Scarce Compliance with Nevada's Office Surgery Law
Found at Outpatient Surgery
Only 9 of the 270 medical offices in Nevada that offer surgical procedures with anesthesia have applied for a permit, as mandated by a new state law, a sign that many physicians have begun scheduling their cases in other facilities.
Physicians are apparently weighing the $3,750 fee and the $1,785 annual renewal cost against the convenience of office-based surgery. "Some are going to choose to stop doing some procedures in their office," says Larry Matheis, executive director of the Nevada State Medical Association, in a published report.
The law, which took effect on Oct. 1, requires surgical offices to obtain a permit from the state or else face a $1,000-a-day fine. This permitting is 1 of several measures that state lawmakers have taken in the wake of a hepatitis C outbreak sparked by shoddy adherence to infection control practices during anesthesia delivery at a Las Vegas endoscopy center. During the 2008 outbreak, more than 50,000 patients had to be notified.
The Nevada State Health Division has already sent 3 reminder notices to all physicians' offices and held workshops on the new requirements. "We want compliance," says Health Division Administrator Richard Whitley, noting that his division is pushing compliance over punishment. "We want to gain compliance for public safety."