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Skip Navigation LinksPennsylvania Department of Health > Healthcare Facilities > Laws and Regulations > Outpatient Facilities
The Department of Health, Division of Acute and Ambulatory Care is responsible for the licensing and oversight of Pennsylvania’s 271 ambulatory surgical facilities. The division conducts the Medicare and licensure surveys, as well as complaint and incident investigations for these facilities.
 

For complaints regarding ambulatory surgical facilities, please contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health Quality Assurance Complaint Hotline 1-800-254-5164.

The information posted on the Department of Health’s website is posted in accordance with requirements imposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). These healthcare facility search pages contain information regarding health care facility compliance with regulatory requirements for licensure and for certificationLicensure permits the facility to operate in Pennsylvania. Certification permits the facility to claim and receive payment for services rendered from the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The Department of Health (Department), as state licensing agency and state survey agency for CMS, conducts both routine and special inspections of health care facilities to determine ongoing compliance with regulatory requirements which is a condition of licensure and certification.

If, during an inspection, the Department determines a facility does not meet regulatory requirements for licensure and certification, the Department notifies the facility in a Statement of Deficiencies. Health care facilities are required to submit a Plan of Correction in response to the Statement of Deficiencies. ThePlan of Correction is mandatory, whether the facility agrees with Department findings or not, and is the means by which the Department monitors and ensures correction of deficiencies. As long as the facility submits a Plan of Correction, the facility may continue to operate and receive Medicare and Medicaid payment, while deficiencies are being corrected. A Plan of Correction, for purposes of licensure and certification, is not an admission of wrongdoing on the part of the facility.

General Information - Exceptions to Regulations for Hospitals and Ambulatory Surgical Facilities

The Department is aware that, in certain cases, compliance with existing regulations may create unreasonable hardship for hospitals and ambulatory surgical facilities. In addition, certain regulations may present barriers that impede a facility’s ability to provide higher quality care, to operate more efficiently, or to develop an innovative program. 28 PA Code §51.31 – 51.34 authorizes the Department to grant exceptions.

The Department’s exceptions process provides an effective way to be responsive to facilities’ needs for flexibility within the current rules and regulations, while maintaining the Department’s highest priority -- the health, safety and welfare of patients.  (Click here for instructions and exception request form.)

These exceptions address state regulatory requirements/standards only.  Facilities that are certified by CMS for Medicare and Medicaid, or plan to seek certification, are responsible to ensure that the facility remains in compliance with the Conditions of Participation Coverage. The exceptions requested and granted by the Department will not be transferred to a new owner should a change of ownership occur. The Department of Health reserves the right to revoke any exception for justifiable reason.

Expedited Exceptions - Hospitals and Ambulatory Surgical Facilities

The Department offers an expedited process to pre-approve exceptions to some regulations, provided that the facility complies with the Department’s minimum requirements, which demonstrate that the original intent of the regulation is met.  The Department has identified the specific regulations for which expedited exceptions will be considered, and believes that granting these exceptions under the prescribed conditions will not endanger the health, safety or welfare of patients. The existing exceptions request/advanced approval process will be waived for these “tags.”  Hospital and ambulatory surgical facility surveys will include review of all the exceptions under which the facility is operating and review of evidence to assure compliance with the Department’s minimum requirements for each exception.  (Click here for the form and guidance for each regulation for which expedited exception is permitted:  Anesthetic Services (Propofol), Admin of Anesthesia, Flammable Agents in ASF.)