Laparoscopy and Ambulatory Surgery Centers in PA
Posted by Clark Venable on 12/7/2004
The Pennsylvania Department of Health sent a letter to all Ambulatory Surgery Centers in Pennsylvania reminding them that they are not to perform laparoscopic surgeries which:
My reading of the Pew report turns up no data implicating ambulatory surgery centers (ASC's) specifically in injuries from laparoscopic procedures. Nothing to suggest that eliminating most laparoscopic procedures from ASC's will improve patients safety. In an era when 'evidence based medicine' is the watchword for practitioners, this kind of blanket policy by the government is difficult for me to swallow.
I suspect (though cannot prove) that hospitals have brought political pressure to bear on the Governor and/or Department of Health to make this policy change in order to bring a very profitable class of surgery back to the hospital setting. The facility fees collected for laparoscopic surgery are considerable, and hospitals feel they've been missing out.
Another example to suggest hospitals have been active in this area is the requirement by some payors that orthopedic implant surgeries be performed in hospitals rather than free standing ASC's. For example, we used to perform rotator cuff repairs (which use an anchor suture) in the ASC, but they can no longer be done here because the insurance company will only pay for the anchors if placed in a hospital. There is just no reason I can think of for this requirement other than to force surgeries back into hospitals and away from ASC's.
12/8/04 update: it is on the state servers at: http://app2.health.state.pa.us/commonpoc/content/facilityweb/FacMsgBoardDetails.asp?msgid=819&msgindex=2&Selection=ALL
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