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Navigating Office Surgery Rules in Florida: Proposed New Definition for Facilities

May 1, 2024
Est read time: 3 minutes

Understanding and adhering to office surgery rules in Florida is paramount for healthcare professionals committed to ensuring patient safety and legal compliance. Howell, Buchan & Strong prepared this blog to help you understand recently approved changes by the Florida Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine (Boards) to redefine Office Surgery Centers.

The Proposed Change for Office Surgery Facilities

Owners of registered office surgery facilities or those thinking of applying for registration should be aware that these Boards (Florida Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine) meet regularly to discuss changes to the rules that govern office surgery facilities in Florida. Failure to know, understand, and follow those rules could result in adverse consequences or denial of an office surgery registration.  

Changes to the Definition of an “Office Surgery”

The Boards recently published a Notice of Development of Rulemaking for Rule 64B8-9.009, Florida Administrative Code – Standards for Office Surgery. They approved the proposed language that would amend the current definition of an office surgery facility. The proposed language requires an office surgery facility to be in an office that is: 

  • Maintained by a physician to practice medicine; 
  • Where a physician performs surgical procedures as allowed by Board laws and rules; 
  • Where the surgeon regularly performs consultations, pre-surgical examinations, and post-surgical care related to the surgical procedure performed in the physician’s office; and 
  • Where patient records are maintained. 

The proposed language also establishes what is not an office surgery facility. Suppose your facility meets the definition of an ambulatory surgery center, hospital, or abortion clinic. In that case, you are not eligible for an office surgery registration with the Florida Department of Health (DOH), and you must apply for licensure with the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). 

You may have many questions after reading about the proposed change to the definition of an office surgery facility.

  1. How might this change in the rule affect your registered office surgery facility?
  2. Should you be licensed as an ambulatory surgery center, or another facility with AHCA?
  3. Are you grandfathered in?

All good questions and the Howell, Buchan & Strong attorneys can help. Dig Deeper into Office Surgery Registration and Regulation topics on our website.

    Other Changes to Office Surgery Rules 

    At the April 4, 2024, Joint Surgical Care & Quality Assurance Committee Meeting meeting, the Boards discussed initiating rule amendments related to Rule 64B8-9.0091, Florida Administrative Code – Requirement for Physician Office Surgery Registration; Inspection or Accreditation. These potential changes include: 

    • Revisions to the application;
    • Revisions to the inspection process, including pre-registration requirements; and
    • Revisions to requirements for corrective action plans.

    Staying abreast of changes in the laws and rules that affect office surgery facilities in Florida and when those changes become effective is imperative to the success of your facility and for maintaining access and continuity of care for your patients. Follow Howell, Buchan & Strong on LinkedIn to stay updated on these laws

    Are you applying for an office surgery registration and are unsure if you are eligible for licensure?

    Is your office surgery facility already registered with DOH, but you are worried about how the new regulatory scheme may affect you?

    If you are concerned about obtaining or maintaining licensure with DOH, we always recommend consulting with an experienced team of legal professionals. 

    Our experienced healthcare legal team can help you navigate the complex regulatory framework. The Attorneys at Howell, Buchan & Strong have over 30 years of experience providing legal services to healthcare providers in Florida. That includes working with board office staff, and attorneys, and appearing before the Boards with our clients.

    Let the experienced team at Howell, Buchan & Strong help you.

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