Ambulatory Surgery Centers: Positively Transforming Healthcare Delivery
Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) are transforming surgical services, providing more care options for patients than ever before. But patients are not the only party benefiting from ambulatory surgery centers. Physicians gain increased control over their surgical practices by choosing to operate in ambulatory surgery centers instead of hospitals. In many areas of the country, payers are also driving increased movement to ASC’s with reimbursement policies that reward lower-cost settings for common surgeries. This shift in care is a positive one, transforming healthcare delivery and filling the void of affordable and safe outpatient surgery.
Benefits of Ambulatory Surgery Centers
1. Significant cost savings.
A study published in Health Affairs shares that ASCs can operate at a lower cost and still provide the same level of patient care as hospital outpatient departments.
The study, conducted by economists Elizabeth Munnich of the University of Louisville and Stephen Parente of the University of Minnesota, determined that “ASCs on average provide higher quality care for outpatient procedures than hospitals, and other research indicates that they do so at lower costs than hospitals.”
2. Ability to provide greater individualized care.
ASCs do not operate at the same pace as hospitals, which means ASCs can operate with fewer delays and greater physician-patient interaction. In addition, the staff member who completes the pre-screening will likely be the same individual the patient will see the day of surgery. 3. Linked to increased patient satisfaction.
Because ASCs provide more personalized care and see far fewer delays, patients report higher satisfaction of care. A study released by Press Ganey reports, “As a result, patients say they have a 92% satisfaction rate with both the care and service they receive from ASCs.” 4. Greater physician control.
Physicians can more easily schedule procedures, assemble their own highly-skilled teams, ensure equipment and supplies being used are best-suited to their specific techniques and design facilities tailored to their specialties.
The Impact of Ambulatory Surgery Centers A transformative model for surgical services, ASCs have grown as a result of increased demand from patients, physicians and insurers. Driven by patient satisfaction, the ability to retain more physician control, high-quality care and significant cost savings, ASCs have positively altered the nation’s healthcare systems.
According to Fierce Healthcare, the dramatic shift in care as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic “has left many facilities struggling to stay afloat financially, trying to modify their procedures to meet new COVID-19 requirements and wondering what the future of their business is going to look like.”
ASC’s will likely play a pivotal role in helping hospitals rebound from the coronavirus crisis. By partnering with ASCs, health systems can address the surgical backlog efficiently and at a lower expense to the hospital.
Ambulatory Surgery Center Implementation Services
Sullivan ASC consultants provide hospitals and health systems with comprehensive ASC assessments, recommendations, and implementation support that result in improved operational efficiency and increased income. SHC is one of the few ASC consulting agencies to provide a truly transparent and turnkey approach.
Randy Heiser is the President of Sullivan Healthcare Consulting. Randy has been a hospital consultant since 1983 and has specialized in perioperative consulting since 1992. He has directed more than 500 surgery department operational improvement studies (and participated in an additional 350) in programs ranging from small community hospitals and freestanding surgery centers to some of the largest university hospitals in the U.S. He was instrumental in the design, development and implementation of the Surgery Benchmark Program that has been used by more than 280 hospitals. He has also participated in the design of several proprietary surgery scheduling information systems currently available in North America.