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To qualify to take the CASC exam, appli- cants must meet a certain score based on points assigned to their training and experience.

“That’s our way of ensuring that the individual has been in the industry for a period of time,” says Arthur E. Casey, CASC, senior vice president of business development at Outpatient Health- care Strategies in Houston, Texas, and president of the Board of Ambulatory Surgery Certification (BASC). “When you answer the handbook questions for eligibility, you get to see if you qualify to take the test. You get 25 points maxi- mum for your educational background, 50 points maximum for ASC experience and additional points based on how long you have worked in different posi- tions or if you are a CPA, etc. You are required to have a total of 100 points to qualify to take the exam.”

The exam consists of 200 multiple- choice questions. It is taken over four hours and covers five areas of job ser- vice related to the duties of an ASC administrator: delivery of patient care, quality management, human resourc- es, financial, and regulatory and legal issues. “The test is fairly evenly divided over the five categories,” Casey says. “The ability to manage and understand the nuances of those categories clearly indicates that the person is well-round- ed. We have approximately a 70 per- cent pass rate. Those who don’t pass are typically fairly new to the ASC role

says. “If I don’t see a CASC creden- tial when I’m looking at a resume, I have to look a lot closer to see how long that candidate has been in the business, and whether they have ad- equate clinical background and busi- ness experience. It is easier to screen

and are usually strong in one of the ar- eas but not all of them.”

The CASC exam is a situational exam, Casey adds. “It tests an individual’s knowledge of how they would react to a certain situation in the ASC. In some cases, it asks what you would do first in a given situation.”

“Once you pass, to maintain the cre- dential,” says Casey, “you are required to maintain your level of knowledge by attending continuing education courses annually that cover topics within the five major categories the exam covers. Although the certification is good for three years, you must annually renew and document your AEUs. You must have a minimum of 45 AEUs over that three-year period, with a minimum of 15 per year, three in each major content area of the exam.”

“We want to show that individuals who hold the CASC credential maintain the knowledge necessary to manage an ASC,” Casey says. This year, BASC intro- duced an online program that CASC cre- dential holders can use to manage their AEUs and the recertification process.

The test can be more difficult for people who do not have many years’ experi- ence or a well-rounded history, says Dawn Q. McLane, CASC, vice president of consulting, development and inte- gration at Health Inventures in West- minster, Colorado, and a member of the Exam Committee. “Because it cov- ers both clinical and administrative is-

when you see CASC on a candidate’s resume. MBA degrees are great, but they don’t mean that someone under- stands the surgery center business. A CASC credential indicates that a per- son understands the unique aspects of a surgery center.”

sues, such as regulatory and financial matters, it could be hard for some who don’t have both backgrounds. If you have more limited access to one side than the other, it might be tough. It mostly has to do with life experience.”

Clinical people tend to find the non-clin- ical questions difficult and non-clinical people tend to find the clinical ques- tions difficult, says Andrew S. Weiss, CASC, administrator of The Endo Center at Voorhees in Voorhees, New Jersey, and a member of the CASC Exam Com- mittee and BASC board of directors. “The success rate for passing is great- er for those who take the study course that ASCA offers,” he adds. “I took the course in the spring of 2002 before taking the exam in 2005. It has been offered at ASCA’s annual meeting as a pre-conference seminar every year for some time.” The course will be of- fered at ASCA’s new four-day specialty seminar program in October (For in- formation about the course, go to

“The review course will help iden- tify potential areas of weaknesses and provide you tools to study,” says McLane. “For instance, if you’ve never gone through the accreditation pro- cess, there are resources that will guide you through that.

“I know administrators who have seen an increase in salary after getting the CASC credential and others that get something extra each year as they keep up their certification,” she adds.

Assessing the Value Despite the obvious benefits, says Casey, only a small percentage of ASC administrators are CASC-certified. “We have 600 to 700 CASC-certified people out there, while there are well more than 5,300 ASCs,” he says. “There are a lot


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