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Exception for Same Day Surgery in ASC

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  • In CMS
  • June 12, 2009
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will allow, in certain cases, an exception for patient notices required in advance of the day of a scheduled procedure, according to the Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Association.

Specifically, CMS said:
It is not acceptable for the ASC to provide the required notice for the first time to a patient on the day that the surgical procedure is scheduled to occur, unless:

  • the referral to the ASC for surgery is made on that same date; and
  • the referring physician indicates, in writing, that it is medically necessary for the patient to have the surgery on the same day, and that surgery in an ASC setting is suitable for that patient.

In such situations, the ASC must provide the required notice prior to obtaining the patient’s informed consent. Cases of surgery occurring on the same day it is scheduled are expected to be rare, since ASCs typically perform elective procedures. Frequent occurrence of such cases may represent noncompliance with the advance notice requirement.
This exception was announced as part of the newly issued Guidance for Surveyors: Ambulatory Surgical Centers. These interpretive guidelines are informative in interpreting Medicare’s requirements.

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