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Home >  News >  November, 2011

Office-Based Surgery Center Licensing Examined in N.J.

Lawmakers consider proposal for uniform health department supervision.

Published: November 22, 2011

Single-room, office-based surgical practices would face the same licensing standards as hospitals and ASCs do under a bill currently being considered by the New Jersey Assembly.

Unlike hospitals and ASCs, which are regulated by the state department of health, single-room surgery centers are overseen by the state's board of medical examiners, which handles physicians' licensing.

The legislation follows a study issued by the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute earlier this year that found critical lapses in many single-room surgery centers' practices.

Uniform licensing of all surgical facilities would ensure greater safety for patients, says the bill's sponsor, Assemblyman Herb Conaway Jr.

"We want to take action to tighten up the regulatory environment around the one-room surgery centers," says Mr. Conaway, a physician, attorney and chair of the assembly's Health and Senior Services Committee. "As matters have evolved, we have seen that there are more complicated procedures being done outside of the hospital, and we want to make sure that those procedures are done in settings that are appropriate."

The New Jersey Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers and the New Jersey Hospital Association both support Bill A4099. A version of the bill introduced in the state Senate, S2780, passed in June.

David Bernard

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