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FEATURE


Since establishing the joint venture in 2015, the ASC has grown its caseload from about 6,000 cases in 2015 to more than 7,500 cases in 2017 in its three operating rooms (ORs). It has also boosted its number of physician owners from 22 to 46. “About 10 of those new physi- cians are retinal surgeons,” Fitzpat- rick says. “Retina was not a big part of our practice for a long time, but that has definitely changed with this new group of owners.”


Expanding Presence Grow Your Ophthalmic ASC


Expand, invest in new technology and market your brand BY ROBERT KURTZ


T


he future of ophthalmology in ASCs looks bright, says George


Violin, MD, board-certified ophthal- mologist and one of the founding principals of ASC management and development company Ambulatory Surgical Centers of America, based in Hanover, Massachusetts.


“The hospital industry has gener- ally accepted that ophthalmology is best suited for the outpatient setting,” he says. “At some point, insurance carriers will wake up to the fact that removal of a cataract and implant of a lens can be completed at an ASC for a facility fee far below what they would pay a hospital, which will help further drive procedures to surgery centers.” Advances in technology also rep- resent a great opportunity for growth within ophthalmology, Violin says. “There are a number of new options ASCs can consider, such as the fem- tosecond laser for cataract surgery


and microincision and ciliary body ablation for glaucoma. If you are planning to go one of these routes, you must be sure your ASC will receive appropriate reimbursement for its labor and capital.”


The Northwell Health | Garden City


SurgiCenter in Garden City, New York, is living proof that what Violin sug- gests is true. In January 2015, the sin- gle-specialty ASC formed a joint ven- ture with Northwell Health, a health system based in New Hyde Park, New York. Then, in 2016, the ASC pur- chased a femtosecond laser. “Some of our physicians were still doing cases at the hospital,” says Kelly Fitzpatrick, administrative director of the ASC. “Now that we have a fem- tosecond laser, physicians have more options and can bring more of their cases to us and we are able to better compete with the hospital.”


20 ASC FOCUS MAY 2018 | www.ascfocus.org


Northwell Health | Garden City Sur- giCenter will soon reach even more patients when its satellite ASC opens about nine miles away in Syosset, New York. The facility is scheduled to start performing procedures in May. This will be a multispecialty, five-OR facil- ity that includes ophthalmology. “Many of our ophthalmologists


will be credentialed and have privi- leges at both facilities,” Fitzpatrick says. “They will be able to choose which ASC makes the most sense for their patients and schedule.” Eddie Edwards says there is tre-


mendous value to the community in opening a second ASC in a county that does not have one. He is the director of marketing and public relations for Medarva Healthcare in Richmond, Vir- ginia, and its two ASCs: Stony Point Surgery Center in Richmond, Virginia, and West Creek Surgery Center in Goochland, Virginia. Stony Point Surgery Center, built


in


2001, is a multispecialty ASC that is heavy on ophthalmology. West Creek Surgery Center, located about 20 miles from Stony Point, is a multispecialty, two-OR ASC that opened in the spring 2017. While Edwards says the new ASC


is not offering ophthalmology just yet, that will soon change. “We will have four more ORs coming on line this year, and ophthalmology procedures will be performed in some of those rooms.”


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