With success comes scrutiny: ASCs face legal obstacles

March 30, 2009
American Medical News

© March 30, 2009, American Medical News, author Amy Lynn Sorrell.

Elizabeth G. Litten was recently quoted in the article, “With success comes scrutiny: ASCs face legal obstacles,” by Amy Lynn Sorrell. The article was published in the March 30, 2009, edition of American Medical News.

In the article, Sorrell discusses the growth of ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), and the uphill legal battles those centers have faced. With regard to New Jersey, Sorrell discusses a case in which a “trial court in 2007 declared illegal any referrals by physicians to surgery centers they owned. This conflicted with regulations from the state medical board, which considered ASCs an extension of a physician's practice and exempted such referrals.”

Said Litten, “States have struggled to find a line between what's considered a facility versus a physician practice and who should be keeping an eye on the safety of these centers.”

Looking to the future, additional hurdles, including payment disputes and litigation, may arise.

“Even if you are on all fours with respect to state and federal [regulations], be aware commercial payers may look for licensure or other violations as reasons not to reimburse," said Litten.

To read the full article, visit http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/03/30/gvsa0330.htm.