NJ Proposes Changes to Office-Based Surgery and Other Regulations

For more information about this blog post, please contact Khaled J. KleleRyan M. MageeLabinot Alexander BerlajolliBrianna J. Santolli, or Daniel J. Parziale.

NJ Board of Medical Examiners Proposes to Substantially Change Regulation Governing Surgery in the Office Setting

The New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners (“BME”) has proposed a new rule that replaces the phrase “minor surgery” with “minor procedure” and further expands the definition of “special procedure.”  The purpose of these changes is to remove restrictions relating to where and by whom abortion care may be provided, and regulates abortions like other office-based surgical and special procedures.   By making these changes, however, the proposed rule expands who and where minor procedures may be performed.

The BME is proposing the following changes:

  • Repealing N.J.A.C. 13:35-4.2, which permits only physicians to perform abortions, and requires abortions after fourteen weeks to be performed in a licensed hospital or ambulatory surgery center (“ASC”).
  • Amending N.J.A.C. 13:35-4A-1 to replace “minor surgery” with the phrase “minor procedures” throughout to reflect that minor procedures are low-risk services that do not require compliance with the heightened regulatory requirements of Rule 4.
  • Amending N.J.A.C. 13:35-4A-1 to clarify that “special procedures” do not include “minor procedures.”
  • Amending N.J.A.C. 13:35-4A-3 to identify an “early aspiration abortion” as a “minor procedure.”
  • Amending N.J.A.C. 13:35-4A.1 and 4A.2(a) by deleting the word "setting" following "office" and, therefore, allowing for the expansion of the definition of "office" to include licensed one-room ambulatory surgery centers, registered surgical practices, and other sites where surgery and special procedures may be performed.
  • Amending N.J.A.C. 13:35-4A.3 to define “advanced practice clinicians” to include advanced practice nurses, physicians assistants, certified nurse midwives, and certified midwives; and
  • Adding N.J.A.C. 13:35-4A.19 to allow “advanced practice clinicians to perform minor procedures in an office setting. 

Comments are due by March 5, 2021.

Changes to the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the NJ Aged and Disabled Eligibility Manual

The New Jersey Department of Human Services (the “Department”) has adopted a rule changing the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (“PAAD”) Eligibility Manual to reflect an increase of the maximum annual income limits for PAAD eligibility by 1.3 percent.  Each year the PAAD annual income eligibility limits are to increase by the amount of maximum Social Security benefit cost‑of‑living increase for each year for single and married persons, respectively.  Persons who are eligible for PAAD are also eligible for Lifeline Credit, Tenants Lifeline Assistance, and Hearing Aid Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (“HAAAD”).  Therefore, the Department is also increasing the annual income eligibility standards by 1.3 percent for those programs to correspond with the PAAD increase.  Finally, the Department is changing the Senior Gold income limits for the Senior Gold Prescription Program Manual to reflect the 1.3 percent change to the PAAD annual income limits.  These changes were effective January 1, 2021.

Degrees Earned Outside the United States

The New Jersey State Board of Psychological Examiners (the “Board”) has adopted a rule requiring an applicant for licensure having earned a degree outside of the United States to provide the Board with a comprehensive evaluation of their degree performed by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists or a foreign credential evaluation service that is member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (“NACES”) and acceptable to the Board, and any other documentation the Board deems necessary.