Surgery Center Deaths Raise Questions about Their Safety, Lack of Oversight

March 7, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​​Surgery centers are under scrutiny after recent news reports and investigations have uncovered hundreds of deaths, more than a thousand serious preventable injuries, and cases of patients who became comatose after undergoing procedures in such facilities. USA Today and Kaiser Health News partnered in conducting a national investigation published March 2, 2018, and conducted a months-long investigation into New Jersey centers, published March 2, 2018. Surgery centers (freestanding facilities that operate outside of a hospital) have become a common option for patients as efforts to cut federal healthcare costs have resulted in an increasingly long list of procedures that can now be performed as outpatient operations. Patients expect these centers to provide the same quality of care as hospitals, even though they may not have the same safety net as a larger hospital or healthcare organization would, and they do not have uniform oversight or regulations that they must follow.

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