Sacramento, Calif. — Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a measure that will place California’s outpatient surgery centers under tighter scrutiny. Under the new law, private accrediting firms will inspect outpatient centers at least once every three years. Surprise inspections will occur to ensure the centers meet safety standards for cleanliness and proper use of medication. The accrediting firms are authorized to demand improvements or revoke certification if an outpatient facility fails to meet the standards, the Los Angeles Times reports. The law requires that the state medical board post a public notice on its website when a center is reprimanded, placed on probation or has its license suspended.
The New Law: info.sen.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/sen/sb_0051-0100/sb_100_bill_20111009_chaptered.html
I am somewhat conflicted by additional regulation that will affect my chosen specialty. On one hand, as a practicing plastic surgeon I know that additional regulation tends to increase the going rate for cosmetic procedures. Increased cost, in a bad economy particularly, is really bad for business.
On the other hand, as a medical expert reviewer for the California Medical Board I know that negligence cases involving surgery centers in the State have been spiraling in number and extent for years. No place I have chosen to operate has been on the Medical Board’s radar, but I am picky.
The real question is to what extent will this new law hurt the “bad guys” more than the “good guys.” Until it is implemented there is no way to tell. Fingers crossed.
John Di Saia MD