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FEATURE


up by making the argument that this is a high-quality, lower-cost means for completing pathology—that is a value proposition everyone is looking for,” Weber says.


Accurso says changing payment models presents a new revenue oppor- tunity for GI ASCs. “The environment is moving toward value-based care. I would suggest that ASCs partner with their physicians to develop value- based contracts together. If facilities are stuck in a fee-for-service environ- ment and not participating in new pay- ment models with their physicians, they will be kept out of the loop.” On a broader level, Weber says, independent GI ASCs might want to consider the possible financial bene- fits of giving up some freedom. “We all want to be fiercely independent, but sometimes partnering can improve your business. Perhaps partnering with your local hospital doubles your reim- bursement rates and leads to an infu- sion of patients. Maybe partnering with a national company helps bring in new contracts and better processes. You owe it to yourself to at least look into partnership opportunities.” Before you add a new revenue line,


make sure your ASC is adequately pre- pared for it, Young says. “Understand your volume of need versus capac- ity, how you will effectively man- age blocks of time and how you will need to amend your staffing model to accommodate changes. The last thing you want to do is add a revenue stream that actually makes existing revenue streams less efficient.”


Get Your House in Order The most effective way to grow your ASC’s revenue might not require a new revenue stream at all, Weber says. “Making a major addition is exciting, but that does not necessarily mean it is the right decision, especially, if you are not performing as efficiently as possible with your existing operations. Examples include scheduling pro-


The environment is moving toward value-based care. I would suggest that ASCs partner with their physicians to develop value-based contracts together.”


—Charles Accurso, MD Central Jersey Ambulatory Surgery Center


cesses, room utilization and through- put from check-in to discharge.” Scheduling processes to look at more closely include direct scheduling of procedures at the ASC by practices; standardizing processes, including preparation instructions; and improv- ing the efficiency of pre-operative and post-operative phone calls. For room utilization, Weber recommends opti- mizing block scheduling for physi- cians, monitoring utilization and mak- ing changes accordingly. “You can also add volume by starting procedures earlier or going later into the day. Add- ing weekend hours is another option and one that is very much appreciated by patients.” To improve throughout, a solution


Weber champions is using kiosks for patient check-in. “These turned a pro- cess that took more than 15 minutes to


one that took less than 5 minutes. The time savings of that alone was huge.” To improve their ASCs, physi-


cians might want to take a closer look at their practices, Young says. “Com- pared to their practices, ASCs have been the majority earner from a bot- tom-line economics perspective, so many physicians only think they need to focus their efforts on growing their ASCs.” Going after additional revenue in the ASC is important, but physicians should not do that without looking after the effective management of their practice as well, he says. “Gastroen- terologists need to remind themselves that their practices serve as the engine that appropriately gets patients to their ASCs. If they reviewed and enhanced the management of their practices, they may not need to do anything else for their ASCs.”


ASC FOCUS MARCH 2019| ascfocus.org 15


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