131E-146.  Definitions.

As used in this Part, unless otherwise specified:

(1)        "Ambulatory surgical facility" means a facility designed for the provision of a specialty ambulatory surgical program or a multispecialty ambulatory surgical program. An ambulatory surgical facility serves patients who require local, regional or general anesthesia and a period of post-operative observation. An ambulatory surgical facility may only admit patients for a period of less than 24 hours and must provide at least one designated operating room as defined in subdivision (1c) of this section or at least one gastrointestinal endoscopy room as defined in subdivision (1b) of this section and at least one designated recovery room, have available the necessary equipment and trained personnel to handle emergencies, provide adequate quality assurance and assessment by an evaluation and review committee, and maintain adequate medical records for each patient. An ambulatory surgical facility may be operated as a part of a physician or dentist's office, provided the facility is licensed under G.S. Chapter 131E, Article 6, Part 4, but the performance of incidental, limited ambulatory surgical procedures which do not constitute an ambulatory surgical program as defined in subdivision (1a) and which are performed in a physician or dentist's office does not make that office an ambulatory surgical facility.

(1a)      "Ambulatory surgical program" means a formal program for providing on a same-day basis those surgical procedures which require local, regional or general anesthesia and a period of post-operative observation to patients whose admission for more than 24 hours is determined, prior to surgery or gastrointestinal endoscopy, to be medically unnecessary.

(1b)      "Gastrointestinal endoscopy room" means a room used for the performance of procedures that require the insertion of a flexible endoscope into a gastrointestinal orifice to visualize the gastrointestinal lining and adjacent organs for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.

(1c)      "Operating room" means a room used for the performance of surgical procedures requiring one or more incisions and that is required to comply with all applicable licensure codes and standards for an operating room.

(2)        "Commission" means the North Carolina Medical Care Commission. (1977, 2nd Sess., c. 1214, s. 1; 1983, c. 775, s. 1; 1983 (Reg. Sess., 1984), c. 1064, s. 1; 1997-456, s. 49(a); 2001-242, s. 1; 2005-346, s. 4.)