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Single-OR Facilities Must Adhere to the Same Quality Standards as Licensed ASCs

Oversight of single-OR ASCs will switch from the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners to the New Jersey Department of Health.

Published: January 16, 2018

STRICTER SUPERVISION The "One Room" Bill will require New Jersey's unlicensed surgery centers to g get licensure from the state department of health.

Unlicensed one-room ambulatory surgery centers in New Jersey must become licensed by the state department of health and follow the same statutes and regulations as ASCs with more than a single OR, according to a bill signed into law this week.

The so-called "One Room Bill", signed into law yesterday by outgoing Gov. Chris Christie, gives New Jersey a uniform standard for ambulatory surgical facilities. The New Jersey Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers (NJAASC) has long supported the "one standard" requiring centers and practices to adhere to the same quality standards across the board.

From a regulatory perspective, oversight of single-OR ASCs would switch from the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners to the New Jersey Department of Health, which already oversees licensed facilities and is more experienced and better staffed to oversee all ambulatory surgical facilities, says NJAASC.

There are about 170 single-OR facilities in the state, by some estimates. Most newly licensed "one rooms" are exempt from NJDOH's current physical plant standards and all will be exempt from licensing fees and the ambulatory facility gross receipts assessment, says NJAASC. These exemptions were specifically included in order to ease the burden associated with licensure.

The bill could create some liquidity in the market, something NJAASC says is "desperately needed" in light of the Codey Law moratorium on the development of new surgery centers.

"The key benefits of licensure include the fact that any physician — not just owners — can use your facility," says healthcare attorney Mark Manigan of Brach Eichler in Roseland, N.J. "Further, your facility is now salable to health systems and ASC management companies. You can also combine your facility with other One Rooms or licensed facilities to form a larger facility."

Anna Merriman


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