The wait is over: County's ASCs get green light to resume elective cases weeks after hospitals did

After a delay that left many frustrated, ASCs in Erie County, N.Y., are allowed to resume elective surgeries, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced June 3.

Four things to know:

1. Hospitals in the county were permitted to resume elective surgeries weeks ago, while surgery centers that applied for the same waivers did not get approval from the New York State Department of Health, according to local radio station WBEN.

2. The decision was "unnecessarily delayed," according to Les Bisson, MD, orthopedic chair at the University at Buffalo, but he said he's glad the wait is over.

"It's going to allow us to properly care for our patients, to be proactive in terms of managing the disease, to lessen the consumption of opioids for people with significant arthritic conditions, and to really alter their natural history in terms of lessening arthritis and other degenerative disease," he said.

3. Earlier approval could have also helped surgery centers such as Buffalo-based Ambulatory Surgery Center of Western New York, Buffalo-based Endoscopy Center of Western New York, Williamsville-based Millard Fillmore Surgery Center and Orchard Park-based Southtowns Surgery Center avoid millions of dollars in losses.

4. The state wanted to ensure every region had sufficient hospital capacity for possible COVID-19 surges before permitting elective cases, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul told WBEN.
However, she said she wasn't sure why surgery centers' waivers weren't approved earlier despite declining hospitalization numbers.

More articles on surgery centers:
4 COVID-19 supply considerations for ASCs
5 hospitals, health systems opening or planning ASCs
ASCs reopening to patients: Check these 7 boxes 

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