The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a memorandum clarifying the requirements for Ambulatory Surgical Center waiting areas (ASC), including the prohibition on the sharing of waiting areas with other entities. The clarifications include:
- ASC regulations require that these facilities “be distinct entities, solely providing surgical services, and containing separate areas which meet Life Safety Code (LSC) requirements for Ambulatory Health Care occupancies.
- Waivers will be considered for existing ASCs that share a waiting area with other building occupants when compliance with the LSC requirements is not currently feasible. Interim separation barrier and signage is required.
- New ASCs should not be recommended by State Survey Agencies (SAs) or accreditation organizations (AOs) for waiver approval.