The Illinois health facilities board is considering new rules requiring surgery centers to obtain approval before adding specialties, a proposal that opponents say would needlessly limit expansion at a time when the healthcare industry is embracing outpatient care.
The proposed rules require all surgery centers to apply to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board for a permit called a certificate of need every time they want to add a new procedure. The board reviews new healthcare projects to avoid duplicating services.
Surgery center owners are resisting the changes, saying they would unnecessarily increase their compliance costs and create an unfair risk that they won't be allowed to expand. The change also would benefit hospitals, which do not need to follow the same process to expand their outpatient departments.