The death of Joan Rivers after a routine procedure has some asking about the safety of outpatient surgical centers. First off, it is important to make sure to know if you are a good candidate for surgery and what to look for when choosing a facility.
Outpatient procedures have increased in number, tripling in the past three decades. Shorter recovery times and less invasive surgical techniques have made these facilities very popular. The most common procedures are cataract surgery, colonoscopy, and endoscopy. Infections are less likely in outpatient clinics than in hospitals, in part because the patients are normally healthier than hospitalized patients, yet some procedures are riskier than others. If you have a serious health problem with higher risk of complications, such as congestive heart failure or uncontrolled diabetes, it could be better to have your procedure done at a hospital.
When choosing a surgery center, shop around. Prices can vary widely for the same procedure within the same city, which is especially a concern if you have a high deductible insurance plan. Find out who runs/owns the clinic, who performs the anesthesiology, and learn about their emergency plan with a hospital nearby. Find a surgeon who has performed your procedure at least 50 times in the past year.
When selecting a surgeon on MediBid, you can compare physician education, type of procedures performed, facility fees, and what all is included in the procedure cost. Shopping around is not only a great way to save money, it is a smart way to find the best qualified physician for your medical needs.
“The Upside – and Downside – of Outpatient Surgery”. Consumer Reports Jan 2015: 22.