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10 Factors Helping, Limiting ASC Growth

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The following outlooks are from Darrell Anderson, senior specialist for business development of The Joint Commission's Ambulatory Care Program, from a recent blog post on The Joint Commission ambulatory healthcare blog "Musings…Ambulatory Patient Safety."

Helping Factors

·      Increasing case migration to ASCs, especially in pain management, spine and total joint replacement.

·      Equivalent or superior quality outcomes for most cases.

·      Low infection rates.

·      Word-of-mouth referrals.

·      Operations flexibility and ability to adapt quickly to changing times.

·      Lower prices and quality transparency in an era of high-deductible plans.

Hindering Factors

·      Retiring surgeons and providers, and uncertainty over whether younger surgeons will invest in ASCs.

·      High education debt levels among younger surgeons, preventing equity buy-ins.

·      Health system consolidation, which may monopolize all available niches on local levels.

·      Overseas medical tourism in patients whose first priority is price.

There are several factors that will have an unknown impact on ASCs, according to the post, including the long-term influence of insurance exchanges, accountable care organizations and high-deductible plans.

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