• Vivien Treacy

Top 3 Predictions from ASC Executives

Would you like a crystal ball to see what the next five years will look like for your Practice?

ASC Review recently conducted a national survey of ASC Leaders, including Surgeons, CEO's, and Administrators, to learn what the future holds for the Ambulatory Surgery Center community.

According to CEO Corey Roberts, the future looks extremely positive for ASC's nationwide.

Roberts states, "ASCs will need to continue to concentrate on cost-saving, quality at every step, and treating our patients as if they were a family member. The five-year projection would be a doubling in the number of ASCs to serve the increase in demand."

1. ASC's Will be Number One in Operative Procedures

The consensus amongst ASC Executives is that most hospital operative procedures will shift to the ASC environment over the next ten years.

As a result, more insurance carriers will look to ASCs to provide high-quality patient experience at a lower cost than hospitals. This change should allow for negotiating favorable rates and reimbursement methodology for the ASC's.

Additionally, there is an urgent need to control healthcare spending at the national level, and upcoming CMS updates may move more procedures from the "inpatient-only" list to ASC-approved.

These factors will significantly increase the ASC's market share in operative procedures, with hospitals utilized primarily to care for medically complex and critical patients.

2. The Majority of Surgical Specialties Will Benefit

Orthopedic and Spine procedures are forecasted to shift rapidly, as evidenced by the growing number of ASC's currently performing outpatient total joint replacements.

One ASC Executive predicts that Vascular Surgeons, Invasive Cardiologists, and Interventional Radiologists will have ownership in ASC facilities and create a mass exodus from hospital employment.

Minor procedures forecasted to shift to ASC include:

  • low-risk electrophysiology

  • diagnostic arthroscopy

  • ganglion cysts

  • carpal tunnel

  • trigger finger

  • arthroscopic knee surgery

  • simple meniscectomies

  • chondroplasties.

Complex procedures forecasted to shift to ASC include:

  • Barrett's ablation

  • Large polyp resection

  • Endoscopic ultrasound

  • Fine needle aspiration

  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography

  • Barrett's esophagus

  • Colonoscopy

3. The COVID Effect Could Change Everything

During the initial COVID outbreak, many ASC's were able to act as a hospital and perform cases typically done in the Cath Lab or other hospital areas. These practices were paid at equal rates to a hospital, and insurance companies and CMS will see that the patients had better outcomes at a lower cost in the ASC setting.

Physicians and Patients are more reluctant to go to the hospital due to safety concerns, thus increasing awareness and interest in ASC as an alternative for employment and surgical procedures.

Dr. Ajay Kumar states, "the next five years would be golden years for ASCs because of the COVID-19 impact."

According to this national group of ASC Leaders, the future holds growth, prosperity, and unlimited opportunities within the field. As CEO Corey Roberts advises, focus on cost-saving and ROI, quality, and treating patients like family, and the results will follow.

The five year ASC forecast looks rosy indeed.

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