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FEATURE


tactics ASCs should use to appeal to new partners, Piccione says. “We have streamlined operations and built a team that runs like a well-oiled machine. This allows physicians to put time back in their pocket by using our facilities. I believe the largest draws for any physi- cian to use an ASC over a hospital are the significant increases in efficiency, cost-effectiveness for their patients and an overall episode of care that is person- alized and comfortable.”


Feldman recommends helping non- Bring Non-Investor Physicians


into Your ASC Help surgeons understand why your ASC is a great choice BY ROBERT KURTZ


I


n an optimal situation, any open- ing in an ASC’s surgical schedule


would be filled by an investor phy- sician. Often, that scenario is just wishful thinking, says John Piccione, CASC, a regional director for Sur- gery Partners based in Lake Worth, Florida. “Unless a center’s partnered physicians run like clockwork and bring significant volume, there will likely be unutilized operating room (OR) time. This creates a need—and opportunity—to recruit non-investor physicians to fill those gaps.” The good news is that some physi- cians looking to perform procedures at an ASC have no interest in an ownership stake, says Traci Albers, director of operations for Surgical Management Professionals in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Instead, they are seeking an efficient, quality place to work, and ASCs can provide that.


16 ASC FOCUS MARCH 2020| ascfocus.org Some other physicians are not


in a position to be investors, says Thomas Feldman, chief executive offi- cer of the Center for Health Ambu- latory Surgery Center in Peoria, Illi- nois. Even those physicians, he adds, still have patients who will benefit from the cost savings associated with per- forming procedures in the ASC setting. “If a center has OR capacity,” says Albers, “the goal should be to fill that space with productive physicians, regardless of their investment. Diver- sity is good at ASCs. Physicians go on vacation, get ill, attend conferences and need time away from surgery for other reasons. In these cases, you want physi- cians who can step in and use that open OR space.”


Bringing in Talent Some of the ways to successfully attract non-investor physicians are the same


investor physicians understand why your ASC is a worthwhile alternative to the local hospital. “Most hospitals,” he says, “are set up to handle complicated situations and cases. With that prepared- ness comes additional barriers that are not necessary within an ambulatory sur- gical environment. As such, hospitals are not able to provide the same stream- lined approach that we can.” For ASCs considering the best ways to approach new surgeons, Albers and Piccione both emphasize the impor- tance of keeping a finger on the pulse of your local market.


Understanding your market trends


allows you to make a stronger pitch, Albers says. “In recent years, we have had interest from non-investor physi- cians because they are being pushed by insurance companies to perform their surgeries in the lowest-cost environ- ment, which is the ASC.” In some markets, she continues,


physicians are being rated on cost of care. One factor that goes into that is the surgical facility; therefore, if a physician only works at the hos- pital for their outpatient cases, he or she might have higher costs. “This has been an impetus to recruit some physicians to our ASCs by educating them on the lower costs to not only the payer but also their patients.” During the recruitment process, Albers recommends making clear that non-investor physicians who choose your ASC will still have their voice heard and respected. At her ASC, she


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