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Office Surgery Facilities: What are they and how are they regulated?

June 20, 2023
Est read time: 3 minutes

Office Surgery Facilities play a significant role in the provision of outpatient surgical procedures and provide a comfortable and convenient setting for patients. In Florida, office surgery facilities must register under the Florida Department of Health’s Office Surgery Registration and Inspection Program. The Department of Health (DOH) seeks to ensure patient safety, quality of care, and adherence to established medical standards. This blog will explore office surgery facilities, their regulation under the DOH, and the rulemaking authority that governs them.

What are Office Surgery Facilities?

The Florida DOH’s Office Surgery Registration and Inspection Program was established to register and set standards for physicians performing surgeries within an office setting. Office surgery facilities are typically small compared to other regulated facilities, such as ambulatory surgical centers. Most often, office surgery facilities are integrated within a physician’s office or clinic.

Regulatory Oversight of Office Surgery Facilities

Office surgery facilities are regulated and governed by Sections 458.328 and 459.0138 of the Florida Statutes, as well as rules and regulations promulgated by the Florida DOH and the Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine. The DOH has rulemaking authority regarding registration and inspection of the facilities. The Boards have rulemaking authority with respect to standards of care in office surgery facilities.

Section 458.328, Florida Statutes, requires the registration of an office in which a physician performs Level I office surgery, Level II office surgery, or Level III office surgery. These different levels are defined by rule as:

  • Level I:
    • Liposuction procedures removing more than 1000cc but no more than 4000cc of supernatant fat;Minor procedures (e.g., excision of skin lesions or moles, repairs of lacerations, or surgery limited to the skin and subcutaneous tissue performed under topical or local anesthesia);Incision and drainage of superficial abscesses, limited endoscopies, skin biopsies, arthrocentesis, thoracentesis, paracentesis, dilation of urethra, cysto-scopic procedures, and closed reduction of simple fractures or small joint dislocations;
    • Minimal sedation.
  • Level II:
    • Liposuction procedures removing up to 4000cc of supernatant fat;
    • Hemorrhoidectomy, hernia repair, large joint dislocations, and colonoscopy;
    • Moderate sedation.
  • Level III:
    • Surgeries which require deep sedation and analgesia of the patient.

Will a Facility be Subject to Inspection?

If your office surgery facility has not provided written notification to the DOH of current accreditation by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or an accrediting organization recognized by the Boards, the DOH must inspect your office surgery facility at least once annually.

Although some inspections must be announced prior to the inspection date, the DOH could conduct an unannounced inspection under certain circumstances. If the DOH determines the facility to be in noncompliance, they will issue a written notice specifying the deficiencies found.

Wondering how you can register your office surgery facility? Concerned about the possibility of an inspection? We are here to help.

If you are a physician or facility owner and want to perform in-office procedures, or if you want to open an office surgery facility, you likely have many questions concerning the application process and the regulatory oversight by the DOH and the Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine. Our Firm represents physicians and owners of office surgery facilities statewide. Our team of legal experts understands the DOH’s unique regulation and oversight of office surgery facilities.

Our team has assisted current and prospective owners and physicians of office surgery facilities in obtaining and maintaining their registration with the DOH. We are experienced in working directly with DOH’s requirements, preparing the necessary documents, and meeting the timelines required. We will guide you throughout each step of this process and provide comprehensive advice along the way.

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Contact the law firm of Howell, Buchan & Strong at 850-877-7776 to set up a FREE no-obligation consultation. Our firm represents physicians, nurses, psychologists, and other licensed professionals statewide.
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