NJ decision would shut down state's surgery centers

A new state court decision has put the future of ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) in New Jersey into question. The decision, which arises from a dispute between one ASC and a health plan, held that the ASCs were violating a state law prohibiting physician self-referrals. If enforced, this ruling would effectively shut down the industry state-wide. Now, attorneys for the New Jersey Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers, the Medical Society of New Jersey and other medical groups are fighting to get the decision over-ridden.

On its face, the case generating the controversy is just another contest between an insurer and a provider organization. In the case, health plan Health Net of New Jersey contended that the Wayne Surgical Center had committed insurance fraud and should not be paid its services. A judge concluded that while Wayne Surgical hadn't committed fraud, the ASC had violated a state law, the Codey Act, which prohibits doctor self-referral to facilities in which they have a financial interest.

To find out more about this legal wrangle:
- read this Philadelphia Inquirer article

Related Articles:
NY accuses ASCs of collecting overpayments. Report
Number of PA ASCs keeps growing, but profits level off. Report
CMS updating rules for ASC Medicare participation. Report
Doctors sue HealthSouth over surgery centers sale. Report
Profits way up for Penn. ASCs. Report
Georgia physicians battle for looser ASC regs. Report
Ohio bill would force hospitals to have 24x7 EDs. Report