First U.S. outpatient surgery center opens, in Phoenix: the Phoenix Ambulatory Surgicenter. The most common procedure is myringotomy — a small incision in the eardrum to relieve pressure — on children.
Medicare begins covering some surgical procedures performed at surgery centers.
Number of surgery centers in the U.S. reaches 1,000.
MedPac notes three procedures that have migrated to surgery centers: arthroscopy, endoscopy and cataract lens implants.
Medicare broadens the procedures for which it will pay and changes the overall payment system to “encourage ASCs to expand their service mix beyond the handful of the highest paying procedures.”
Medicare approves payment for laparoscopic hernia repair.
Industry publication Becker’s ASC Review reports that spine surgery is moving toward the outpatient setting.
Comedian Joan Rivers dies of brain damage after a routine endoscopy at a surgery center in New York City. That year, surgery centers reported 25 patient deaths in Florida and New Jersey alone.
Medicare begins to pay for spine surgeries including neck fusion, lumbar fusion and decompression of the spinal cord.