Gunster's health care law practice

Currently, physicians who perform certain surgical procedures must register their offices with the Florida Department of Health and be subject to DOH inspection unless accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or an accrediting organization subsequently approved by the Board of Medicine.

Currently, a physician who performs:

  • liposuction procedures in which more than 1,000 cubic centimeters of supernatant fat is removed;
  • level 2 procedures lasting more than 5 minutes; and
  • all level 3 surgical procedures

in an office setting must register the office with the DOH unless the office is licensed as a facility under chapter 395, the statute that governs hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers.

Proposed legislation, Senate Bill 1486, would enact a definition of an office surgery center, providing:

“Office surgery center” means any facility where a physician performs liposuction procedures in which more than 1,000 cubic centimeters of supernatant fat are removed, level 2 procedures lasting more than 5 minutes, and all level 3 surgical procedures in an office setting, or any facility in which surgery is performed outside of any facility licensed under chapter 3901 or chapter 395.

Although similar to the current statute, the provision requiring registration of “…any facility in which surgery is performed outside of any facility licensed under chapter 390 or chapter 395” could be construed to broaden the registration requirements as the term “surgery” is not defined and is not clearly limited to the types of procedures identified in the definition.

The proposed legislation would also require that every office surgery center identify a designated physician responsible for compliance with statutory and rule requirements.

It would create an obligation for office surgery centers to develop a quality assurance program.

The legislation would also require that annual inspections include a review of patient records.

Physicians who perform office surgeries should strongly consider seeking accreditation.

The currently approved accrediting organizations are:

  • the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAASF);
  • the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC); and
  • the Joint Commission.

By obtaining accreditation, a physician can avoid annual inspections by the DOH. Office inspections sometimes lead to disciplinary actions against professional licensees.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Bruce Lamb or any member of Gunster’s health care law team.


1 Chapter 390, Florida Statutes regulates abortion clinics

This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.

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Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 13 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, The Florida Keys, Vero Beach, Winter Park, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With more than 200 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at

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