In a time long ago, in an industry market new found, in a political step-child atmosphere Freestanding Ambulatory Surgery Center Association of Washington State (FASCAWS) came to be. It was created 1) to be a forum for the exchange of ideas between members, 2) to be an advocate for ASCs before legislature and regulatory agencies, and, 3) for educational opportunities for ASC managers and staff. The kernel of FASCAWS began in the 80s as a networking lunch meeting of ASC managers. This was a new industry; the first ASC opened in Washington state 1986. Currently there are more than 175 ASCs on the list of Medicare certified ASCs in the state.
The luncheons were held with regularity and the organization grew. FASCAWS became official with the writing of by-laws and the election of officers. It was incorporated in 1991. Annual dinner meetings with speakers such as Regence Medical Director, Executive Director of FASA, HCFA representative were added.
Over the years, FASCAWS Presidents, Terry Hawes, Lou Hahnel, Linda Williams, Kevin McHugh and Naya Kehayes have elevated the association from luncheon meeting to sponsoring a four state regional ASC conference; from obscurity to being the recognized voice to legislature and state agencies on ASC matters. They labored long and hard to educate the state and the politicians about Ambulatory Surgery Centers. They became the point of contact for anything that could affect the surgery center industry.
Members of FASCAWS have participated in Labor & Industries sessions on how to reimburse ASCs; have worked with state agencies when an outpatient prospective payment system was proposed; and with the Department of Health when it proposed the collection of outpatient data. Three times FASCAWS has also participated in legislation proposed to license ASCs in the state. Three times the legislation was killed.
From 1990 through 1998 FASCAWS undertook collecting Ambulatory Surgery Center data with a yearly survey. It was the only source of ASC data in the state and was used for CON applications. The organization is currently re-working the survey.
Terry Hawes was the initiator of FASCAWS and has returned to FASCAWS after sojourns elsewhere. One long time President was Lou Hahnel. Upon her death from ovarian cancer, the Lou Hahnel, Administratorâ€™s Award was created to recognize outstanding service to FASCAWS. Kevin McHugh envisioned the conferences we have come to participate in and enjoy. Linda McWilliams worked diligently on the political arena. Naya Kehayes led us through the Labor & Industries change in reimbursement and now provides us education in contracting.
In the spring of 1997, FASCAWS held the first mini conference at Campbells Resort and Conference Center. In 1998, the first Northwest Regional Conference was held at the Coeur Dâ€™Alene Resort in Idaho. Attendees came from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. In 2000, the 2nd regional conference was held at Skamania Lodge. In 2002 the 3rd regional conference was held in Seattle.
The organization was home grown. The volume of work, all done by a handful of volunteers, has also grown. So, in 2000 FASCAWS contracted for administrative services. This has been a tremendous asset.
FASCAWS has always been a positive up-beat group of people willing to take on the world. Come and join us. See for yourself.