More On PA Surgery Centers and Laparoscopic Procedures
Posted by Clark Venable on 12/20/2004
A recent Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article contains a baffling statement from the spokesman for the PA Department of Health:
Laparoscopic surgery has been performed at surgery centers in Pennsylvania since 1985. Before a new center can open, it must be approved to perform certain procedures (such as laparoscopy). In their annual review if each center, the DOH inspects random charts, review lists of cases performed, looks at all event reports as well as QA minutes. In short, it is just not credible for the state to claim they did not 'become aware' until this year.
As far as I am aware, we have yet to see any evidence that laparoscopic surgery performed at a surgery center is any more risky to the patient. If I thought it was, I'd be the first to agree with the state's ruling. If patient safety were truly their motivation, the State would be looking at individual surgeons as risk factors, rather than the location of the procedure.
[Disclosure: I do not own a financial stake in any ASC, though my group does provide anesthesia for several. In other words, it's no loss to me because we provide anesthesia for the case either way.]
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