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cost to the employee, and we offer a generous matching 401(k) with profit sharing. We have also been fortunate to receive a Christmas bonus and rais- es annually.”

The center would like to be able

to offer educational reimbursement and change its benefits to include paid time off (PTO), Danielson says, but that has not been possible to date. “It would also be nice to offer 10- or 12- hour shifts to attract staff, but we just haven’t found that it works for us fi- nancially,” she adds. Whether the ASC’s benefits pack-

Benefits Bundles

Human resources managers discuss the kinds of packages that work in ASCs. BY SAHELY MUKERJI

cent of ASCs offer health insurance, 84 percent offer family health insur- ance, 76 percent offer pensions or oth- er retirement benefits and 76 percent offer flexible hours. Some benefits plans, say the human resources experts interviewed in this article, work better than others in ASCs, and what works best often depends on the structure and culture of the individual ASC.


Consider the Options The Urology Surgery Center of Nash- ville, Tennessee, a physician-owned, single-specialty center, is “trying to compete in the Nashville market— a Mecca for health care with many big hospitals and ASC management groups,” says Mary Ellen Danielson, RN, CASC, director. “We market the ASC setting as a lifestyle for nurses leaving the bigger


ationally, ASCA’s 2012 Salary & Benefits Survey shows, 97 per-

For more about ASCA’s 2012 Salary & Benefits Survey, see page 34.

hospitals by emphasizing the fact that there is no call, and no weekends or holidays are required,” Danielson says. “Also, we promote our family atmo- sphere. We have 30 urologists that are very caring and fun to work with.” The surgery center offers the basic benefits as far as vacation, sick leave and personal time off go, Danielson says. “We also offer a selection for health care coverage, which includes vision coverage. Dental is a separate package. For those employees who do not need the coverage, $1,000 is di- vided up over the course of the year into their paychecks. The physician owners provide life insurance up to $50,000 and long-term disability. Short-term disability is available at a

age works in recruiting staff is hard to tell, says Danielson. “There is more turnover with the younger nurses and techs who will leave for multi-spe- cialty facilities to broaden their hori- zons, for more money when they have children to feed and clothe, and due to pregnancy,” she says. “I find that the more mature nurses, who have al- ready experienced what it is like in a hospital, come and stay for the long haul. We also have a large p.r.n. staff, which is not eligible for benefits. That seems to work well for us, especial- ly when you consider that we would need to cover the four-month family and medical leave that is allowed in the state of Tennessee. It is so hard to keep these positions open and cov- ered, especially when these nurses tend not to come back full time when the leave is up. I’ve had three nurs- es in this situation this year and two medical leaves of eight weeks each to accommodate.” Recognizing the critical role that non-full-time staff play in ASCs, “we take good care of our part-time (PT) and p.r.n. staff,” says John Wellik, se- nior vice president and chief admin- istrative officer of United Surgical Partners International. The company offers health care benefits to PT em- ployees who work 20 hours or more a week, “and while the employee cost is higher than for full-time employ- ees, it works very well for those PT

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