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Low Cost Surgery Centers Notorious for Widespread Medical Malpractice

By Jack H. FarnbauchJuly 2, 2018

A recent story in USA Today outlines the problems facing a new type of healthcare provider: the surgery center. This USA Today/Kaiser Health News investigation of public records found that surgery centers have risked lives by operating on frail patients, by skimping on life-saving training and equipment and by sending patients home too soon. 

There are currently 5,600-plus surgery centers in the United States. Surgery centers are health care facilities where surgical procedures not requiring an overnight hospital stay are performed. Such centers started nearly 50 years ago as low-cost alternatives for minor surgeries. They now outnumber hospitals as federal regulators have signed off on an ever-widening array of outpatient procedures in an effort to cut federal health care costs. They are seen as cost-effective, convenient, and personalized because they are similar to going to an outpatient provider instead of going to a hospital. But the USA Today/Kaiser Health News study reveals some troubling findings.

Thousands of times each year, these centers call 911 as patients experience complications ranging from minor to fatal. Yet no one knows how many people die as a result, because no national authority tracks the tragic outcomes. An investigation by Kaiser Health News and the USA TODAY Network has discovered that more than 260 patients have died since 2013 after in-and-out procedures at surgery centers across the country. Dozens — some as young as 2 — have perished after routine operations, such as colonoscopies and tonsillectomies. 

The whole article is worth a read and definitely something to think about before scheduling surgery at one of these surgery centers. You can read more here.