In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of surgeries conducted in private medical offices, especially among minimally invasive surgeries. These surgeries are often performed without hospitalization and with both local and general anesthesia. Such surgeries include everything from dental procedures to cosmetic surgery.
However, anyone considering an office-based surgery should be careful in selecting the right provider. In most states, office-based procedures conducted by physicians, dentists, or podiatrists are not subject to the same regulatory standards as in-patient procedures, even if the scope or complexity is the same.
What Should I Look for In Selecting an Office-Based Surgery Provider?
Following California's lead, a handful of states, including Georgia, Florida, New Jersey and Texas have established mandatory accreditation requirements to ensure that the same safeguards exist for out-patient as well as in-patient surgical facilities.
To ensure that you receive the highest level of safety and quality of treatment, ask your doctor for his or her accreditation information or contact any of the following accreditation agencies to confirm that your doctor has met all the requirements:
Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care
9933 Lawler Avenue
Skokie, IL 60077
American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc.
1202 Allanson Road
Mundelein, IL 60060
What If My State Does Not Regulate Office-Based Surgical Procedures?
The American Medical Association and numerous state agencies have established suggested guidelines to consider when selecting an office-based surgery provider:
- Whether general or local anesthesia is to be used
- The provider's level of disclosure and patient consent
- Information provided about the procedure
- Whether the provider has advanced accreditation in resuscitative techniques
- The provider's level of education and training
Even in states that do not have specific regulations for office-based surgical procedures, the practitioner must be licensed to both perform the procedures and practice the profession. Evaluating the practitioner's individual qualifications and accreditation can provide useful references in the absence of a formal, legislated evaluation criteria.
What If I Have Been Injured as a Result of an Office-Based Procedure?
Whether your state has established regulatory standards for office-based procedures or not, ultimately, every medical service provider is responsible for providing care in accordance with accepted standards of practice in a manner that ensures the patient's safety. Failure to meet these standards can be considered medical negligence and grounds for medical malpractice.
Do I Need an Attorney?
If you, or a loved one, have been injured by medical malpractice during an office-based surgery procedure, you should speak to a personal injury attorney immediately to learn more about the value of your case and what you may be able to recover.