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COVER STORY


INDUSTRY FORECAST Where ASCs stand in the business of health care


Three experts share their view on the future of the ASC industry and what surgery centers can expect to see this year. While ASCs are poised to grow and evolve, especially, with more higher acuity cases moving into the ASC setting, cyber security remains a threat.


Health Care Trendsetters


Prepare for more higher acuity cases moving to the ASC setting, micro consolidations and new surgery centers BY TERRY BOHLKE, CASC


What an exciting time to be in the ASC industry! We stand at the dawn of the next great evolution of surgery centers. Surgical


cases recently thought impossible to be outpatient are now safely performed every day at ASCs that are blazing a new trail for higher acuity cases. The techniques being developed by these pioneers are transforming outpatient surgery and altering the trajectory of the ASC industry toward unprece- dented growth.


Key Drivers of ASC Growth There are many factors driving this expansion. Understanding these drivers is key to strategically positioning your ASC for this magnificent opportunity.


1. Cost Let’s start with the obvious. Health- care costs are spiraling out of con- trol and health insurers are under tre- mendous pressure to reduce cost. With ASCs providing high-volume surger- ies at typically a fraction of the cost of a hospital, these payers are finding


just about any way they can to drive those cases from hospitals to ASCs. Tactics include offering their members big savings for using an ASC, paying physicians bonuses for moving volume to an ASC and denying hospital autho- rizations for cases deemed to be more appropriate in an ASC. Bundled pay- ments are becoming highly desired by patients and employers frustrated with the uncertainty of hospital medical bills. ASC billing is relatively simple, making bundles easier and driving the cost-conscious consumer to the ASC.


2. Quality and safety ASCs are a proven model. They per- form nearly half of all outpatient sur- gical procedures in the US with report- edly lower infection and higher patient satisfaction rates. Unlike physician offices that perform some outpatient


The advice and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent official Ambulatory Surgery Center Association policy or opinion. 12 ASC FOCUS JANUARY 2018 |www.ascfocus.org


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