Illinois Ambulatory Surgery Center AssociationIASCA

News & Announcements

Physician Presence Rule Change Adopted

posted: November 16, 2020

Under a new rule officially adopted by the Illinois Department of Public Health on November 13, 2020, a physician's continuous presence at a facility until all patients are medically discharged will no longer be necessary, provided any remaining patients meet several strict criteria. This change was initiated by the Illinois Ambulatory Surgery Center Association in March 2019 when members of the IASCA board brought the proposal to the ASTC licensing board. At the time, the licensing board agreed that the amendment was long-overdue. With careful collaboration between state officials and IASCA leadership and staff, the language was modified to align the new level of care criteria with requirements followed by the state's recovery care centers. The proposed regulation was then subjected to public comment and formally adopted 20 months after the process began.

In part, effective Nov. 2, 2020, a physician does not need to be physically present at a facility if the level of care needed by the patient is consistent with recovery care for generally healthy patients undergoing surgical procedures that require nursing care, pain control or observation. When a physician is not on-site, the facility must have at least two RNs with advanced life support certification and post-anesthesia recovery unit experience present at the facility.

IASCA thanks the ASTC Licensing Board and the many individuals who advocated for this long-sought rule that provides facilities additional scheduling and personnel management flexibility.

Read the Complete Level of Care Criteria