As many of you know, in 2017, the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) implemented an adverse event monitoring program for office-based surgery (OBS) facilities. As part of an initial pilot program that began in 2017, OBS practices were asked to voluntarily file reports with the NYSDOH. Approximately 18% of all OBS practices in NY State voluntarily filed reports with NYSDOH in 2017 and 2018.
In late 2018, NYSDOH issued a proposed regulation that would have mandated specific annual reporting by all OBS practices. Our Society reviewed the proposed changes to 10 NYCRR 1000 and found that such regulatory changes would require burdensome and costly monitoring/tracking by OBS practices. The proposed regulations could have made office-based surgery economically untenable for small OBS facilities like those run by many plastic surgeons. We filed rational objections during NYSDOH’s public comment period and also brought to the attention of NYSDOH many of the mechanisms, already in place, that facilitate patient safety in the accredited OBS facilities in which board-certified plastic surgeons operate.
I am pleased to share with you that, following the public comment period in which the NYSSPS vigorously opposed the proposed regulatory changes, NYSDOH announced that OBS practices will not be mandated to report under the OBS monitoring program for 2019. Furthermore, the NYSDOH indicated that alternative data sources for procedural monitoring—that would hopefully be less burdensome—will be sought.
We will continue to monitor any proposed changes to the OBS reporting regulations, and work to keep OBS in NYS both safe and economically viable for plastic surgeons and their patients.
Thank you for your membership to the NYSSPS as is vital to our advocacy efforts - this is but one example!
David T. Greenspun, MD, MSc, FACS