New Oversight for Outpatient Surgery

Outpatient surgery centers in California face new regulations and oversight under a brand-new law.
After much discussion and several amendments, the California Legislature last month passed SB 396, by state Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo). Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed it last week.
The new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, addresses some of the concerns raised in a report released this summer that suggested that the public does not know much about California’s outpatient surgery industry, or the quality of care it delivers. The report, “Limited Visibility: Making Information Available on Outpatient Surgery in California,” was commissioned by the California HealthCare Foundation, which publishes California Healthline.
Although language changes in the bill tempered the strength of the state’s oversight, the law does include new regulatory requirements, including peer-review evaluations every two years for physicians and surgeons working in ambulatory surgery centers, and unannounced inspections of facilities.