extra calls are worth the savings. I have saved as little as $250 annually to as much as nearly $1,200 using this strategy. It adds up when you achieve savings over multiple contracts.” Another tactic Morris uses neces- sitates a willingness to switch com- panies. “You need to be prepared to walk away from your current ven- dor if a better offer is on the table,” Morris says. “We changed postage machine rental companies and saved more than $4,000 annually. Chang- ing generator service providers saved us nearly $2,700 annually.” Hooper constantly looks for sav- ings opportunities, both big and small. On a larger scale, she closely reviews her ASC’s insurance con- tracts every year. “I require our bro- ker to bring me three comparable options for our health, malpractice and cyber insurance.” She also strives to consolidate contracts as much as possible. “We have a vendor that maintains our C-arms and performs our biomedical checks. I pay them less on an annual basis than I would if I had separate contracts for those services.” On a smaller scale, Hooper says she will not hesitate to clip cou- pons. “While we usually buy from our group purchasing organization, sometimes a local vendor can offer prices that are just as good or even better with a coupon. We have been able to save on paper, printer car- tridges, pencils, pens and many other office supplies.” Effective cost reduction efforts might require reevaluating how your ASC analyzes its expenses, Schnei- der says. “To really understand your costs, look at your bills and not just at the general ledger. You may not be able to clearly see on the general ledger your exact expenses. A copier lease, for example, might be included

community. When someone finds a good new vendor, for example, we share information about the company over email.” Another valuable but sometimes

overlooked resource is an ASC’s staff. “Your staff will often know exactly what should be done to save you money but may not feel like they are in a position to tell that to a leader. We encourage staff to share their thoughts and observations by holding regular brainstorming sessions.”

Schneider emphasizes the impor- tance of consistent expense reviews. “Price creep can


Service contracts should not automatically be renewed with an increase. I will always ask for a discount or ask the vendor to match the previous service contract when the price is increased.”

— Jennifer Morris Surgicare of Wichita

of your hard work to reduce costs. Going through your expenses and finding a lot of savings is great, but if you ‘set it and forget it,’ you may not realize that, year over year, those savings can erode.

under general office expenses along with lots of other items.” Schneider also recommends ASCs

develop a process to verify correct billing. “You might have contracted a great rate, but if you are being over- billed, you are losing money. Check regularly to ensure you are paying your contracted price.”

Keep at It To identify opportunities for new savings, Hooper advises tapping into every resource at your disposal. “Thanks to our strong state ASC association, we have the ability to network with the other ASCs in our

“On the other hand, what might happen is you go through the exer- cise and do not find savings in some areas,” he says. “That can create a false sense of confidence that leads you to believe that you will maintain this fair rate going forward. But that is like getting a checkup, being told you have a clean bill of health and thinking nothing with your health is ever going to change.” The good news, Morris says, is that as long as you put in the work, reducing costs should become eas- ier over time. “A lot of people are uncomfortable asking for a better price, so they become accustomed to accepting whatever is quoted. Achieving savings is not about rip- ping off your vendors. You want a fair and equitable rate. Once you get a few wins under your belt, you will start building confidence. That confi- dence can translate into the kinds of savings that can make a big differ- ence for your ASC.”

ASC FOCUS APRIL 2019 | 19 kill all

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