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Onerous OBS Rules Removed From New York State Budget

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law Assembly Bill 3007, which was the vehicle bill for the state's budget. The state's budget bill usually consists of legislative initiatives that the Governor proposes, and this year was no different.

The bill, which even the Governor admits is a more of a reform plan than a budget, had consisted of multiple "parts" with one major section that had originally sought to place heavy requirements on office-based surgery (OBS) facilities.

Part L of the original budget would have granted the Public Health and Health Planning Council the authority to determine what procedures and what type of anesthesia could be performed in OBS settings, required OBS practices to register with the Department of Health, and would have also put in place a six-hour time limit on procedural duration and post-op care.

Thanks to a combined advocacy effort between ASPS, the New York State Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Medical Society of the State of New York and the American College of Surgeons, the legislation was successfully amended to remove the onerous requirements for OBS facilities.

The language now makes changes to current law regarding adverse event reporting. Now, an adverse event must be reported if a patient visits an emergency room within seventy-two hours of office-based surgery. Additionally, the language authorizes the commissioner of the state's Department of Health to enter into agreements with accrediting agencies to require all OBS practices to conduct quality improvement and quality assurance activities and carry out surveys.

ASPS will continue to advocate against onerous legislation that is detrimental to OBS practices.