers.

"I applaud the leadership of both organizations for making this move," writes Dorothy Zimdahl, RN, BS, CNOR, CASC, administrator of the Buffalo Ambulatory Surgery Center in Cheektowaga, N.Y. "The resulting organization should have positive impact on the clinical and business aspects of ambulatory surgical care, and will hopefully increase the strength of our voice in regard to government affairs."

The merger takes effect Jan. 1. The new group will be known as the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association (ASCA). FASA president Kathy Bryant will serve as its CEO. AAASC executive director Craig Jeffries is out.

Thirty-one (18.2 percent) of the 170 readers who answered our online survey belonged to both AAASC and FASA. Only 13 (7.7 percent) belonged to AAASC while 53 (31.2 percent) belonged to FASA. Most of the respondents (73, 42.9 percent) belonged to neither national group.

"The two societies seem to be competing for membership," says Patricia Lombardo, RN, BS, administrator of the Eastern Pennsylvania Endoscopy Center in Allentown, Pa. "We can all come together to form a more powerful and cohesive group which would be advantageous to everyone."

Some other comments:

  • "I think it's an excellent move. Both organizations are striving to achieve the same goal. This way, it'll be one bigger, stronger organization, meeting the needs of the ASC industry in a united effort," says Donna Gettys, RN, BSN, CNOR, of the Folsom Surgery Center in Folsom, Calif.
  • "The unified voice will help in our lobbying efforts. This is important for our future reimbursements and credibility as an industry," says Mike Pankey, RN, MBA, of the Ambulatory Surgery Center of Spartanburg in Spartanburg, S.C.
  • "A great decision! A unified voice supporting the ASC industry should be well received by all, including Congress," says Kelvin G. Hanger of the Louisville Surgery Center in Louisville, Ky.
  • "The essence of the ASC industry is aimed at efficiency and quality. The merger of these organizations supports these goals as it eliminates duplication of services. Hopefully, each group will merge only its strong points to create a more powerful new entity," says Rick Bloxdorf, MHA, of the Village SurgiCenter in Erie, Pa.
  • "I think it is great. I have worked with both Kathy [Bryant] and Craig [Jeffries] for several years. I am thrilled we will have one ASC national association. I believe this will improve lobbying efforts and PAC fund donations. Each organization had its strong points, and with the support of both of the organizations' board members, they will be successful. Hopefully, we can sustain AAASC's state advocacy program, and FASA's educational programs and legislative conferences," says Debbie Mack, RN, MSA, CNOR, CASC, president-elect of the California Ambulatory Surgery Association.

AAASC has canceled its 2008 annual meeting and exhibition, scheduled for April 16-19 in Tampa, Fla. FASA's annual meeting, scheduled for May 14-17 at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter, will go on as scheduled and will serve as the annual meeting for the ASCA. The merged group, its board comprised of a proportionate number of directors from both boards, will be headquartered at FASA's current site in Alexandria, Va.

— Dan O'Connor