Surgery - Outreach - Policy

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) defines outreach surgery as surgery performed by a qualified, non-local physician while a different physician provides the postoperative care and selected aspects of the preoperative care of the patient. Consistent with their training and experience, family physicians are able to provide high quality preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative care as an essential component of outreach surgery.

The AAFP recognizes the importance of outreach surgery to assure access to health care where surgical services are not otherwise available locally. Accordingly, the AAFP supports the practice of outreach surgery as one method of providing needed services when coordinated by a team including the patient's family physician and the physician/surgeon, with appropriate coordination of patient care between team members during each phase of surgical care (preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative).

In the unique setting where outreach surgery has occurred, the primary operating physician should be paid for services actually performed. The family physician providing pre- or postoperative care should receive appropriate payment for such care. Each physician involved in such care should charge separately for his/her services, and should be paid separately. (2007) (2014 COD)