New York Doctors Race To Abide By In-Office Surgery Rules

"A New York State law that takes effect on July 14 has physicians who perform office-based surgery scrambling to upgrade their offices or find new space altogether," The New York Times reports. The Patient Protection Bill, "signed into law by Gov. Eliot Spitzer in July 2007, is intended to ensure high safety standards in offices when surgery and other invasive procedures are conducted with more than minimal sedation" and is "the first time that New York State will regulate office-based surgeries." Doctors may need to modify their office space with "larger elevators, improved ventilation, backup power equipment with the ability to run for a longer period and other mechanical accommodations." But "since some medical offices cannot be physically adapted to meet accreditation requirements, especially in Manhattan, many physicians have been seeking new office space." This can be difficult in the city, where there is "a dearth of recently built medical office space." Claire Pospisil, "a spokeswoman with the New York State Department of Health, said the state did not know how many medical offices were conducting operations; this was one reason for the new law." She estimates that "70 or 75 percent of medical offices in New York City and Long Island do these surgeries."

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