As ASCs and ASC companies look to become fiscally stronger and to continue to grow, they will focus on their core business but will also be more frenetic and aggressive in looking at new profit areas. Here are three things to consider.
1. Where it concerns new growth strategies, ASCs are looking at hospital partnerships, new means to employ physicians, IPA relationships, mergers to combine centers, recovery care, bundled payment initiatives and several other tactics (ASC Growth & Evolution in the New Healthcare Environment). The somewhat saturated ASC market and limited physician pools make core same store growth difficult (11 Things to Know About ASCs).
For more on narrow networks' impact on ASCs click here, or for ASCs and out-of network strategy, click here.
2. Cutting back is also increasingly a way by which ASCs are better managing their financial prospects. Reducing spending may include overhauls of supply chain management, scheduling, staffing and other areas. Staffing and supplies are the two greatest expenses for ASCs, so prudent management of these resources through appropriate contracting and system and workflow analysis is absolutely essential to long-term viability (ASC Cost Containment: Common Areas for Improvement).
3. Remaining profitable is not without legal pitfalls: There are emerging legal issues around share redemptions, share sales and anesthesia. ASCs must vigilant as to assuring legal compliance in these three areas as they are being increasingly addressed in ways that differ significantly from the past. ASCs must also keep a watchful legal eye out with regards to HIPAA, billing and coding and general compliance (6 Major legal Issues for ASCs).
On a macro level, the ASC has been put in a more public position as accountable care and the Patient Protection and Affordable Act have highlighted the ASC's ability to drive major cost savings (PPACA Update: What do Exchanges Mean for ASCs?). On this front, states have begun to advance more legislation with ASCs in mind. Whether this legislation is ultimately helpful or hurtful to ASC expansion depends on the relative lobbying leverage ASC owners and companies have within their state or geographic region's particular political climate (6 Articles on Current Legislative Climate for ASCs).
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