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Overnight Status for Outpatients in MD Raises Safety Concerns

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, January 10, 2014

Fagan says ASCs are not designed for prolonged stays. "The hospital is going to have housekeeping and changing linens and food service and none of that is required at an ASC. Me personally, I wouldn't want to be in a surgery center if I had to be there for 23 hours."

The Maryland Hospital Association has raised also concerns about overnight stays at ambulatory surgery centers. MHA spokesman Jim Reiter says any number of potential problems could arise when patients stay overnight in ambulatory surgery centers.

"Their very name implies that they are not equipped to keep patients overnight. They are designed for outpatient treatments," Reiter said in an email exchange with HealthLeaders Media.

'A Hospital is a Hospital'
"The issue is not how much volume hospitals might lose. The issue is the safety of the patients involved. Investing in meals, linens, and other things does not make an ASC a hospital. What happens if something goes wrong? The patient will be taken to the nearest full-service hospital, where he or she probably should have been anyway if the treatment required an overnight stay."

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