Volume 3, Issue 3
“SURGICAL PRACTICES BEWARE”
SBME BEGINS SURVEYS OF SINGLE ROOM SURGICAL PRACTICES This past fall, the SBME began rolling out a series of on-site inspections of single room surgical facilities. Under New Jersey law, single room facilities are not required to obtain licensure as an Ambulatory Surgical Center (“ASC”); however, they are required to obtain accreditation by AAAASF, AAAHC or the Joint Commission. In addition to the accreditation requirement, the law permitting such one-room facilities to exist in this manner tasked the SBME with governance of the facilities. It was presumed that the SBME would generate and publish separate and distinct regulations for such facilities, but the SBME has yet to do so. As a result, the SBME surveyors have been looking to the ASC regulations for guidance when conducting these inspections. These inspections are also extending beyond single room surgical practices to medical and podiatric offices where minor non-surgical procedures are performed. Practitioners who own and operate these types of facilities are advised that they may not receive a statement of deficiencies from the SBME until several months after the inspection occurs. However, once such a statement is received, the time to respond with a plan of correction is minimal in comparison. For assistance on how best to respond to the SBME following such a statement of deficiencies, please contact Kern Augustine Conroy & Schoppmann, P.C.
IN OTHER NEWS...
NEW JERSEY PRESCRIPTION MONITORING PROGRAM: SAFEGUARD LOG-IN INFORMATION The New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program (“NJPMP”) is an important component of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs’ initiative to halt the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 45:1-45 et seq. (http://ow.ly/yCfba), the NJPMP is a statewide database that collects prescription data on Controlled Dangerous Substances (“CDS”) and Human Growth Hormone (“HGH”) dispensed in outpatient settings in New Jersey, and by out-of-state pharmacies dispensing into New Jersey. Pharmacies are required to submit this data at least twice per month. The Division of Consumer Affairs and the NJPMP Administrator keep patient information strictly confidential, in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules ( http://ow.ly/yCfqx). Access to the NJPMP is granted to prescribers and pharmacists who are licensed by the State of New Jersey and in good standing with their respective licensing boards. Before issuing a prescription or dispensing a prescribed drug, qualified prescribers and pharmacists who have registered to use the NJPMP are able to access the NJPMP website and request the CDS and HGH prescription history of the patient. The users must certify that they are seeking information for a specific, current patient. Patient information in the NJPMP is intended to supplement an evaluation of a patient, confirm a patient’s drug history, or document compliance with a therapeutic regimen. When prescribers or pharmacists identify a patient as potentially having an issue of concern regarding drug use, they are encouraged to help the patient locate assistance and take any other action the prescriber or pharmacist deems appropriate. In an effort to comply with HIPAA, prescribers and pharmacists authorized to access the NJPMP must certify before each search that they are seeking data solely for the purpose of providing healthcare to current patients. The SBME has taken the position that authorized users must safeguard their individualized username and password and not provide access to the NJPMP to any other individuals, including members of their staff. A prescriber or pharmacist who accesses or discloses NJPMP information for any purpose other than providing healthcare to a current patient or verifying the NJPMP’s record of prescriptions issued by the prescriber, or who allows any other individuals to access the NJPMP using the prescriber’s or pharmacist’s own access codes, may be subject to civil penalties of up to $10,000 for each offense and potential disciplinary action by the prescriber’s or pharmacist’s professional licensing board.
NEW ADDITIONS TO THE BOARD Medical Doctor/Osteopathic Physicians: Niranjan V. Rao, M.D., F.A.C.S. (Franklin Park, Somerset); Steven Berkowitz, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.A.O.S., C.I.M.E. (Ocean Township, Monmouth); Scott E. Metzger, M.D. (Morganville, Monmouth); Richard C. Angrist, M.D. (Sea Girt, Monmouth); H. Stephen Fletcher, M.D. (Morristown, Morris); Sudhir M. Parikh, M.D. (Watchung, Somerset); Francis N. DeLuca, M.D. (Warren Township, Somerset); Chetan S. Shah, M.D. (Titusville, Mercer)
Physician Assistant: Barbara J. Lopez, PA-C (Mine Hill, Morris)
Public Members: Mildred McGrath, RN, MSN, CCRN, ACP, C (Netcong, Morris); Theresa J. Kubiel, RN, MSN, NE, BC (Toms River, Ocean)
THE PHYSICIAN ADVOCACY PROGRAM®
Far too few physicians are aware of the overwhelming weight that would befall them if targeted by the SBME. For SBME Protection go to ThePAP.com.