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Personnel Required in an Office Surgery Facility 

November 22, 2023
Est read time: 3 minutes

Opening an office surgery facility in Florida can be a daunting experience for an owner or a health care practitioner. There are many laws and regulations that apply to the facility, owners, and personnel. 

In general, an office in which a physician performs a liposuction procedure in which more than 1,000 cubic centimeters of supernatant fat is removed, a Level II office surgery, or a Level III office surgery must register with the Florida Department of Health unless the office is licensed as a facility under chapter 390 or chapter 395.

However, each level of surgery requires different personnel to be on staff at the facility.  The credentials for these personnel must also be on file with the Florida Department of Health (DOH) when registering and updated within a specific period of time if there are any changes to personnel.  All personnel must practice within the scope of their individual practice act. For example, a paramedic or EMT cannot practice in an office surgery setting.  Although you may think a paramedic or EMT would be perfect in that setting because of their experience starting IVs and monitoring vital signs, their individual practice acts do not allow them to do so.  

Levels of Surgery and Personnel Required

Understanding the different levels of surgery as they are defined by the Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine is important not only for ensuring that you register the facility properly but also for ensuring you have the required health care personnel in the facility. Failing to do so could result in, at a minimum, a delay in registering your facility or the issuance of an Administrative Complaint against a registered facility. Practicing in a facility that is not registered with the DOH could result in a daily financial penalty until the facility is properly registered.   

Designated Physicians in Office Surgery Facilities

All facilities must appoint a designated physician. Under the law, this must be an allopathic or osteopathic physician. This individual must be actively licensed without any current discipline and must also practice at the facility. This individual has specific duties in the facility and failing to have one registered with the DOH could result in the suspension of a registered facility or a delay in the application to become a registered facility. 

Read More: Discover the ins and outs of how Office Surgery Registrations Can Be Disciplined in our latest blog.

Surgeons in Office Surgery Facilities

Surgeons for all levels of surgery should perform only those procedures that fall under their specialty area.  Surgeons must have staff privileges, be board certified or board eligible, or have comparable training to board certification or eligibility in order to be registered in an office surgery facility. Staff privileges must include those procedures the surgeon intends to perform in the office setting.  

General Requirements for Office Surgery Facility Personnel 

  • Level I Surgery only requires a surgeon.  An assistant is required only if the specific procedure being performed requires an assistant.  
  • Level II Surgery requires a surgeon, an assistant, an anesthesia provider, and recovery personnel.
  • Level IIA Surgery is slightly different than Level II but the personnel is the same. 
  • Level III Surgery requires a surgeon, an assistant, an anesthesia provider, and recovery personnel.  

In some instances, there are limitations on what a healthcare provider can do in the facility. For example, if an anesthesiologist is providing anesthesia, he/she cannot perform any other function during the procedure. Although regulations only require one monitor to recover a patient from a procedure (and actually allows a 2:1 patient-to-monitor ratio), the DOH requires you to submit the names and credentials for two recovery monitors. All personnel have credentialing documentation that must be submitted to the DOH, and that documentation depends on the role the health care provider serves in the facility.  

Need More Information on Office Surgery Personnel and Your Office Surgery Registration?

Since your office staff or lack of the correct ratios can inhibit your ability to operate, it pays to consult professionals to guide the process.

Our team at Howell Buchan & Strong is uniquely qualified and experienced in helping owners and operators with office surgery facility regulations and registration applications. We'd be happy to discuss your facility and assist.  

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