Massachusetts Passes Determination of Need Guidelines, Threatening Expansion of Surgery Centers
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Public Health Counsel codified a series of Determination of Need guidelines for ambulatory surgery centers in the commonwealth earlier this month, effectively prohibiting the expansion of ambulatory surgery centers, according to a South Coast Today report.
According to the Linda Rahm, president of the Massachusetts Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers, the decision will force Massachusetts residents to seek care at more expensive hospital-based facilities as ASCs struggle to survive.
"As president of the [MAASC], I am extremely disappointed that the DPH and the Public Health Counsel continue to perpetuate an uneven playing field between independent and hospital-owned outpatient facilities at the expense of cost containment and choice for Massachusetts residents," Ms. Rahm said.
She said in preparing for healthcare payment reform, the Legislature has the opportunity to examine the "inequities reinforced by these regulations."
The Massachusetts Hospital Association has countered these criticisms by saying the Department of Public Health is correct in halting "uncontrolled growth" of ASCs.
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