Maryland Ambulatory Surgery Facility Consumer Guide


Accreditation - An evaluation process in which an objective group (accrediting body) examines a health care organization to ensure that it is meeting certain standards that experts in the field have determined are important.

Ambulatory Surgery - Surgery that can be performed in an outpatient setting and does not require an overnight stay in a hospital. Ambulatory surgery is general planned ahead of time. Maybe referred to as one-day, in-and-out, or outpatient surgery.

Ambulatory Surgery Facility - Place in which ambulatory (outpatient) surgery is performed. Some surgeries that may be performed in an ambulatory surgery facility include eye, gynecology, ear/nose/throat, orthopedic, cosmetic, and foot procedures.

American Association for the Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities (AAASF) - An organization that accredits ambulatory surgery facilities. Accreditation consists of a three-fold review that includes a site visit, a panel assessment of site visit findings, and successful participation in a peer review/quality assurance program.

Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) - The AAAHC is an organization involved with ambulatory health care accreditation and serves as an advocate for the provision and documentation of high quality health services in ambulatory health care organizations.
Cardiovascular Surgery - Surgery or procedure involving the heart or blood vessels.

Certification - Approval of a provider to participate and receive payment from the Medicare and/or Medicaid programs. In some states, a system for determining if various individual healthcare professionals are qualified.

Colon and Rectal Surgery - Surgery or procedure involving the large intestine.

Dermatology Surgery - Surgery or procedure for skin related conditions.

Gastorenterology - Surgery or procedure involving the digestive tract including the stomach and intestines.

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) - an independent, not-for-profit organization that evaluates and accredits health care organizations and programs in the United States including hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory surgery centers, and home health agencies.

Medicare - A Federal insurance program providing a wide range of benefits to providers and suppliers participating in the program. Providers, in Medicare, are patient care institutions such as hospitals, hospices, nursing, homes, ambulatory surgery centers, and home health agencies. Benefits are payable for most people over age 65, Social Security beneficiaries under 65 entitled to disability benefits, and individuals needing renal dialysis or renal transplantation.

Medicaid - A State program that provides access to health care services to individuals in the Maryland Medical Assistance Program. Medicaid will usually pay for medications, lab tests, and nursing home services if the individual qualifies for the program.

Neurology Procedure - Surgery or procedure involving the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, or nerves).

Obstetrics/Gynecology - Surgery or procedure involving the female reproductive organs.

Operating Rooms - A sterile room used specifically for surgical procedures.

Ophthalmology Procedure - Surgery or procedure involving the eye.

Oral Surgery - Surgery or procedure involving the mouth.

Orthopedic Surgery - Surgery or procedure involving the bones and muscles.

Otolaryngology - Surgery or procedure involving the ears, nose, and throat.

Pain Management - Surgery, procedure, or other treatment designed to reduce pain and help the patient achieve a reasonable quality of life and ability to function.

Plastic Surgery - Surgery concerned with reducing scarring or disfigurement that may occur as a result of accidents, birth defects, or treatment for diseases.

Podiatry - Surgery or procedure to correct diseases and malformation of the foot.

Practicing Specialties - The type of surgeries or procedures in which the ambulatory care facility specializes.

Procedure Room - A special room used to perform various types of procedures, including endoscopy, cystoscopy or laser procedures.

Thoracic Surgery - Surgery or procedure pertaining to the chest.

Urology - Surgery or procedure involving the urinary tract including the bladder, kidney, and prostate.

Vascular Surgery - Surgery or procedures related to the blood vessels of the body.

Volume - The total number of surgeries or procedures performed by the ambulatory surgery facility. Volume is useful in that it gives an idea of the experience a facility has in a particular surgery or procedure. Some studies have shown that treating more cases of a certain type can lead to better outcomes, such as with cardiac surgery.