says, “We value their opinion and look to them as our customer. Our ongo- ing goal is to determine how we can best serve them and take care of their patients. It does not matter if he or she is an investor because we consider all physicians our customers.” When an ASC successfully arranges for a non-investor physician to visit, Feldman suggests helping them envi- sion themselves performing procedures at the facility. His ASC provides one- on-one orientations for surgeons look- ing to use the facility to ensure that they are comfortable with the ASC’s processes and electronic health records system. It also makes a point of wel- coming and treating all its surgeons on equal footing. “Your top marketing partner is your

investor physicians,” Albers says. “Reg- ularly check with them to see if they know of any available physicians. Ask investors to visit with non-investor phy- sicians and extend invitations to the sur- gery center. I have found investors have the greatest influence and impact in bringing their colleagues into the ASC.”

Engaging Existing Physicians Recruiting non-investor physicians is only half the challenge. The other half is making sure these physicians continue to perform procedures at your ASC. Piccione recommends treating non-

investors with as much care and atten- tion as partners. “It may be even more important to try and accommodate their schedules and invest in their needs as they have no obligation to use one cen- ter or another,” he says. “If they have a less-than-desirable experience dur- ing one visit, they can easily bring their cases somewhere else the next week.” Feldman’s leadership team tries to

engage the non-investor physician at every opportunity. “I want them to feel welcome and assure them that the needs of their patients and themselves will be met,” he says. “We make sure that they are not caught off guard by any opera- tional changes or disruptions.”

If a center has OR capacity, the goal should be to fill that space with productive physicians, regardless of their investment. Diversity is good at ASCs.”

—Traci Albers, Surgical Management Professionals To build facility loyalty with some

non-investor physicians, Albers’ ASC includes them on committees and invites them to participate in medical staff activ- ities. She recommends regularly solic- iting their feedback on operations or capital equipment needs, continuously engaging with them and seeking their opinion to help make them feel like a valued member of the team. For a physician who simply wants to come work at your ASC and does not have interest in committee work or feel compelled to share anything with you, she adds, that strategy won’t apply. “Sometimes physicians want to go to a place where they can get their work done, not need to engage at all and then go home to their family at the end of the day. You need to understand the reason(s) the non-investor wants to work at your facility and meet their needs.”

Spreading the Word The three ASC managers agree that continuous marketing is key to cap- turing physicians who might be look- ing for a new home for their surgeries. “Actively marketing the facility is ben- eficial as there may be surgeons in a

center’s backyard who are unaware of its existence,” says Piccione. Non-investor



are often less predictable than those of partners, he adds. By building aware- ness of the facility with physicians in the community who are not yet performing procedures at the center, administrators can put themselves in a better position to add new non-investor physicians and fill schedule gaps when they occur. Albers suggests that administrators

regularly touch base with the non-owner physicians in their communities. “Peri- odically make personal phone calls to see if there is interest in tours of the facil- ity or to learn if there are ways that the surgery center can increase these physi- cians’ practice and surgical efficiencies.” Feldman says he works to stay abreast of changes in local group prac- tices to help him identify potential new non-investor physicians. “Sometimes surgeons and patients do not know that there is a less-costly option for surgery. We try to raise our profile and be avail- able, so that we are able be a part of the conversation. We are always looking to grow and interested in finding the right partners for our future.”


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